5 Minutes With: Stefania Tejada
Together, Americae’s Tuxedo Blazer and Tuxedo Pants are the ultimate girlboss uniform––modern femininity with a masculine twist. Inspired by the power suits of the 1980s, this iteration is decidedly different.
The 1980s was an era of economic boom. Women commanded more power in the workplace and often borrowed from men’s dress to claim the authority associated with it. They wanted to fit in.
In John T. Molloy’s best-selling 1977 manual, The Woman’s Dress for Success Book, the image guru advises women to avoid platform shoes, peasant dresses, floral patterns, and sweaters. To be taken seriously, women had to assume the look: a slightly below-the-knee skirt suit in gray or dark blue, a white blouse, a scarf tie, sensible pumps and skin-toned pantyhouse. “Anything else at work is unthinkable,” he proclaimed.
But as women made strides in the corporate world, so did their wardrobes. The power suit was updated with more-fluid lines and soft shoulders, suggesting femininity as something to embrace, not mask. Herein lies the magic of the Americae powersuit.
Americae’s Tuxedo Blazer and Tuxedo Pants are bold and powerful–– just like you. The blazer is tailored to skim your waist at just the right spot. Black lapels provide a centering contrast. The pants are slim throughout the leg, giving it a long and sleek look. It's uniquely feminine and unafraid to be such.
Stefania Tejada is the talented illustrator behind the suit’s print, which is inspired by the light, textures, and flora of the Amazon rainforest.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you based and where did you grow up?
I'm Stefania Tejada, an illustrator from Colombia, based in Barcelona. I grew up in a small town call Tuluá. It's in El Valle. I studied fashion design, but I've always had the need to do a lot of things (I get bored really easily) so I also focus on: design, communication and content creation for brands. I've worked for BBDO, Savvy Studio and I also manage my own clients.
Things about myself:
- I believe you can always do more.
- I believe you shouldn't settle for less than extraordinary
- There's no time to waste, start now.
- It's important to be alone and get to know yourself.
- Everyone has insecurities.
- It costs nothing to be kind.
- Sometimes silence is better.
- I can read a 600 page book in 2 days.
- I don't hold grudges anymore. It's useless and exhausting.
- I laugh when I feel uncomfortable
- The opportunities are there. Just be prepare.
- I can only do great personal work when I feel pain, sad, angry or heartbroken.
How did you get involved with illustration and design?
I've always been involved, ever since I was just child my mother made us take all sort of classes including: drawing and painting.
During my time in college I started meeting a couple of people who call this their jobs, and I was stunned and amazed. This was a time where in Colombia, especially the place where I grew up, illustration would just be considered a hobby. I still have high school friends who look at me and ask me what is it I do and how do I live out it. (Haha)
So when I met all these people I wanted to start illustrating again, I took some classes with one of them and eventually moved to Mexico for three years. That was the most important time of my life because I was discovering a lot of new things including my style, my technique.
I owned a Wacom for almost a year and had never touch it, I found it strange but one day I just thought: Ok, let's try it.
I looked at a couple Youtube videos and start developing my own thing: the way I wanted the skin to look, the eyes, the expressions. It became very therapeutical, and it still is. It's the only way I feel like myself. It's what I was meant to do.
How do you stay inspired?
Before I would look at a lot of photos of flowers, people, etc. But there's so much "digital" in my life right now that I prefer to travel, to go out, to look at books, to feel the plants, see the small real details and how the light touches them.
I have to keep my eyes open all the time. I'm really curious.
Describe your style.
I think my style changes a lot, it depends on the mood, emotions, feelings I have. It's strange because the only color you'll ever see around me would be just that: my illustrations.
It's like this other world. I would like to define it as honest. It's a transformation of what I feel, of what I am.
Who do you think embodies the Americae woman?
I think all of us. Each person has their own uniqueness and we, individually, leave a mark, a trace, a statement of what we represent.
Favorite place to travel in the U.S. and why?
New York. I go there once or twice a year. I will say: It's the one with the magic.
Favorite place to travel in Latin America and why?
Colombia, I know what you're thinking: "of course, she's from there" but there are really so many places inside our country that would let you amazed. The Tatacoa Desert, San Andrés, Santa Marta, Caño Cristales, among many others! Just ask Google.
You embody the Americae Woman, what Americae piece would you incorporate into your everyday life for a splash of extra-extraordinary?
The tuxedo blazer because of what it represents to me.
[It] stands for women, femininity, power. So it represents who I am.