Amira Estell is an all-around style maven. With a career in fashion that extends over 10 years, Estell’s keen fashion eye has lent to several ventures in the fashion industry that ultimately inspired her to design and run her own handbag and accessories brand Mira Estell. Born in New Jersey and now residing in Detroit, Estell has consistently kept her fingers at the pulse of fashion. Her first endeavor in the industry began with a mobile women’s clothing and accessories boutique, ran alongside her sister and good friend. Her dedication to the craft drew the fashion aficionado to eventually study fashion merchandising at The Art Institute of Philadelphia, later honing her design skills under the teachings of Deb Edgar at the formerly opened Detroit Sewing Spot. The Detroit designer’s business savvy and edgy-chic taste have made for a brand that delivers luxe, effortless, and timeless handbags and accessories that leave every woman looking and feeling their best, most stunningly fabulous selves.
The handbag designer and style maven talks her inspiration, design process, and style philosophy.
Who were your inspirations in fashion growing up?
I had so much inspiration growing up in Irvington, NJ and later on in Willingboro, NJ. Just seeing the women around me – from my mom and aunties to the ladies in the neighborhood. Later on, some other influences came from movies and magazines. I’ve always viewed movies from a fashion perspective.
Describe your design process – from inception to creation.
My design process is pretty simple. I love clean lines so I’ll get an idea or concept and then decide how do I translate it to my aesthetic.
How do you choose your fabrics?
I use mainly vegan leather. I choose the textiles based on the quality and if it’s workable to pull off the look I’m trying create.
What would you say is your signature design style?
My signature style is edgy chic. My pieces are not your typical handbags but with clean lines. They are easily paired with any look.
What was one fear you had at the start that you’ve now overcome?
My biggest fear when starting was not selling. As a creative I’m sensitive about my products and designs. I wanted women to embrace Mira Estell.
What is your favorite part about being a designer?
My favorite part about being a designer is the creative process. It’s such a release to have an idea and bring it to life.
Do you have a personal style philosophy?
My personal style is pretty freestyle. I dress based on how I feel. It’s hard for me to plan a daily outfit. I generally decide in the moment. Lately I’m really comfy chic. I love to dress up basic pieces and pair them with bold accessories.
How do you want women to feel when wearing your designs?
I want women to feel fly and fabulous when wearing Mira Estell. I want them to know there are no rules to style and that it’s all about how you feel.
You are a designer, but you also spend time mentoring other young women. How would you describe your role as a mentor? Why is it important for you to mentor young women?
As a mentor my goal is to help my mentee/s understand they have what it takes. Sharing my knowledge and building them up to see that fear is okay. To embrace those fears and let them fuel you. I’m a teacher and also a coach. I’m there to help them through the process.
Any wise words for fellow emerging handbag and accessory designers looking to expand their brand?
I would tell fellow handbag designers and accessory designers to seek as much knowledge as you can about the business. Create create create. Don’t be afraid to have your own point of view. Advice is great but also listen to your own gut. There’s no magic wand or answers. Just get started and embrace each learning experience. Your path is yours, so just move in the direction you want to grow in.
For more fashionable fun with Estell, check out her Mimosas with Mira event series. It’s a fashionable day party for shopping, networking and mimosa sipping. The purpose is to provide a space for women to connect in an intimate, casual, and fun setting.
Photos: Amira Estell Instagram & Mira Estell Website.