BWA Chats To…Michaela, of Estilo Emporio

Fill us in on the backstory of Estilo Emporio, how was the label born?

My parents started manufacturing leather goods in a small fishing village on the Costa Brava in Spain in the 70’s. Eventually they moved out to Australia, and continued to manufacture here. Estilo Emporio was their brainchild, and they are responsible for launching the label six years ago. What started in just leather belts, has grown into a complete leather accessory offering of handbags, footwear and outerwear (that’s where I come in!).

Could you tell us a little more of your own personal path that lead you to where you are today?

I didn’t set out to work in the family business. My education and background is in publicity, but I always had a taste for fashion and it was a really natural progression for me. I loved clothes and accessories ever since I could dress myself, and growing up in a family business meant it was always part of the dinner conversation. There is nothing more personal than family – so I suppose that is what led me here.

Who inspires you personally?

My parents. They have worked in this industry for over 40 years and have taught me never to be complacent, and to work hard. They have reinvented themselves as a business many times over, and to me that is inspiring. To have the energy and the foresight to constantly evolve and be open to new things. Remaining current is incredibly important in this business.

There is clearly a luxe european influence in your aesthetic- where do you draw inspiration from in the design process?

With roots in a destination that was overflowing with artisans, writers and designers, we have always tried to parallel Spain’s appreciation for quality and a quirky and cosmopolitan vibe in our designs. Overseas travel is still key to the process, drawing inspiration from the people and places we are lucky enough to encounter.

Using quality materials is clearly an integral part of your brand’s personality- what do you look out for when sourcing your materials?

Estilo Emporio is known for mixing a variety of skins, from reptile to cow, and everything in between to create a unique finished product. Leathers and other components are constantly innovating, and we are always looking for the most fashion forward materials to use in our designs. We like to source from all over the globe, and it is also important for us to work with suppliers that practice environmentally sound processes.

What are the key items to shop for in the latest Estilo Emporio collection?

Definitely the colourful styles that will make your outfit pop! Tango seems to be the colour of the moment and is a real attention-getter. So I would get myself a pair of TANGO sandals, and an equally colourful clutch to start your accessory wardrobe for Summer.

Any key trends for SS 2012/13 that you have your eye on?

Head to toe prints. I’m a sucker for printed pants, and I love a well thought out print clash! And whilst accessorising I’m really going to embrace texture – laying with lots of fringe, beading and natural finishes. This is really integral to our collection this season – pairing buttery leathers with woven fabrics, rattan finishes, and interesting hardware.

Any tips for up and coming designers that want to break into the Australian market?

I feel like I’m really still learning myself, so I am not sure I am competent to give advice, but I would say know your market. Fashion is global, and Australians are inspired by international trends, but we do have our own take on fashion and a really strong identity. The trick is to translate international trends across borders and make it relevant for Australian women. I think we have such an amazing sense of style here and we must stay true to that.

Blogging has become such a huge international phenomenon- are there any blogs that you just can’t get enough of?

Jak & Jil is my absolute favourite (for obvious reasons)….and BWA of course!

Finally, if you could have breakfast with anyone (alive or dead) who would it be and why?

I did a google search on this one, because it is so tough! At the moment I have a serious style crush on Poppy and Cara Delavigne. So I would take my sister, Kira, and have a sister double date.

Check out some of Estilo’s AMAZING pieces below or head to the site for more!


  • Reply MsKimo Wednesday 11th July, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    So much talent!

  • Reply thugsy Wednesday 11th July, 2012 at 8:45 am


  • Reply doogs Wednesday 11th July, 2012 at 8:42 am


  • Reply jarjar Wednesday 11th July, 2012 at 8:32 am


  • Reply RachelMoon Tuesday 10th July, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Very inspirational designer and i love her bags!!!

  • jodyxo
    Reply jodyxo Tuesday 10th July, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    lovely bags! she is soooo pretty!! 😀 x

  • Reply shazam Tuesday 10th July, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Agreed with the above comments, very interesting article. She’s very pretty too. Gorgeous eyes!

  • Reply leckytomato Tuesday 10th July, 2012 at 10:06 am

    heehee, i know the focus is about her label, but i love her eyes!

  • Reply EliseA Tuesday 10th July, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Stunning bags!

  • Luci
    Reply Luci Tuesday 10th July, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Love the interview!

  • newbie
    Reply newbie Tuesday 10th July, 2012 at 9:19 am

    she’s so pretty

  • Reply jreilly Tuesday 10th July, 2012 at 8:41 am


  • Reply cindyfeng92 Monday 9th July, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Those bags are so gorgeous!

  • Reply Whatthe Monday 9th July, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    She’s so gorgeous too.

    • newbie
      Reply newbie Tuesday 10th July, 2012 at 9:20 am


  • sommy7
    Reply sommy7 Monday 9th July, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    The bags are stunning- Great interview too

  • Reply julzjulzz Monday 9th July, 2012 at 2:59 pm


  • violetflower61230
    Reply violetflower61230 Monday 9th July, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Beautiful bags !

  • Isabella
    Reply Monday 9th July, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Love the bags!

  • Reply KNY Monday 9th July, 2012 at 11:46 am

    hmmmm….cant say that im loving the idea of head to toe prints..

  • Reply Tessa Monday 9th July, 2012 at 11:05 am

    love the bags…

  • Reply maggielyly Monday 9th July, 2012 at 11:05 am

    cool bags!!

  • Reply fifi73 Monday 9th July, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Wow, lovely bags….

  • Reply paperplane__x Monday 9th July, 2012 at 10:38 am

    nice bags

  • Reply Cinthia Monday 9th July, 2012 at 10:36 am

    ommgg love that bag

  • Reply Jenna Monday 9th July, 2012 at 10:30 am


  • Reply Ange Monday 9th July, 2012 at 10:19 am

    interesting read

    • newbie
      Reply newbie Tuesday 10th July, 2012 at 9:20 am


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