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Meet Our Friend: Tanya Pilar

Freehand FriendsMiami

Meet fashion designer and Freehand Friend, Tanya Pilar! Puerto Rican born and raised, Pilar is a graduate of both Parsons The New School for Design and The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. She launched her minimalistic, tropical lifestyle / contemporary fashion brand, E S T E, in 2014, after moving to Miami and experiencing a “Tropical Revival.” Every piece Pilar designs is a reflection of her own personal style. We sat down with the tropical designer for a chat:

What brought you to Freehand Miami for your photo shoot?
The Freehand is one of my favorite spots in Miami, has unique corners, green areas and decor. Plus the vibe is very chill how I like it, always wanted to shoot here!

When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in fashion design?
Since I can remember. I have always been an art enthusiast, I have taken art and Design classes since I was 6.

Which designers / brands are you most influenced by?
I have a bunch, love Narciso Rodriguez simple aesthetic and Helmut Lang, Edginess of Rag and Bone and Isabel Marant etc.. so many.

Your bio says you’ve worked with renowned contemporary fashion designers, can you name a few / who your favorite was?
Every Design company I had the pleasure to inter and work def influence me in different ways, so is difficult to say a favorite, from internships at Anna Sui, Marquesa, Ralph Lauren and many others, to doing private labels for big retailers like Bloomingdales, Nordstrom etc … I’ve learned so much about the business of Fashion so all of them were favorites in different times I would say.

Do you have a favorite piece in your current collection?
This collection is very minimal and simple yet very versatile, I love everyone of them.

What inspired the name of your brand?
I was inspired by my Journey through the east coast from Puerto Rico to New York to Miami . Every town on the East coast has a part of me, part of my memories and the way I approach life and by subsequence create my design aesthetic. E S T E is the Spanish word for E A S T.

What’s next for E S T E?
Very exciting question! After designing for other Design Houses for more than 10 years, is the time for me to bring my expertise and knowledge through expanding the line, adding other categories like tops and dresses, keeping the brand always versatile with good quality fabric, construction and fit.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Miami?
Love strolling around my neighborhoods Wynwood/ Design District, and visiting the latest galleries around…. love to eat and have drinks with friends at places like the Broken shaker, 27 Restaurant, Lagniappe, Mandolin…now The Anderson a new fav! and of course going to the beach!

You can’t leave the home without… Name 3 things!
Car keys, my iPhone and my sketch book….. my survival kit!

If you could have a drink at the Shaker with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
So many people!! Thats hard! Ok, if I need only one, I guess Halston, one of my favorite NY designer from the 70’s. and I will definitely order an Old Fashioned.

What piece of advice do you have for other aspiring designers?
To do internships and work for other people before you go on your own, that’s where you will find the real fashion school. Ask questions, get out there, be inspired, not only by other designers, but by art, music, history and society and just trust that it will happen …the journey is an exciting and fabulous one.