FROM THE DESK OF ALESSANDRA PEREZ-RUBIO
We’ve been running Mestiza for almost 7 years, and I often think back to the very beginning and how we started it all. For all the new Mestiza fans out there, here’s how it went down. It happened over drinks one night in April 2014. Louisa and I met up at a bar in Soho and it was that very evening we were both hit with the entrepreneurial bug. By the second round of drinks, we had already picked out the name: Mestiza. Those first few months, Louisa and I led double lives- dreaming up our collection after hours and on weekends, devising a plan of attack, and gathering up enough courage to quit our day jobs. Nine months after drinks at Madam Geneva, two headstrong 28 year old girls decided to quit their cushy jobs and in January 2015, Mestiza was born.
Looking back at the early years of Mestiza, it all blends together: a bunch of muddled memories of late night design brainstorms, afternoons schlepping around the garment district, cold-calling random stores in the feeble hope they would pick up our little collection. The excitement and fear of starting your own company is palpable. It is even more so with two very naïve founders who knew nothing about designing clothes or running a company. We constantly questioned ourselves and made countless mistakes along the way. It felt like we did was trial by fire and uncertain, except for two fundamental principles: the first being that we wanted to create beautiful dresses inspired by our shared Filipino-American heritage, and the second being that at its core, we would have a brand that had socially impactful values. As we come out of this pandemic stronger than ever, I think the reason we have made it comes down to our mutual passion, drive, and ambition to make beautiful things, but most importantly that our vision for the brand that has not wavered since that fateful day in April of 2014.