One of the longstanding goals of Americae is to promote a Latin American inspired aesthetic and disseminate it wildly n the United States. In the mind of many consumers, France is synonymous with luxury fashion houses such as Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, and Jean Paul Gaultier––harbingers of timeless style, elegance and sophistication. French girl cool and Parisian chic are aspirational styling philosophies often considered the ideal. Italian, British and Japanese aesthetics are similarly well understood. Latin America, by comparison, once under the radar, has quickly captured the attention of the international fashion industry, but has not yet realized even half of its potential.
In addition to womenswear, Americae lives its commitment to you through immersive experiences that reflect what moves us––the colors, vibrancy, and elegance of Latin America.
One of the key women instrumental in bringing this vision to life is Liz Barrella, a talented production designer known for experiential design through custom installations, events, and activations.
When we began our quest for a location to shoot the first capsule, we wanted to bring Latin America, specifically South America, to life on our set. A lack of themerelevant locations led to the creation of our own Amazon Rainforest built from the ground up.
Liz sourced varieties of palms, proteas, heliconias, orchids and other flora native to our region of inspiration and created a backdrop infused with the same vibrancy as our designs.
Read on to learn more about Liz, why reality is extraordinary, and her message of empowerment for women.
What do you do?
I do a lot, but in all that I do I create experiences. Clients usually come to me with a an idea or a feeling and I make it exist in real life. Outside of 'work', I teach yoga, and I love travel and hosting dinners with family and friends.
I also co-own a floral and event design business with my family called Fete Urbane.
What do you love about what you do?
I love watching people interact with the spaces and installations I create. I love working with my hands and creating something out of nothing. And I love connecting with people along the way.
Where are you from?
I grew up outside of Ocean City, New Jersey, a 10 minute drive from the beach. My family is truly and classically Italian. My father immigrated from southern Italy when he was 13. My mom's family, also Italian, summered at the shore, that is where my parents met. My mom taught my dad English.
I graduated from Philadelphia University (now known as Thomas Jefferson University) with a degree in Marketing and a Minor in Textile Industry Management, which was a mix of fashion design and merchandising.
Sun: Taurus, Moon: Cancer, Rising: Leo.
Favorite Americae items and why?
The Tuxedo Blazer and Cigarette Pant suit because it's the perfect mix of feminine and powerful.
Who do you think embodies the Americae Woman, living or dead, and why?
First person who came to mind was Frida Kahlo. She was powerful, extraordinary, unique, and paved a new way for herself and other women.
Describe your style and why is it authentically you?
My style is a mix of whatever I'm feeling at the moment. That's why it's authentically mine. I'm more concerned about how clothes make me feel than how I look in them. I love a good pair of sneakers and a one-piece or jumper. I'm always dressing with comfort in mind as I'm often working long hours with my hands.
Our ethos is 'reality is extraordinary.' What does that mean to you?
Reality is extraordinary, truly. Every moment of every day is something to be grateful for. I believe you can find "awe" in everything and anything. There is so much to inspired by if you're open to it.
Next or favorite travel destination?
Next travel destination is Bali in November. My favorite so far was Panama. I spent 10 days there doing service work and I've never connected so deeply with strangers who quickly became family.
What's next for you?
I'm currently working on set design for a Chinese feature film that's being shot in New York City. I'm also working on set design for a Red Bull event in November called United States of Bass. This year I am focusing on becoming more intentional with the projects I work on. I am hoping to work on bigger installations with more creative freedom. I also want to host a series of events that are completely curated by me.
What's your personal motto or what message would you like to share with women?
My personal motto is probably something along the lines of I CAN or YOU CAN. Whatever you hope to be or create, YOU CAN.
I think we all have some kind of longing for something and I believe we all have the power to make it happen. We just have to get out of our own way, get quiet, listen, and show up for our lives.
I spent a lot of my teenage and even college years not really understanding or living up to my full potential. And as I got older I realized how much of that came from my own limiting beliefs about myself.
I hope that all of the people reading this will at some point feel empowered enough to realize their potential and take the steps to actualizing it.