Meet The Designers Behind Agua by Agua Bendita
Meet The Designers Behind Agua by Agua Bendita

Meet The Designers Behind Agua by Agua Bendita

Agua by Agua Bendita has become a favourite summer brand of the fashion elite. To find out what’s made it such a success, we sat down with its creative directors Mariana Hinestroza and Catalina Álvarez to talk inspiration, personal style and must-have pieces.
By Emma Bigger

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How did you meet?

“We met while studying fashion design at university. We used to spend all our summers in Cartagena and one year, after a holiday with friends, we started making swimsuits using leftover fabrics from a local factory on my grandmother’s sewing machines. We had such a strong creative drive and we kept making pieces that we felt had a strong identity.” – Mariana

How would you describe your style?

“Both of us have quite eclectic personal styles. That probably drew us to each other in the early days. We both really like mixing different styles, elements and trends. But the most important thing is to feel comfortable and confident in what you wear. If you ask me, the best pieces every woman can have in her wardrobe are a white collared shirt, a good pair of classic jeans, a printed short dress, a printed maxi dress and a classic black dress that works for any occasion.” – Mariana

Tell us something not many people know about you or the brand…

“Not many people know that I’m a sneaker addict. I’m obsessed with Nike trainers. The aesthetic is obviously very different to Agua by Agua Bendita, but I really admire the brand – its business model is a big inspiration to us – and the designs.” – Catalina

Where does the brand name come from?

“It comes from the Spanish word for holy water. My mother insisted we blessed all the leftover fabric from our first collection – that explains some of its origin! Mainly, though, we wanted to create an eco-conscious brand that paid homage to nature’s most important element, while embracing the charm of Latin America.” – Catalina

What’s your aim for the business?

“Honouring nature and building a sustainable business are our two main concerns. We’re committed to creating less and doing better, which is why we stick to a production schedule of only three collections a year and try to reduce our environmental impact wherever possible. Ultimately, we only believe in designing pieces that can be worn and loved for years to come.” – Mariana

And what’s your role as creative directors?

“Our role is to set the vision and be the driving force. The Agua woman has a deep passion for culture, art and nature, and appreciates attention to detail. She is conscious of social and environmental matters, too. I think one of the biggest turning points in the brand’s business journey came when we partnered with some female artisans from our hometown. It took our craftsmanship to the next level and really expanded our creative capabilities. We have cherished that bond with them ever since.” – Mariana

What do you enjoy about the role?

“One of the best parts of the job is shooting our campaigns. The last one was shot in a remote rural area of Colombia. We stayed in a big country house with all the crew and it was so collaborative, and a lot of fun. We were in an amazing location with amazing food, and we all inspired each other in one way or another. Those are the ideal working conditions – where everyone feels like they’re contributing to something that matters.” – Catalina

Career highlights so far?

“There’s the party we hosted in Italy to mark our collaboration with Gucci Vault. It was a night we’ll never forget: the location, the décor, the views – we partied with some of the most talented and extraordinary people that evening.” – Mariana

“The best part about running your own fashion brand is seeing women wear the clothes and make them their own. Seeing mega stars like Kendall Jenner, Katy Perry and Irina Shayk in our designs is such an honour. It will always excite me. I’m grateful that influential women and the fashion elite like our designs and appreciate what we’re trying to do from a sustainability perspective.” – Catalina

And how about some life advice to finish on?

“If there’s a life motto we live by, it would be: ‘We’re not single stars, we’re all a constellation.’ Everything is a continuous evolution of ourselves and our aesthetic. We will always be inspired by Colombia – it’s where we were born and where we live. Our dream is to put it on the map and show people just how powerful it is. Looking forward, we just want to keep exploring our roots and bringing beautiful collections and projects linked to Latin America to life. That’s what it’s all about.” – Mariana


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