My name is Stella, and I am the founder and designer of Stellar clothing. My brand blends my Eritrean Heritage with modern silhouettes comprised of street, lounge, and event wear. Founded in 2017, my designs are a fresh take on cultural clothing and are intended to intertwine with modern fashion effortlessly.
I was inspired to start making clothes “by me for me” after witnessing the continuous cultural appropriation of Eritrean/ East African culture in trendy western clothing stores, like Urban Outfitters. I saw that they were selling a traditional Eritrean/ Ethiopian dress for over 200$. Instead of crediting the culture behind it, they named it “vintage 90’s linen dress.” It was a poor dupe, and I honestly felt as if it watered down my culture and commodified it for the mainstream consumer. I strongly believe one way to combated cultural appropriation is through cultural appreciation. By supporting BIPOC owned businesses, you can directly support their community and learn about their heritage and customs.
In addition to my website, where I directly sell clothes, I also run a highlight story on my Instagram called “SYO,” which stands for Support Your Own. This is a directory of East African musicians, artists, photographers, models, and creators. I wanted to create a place for the diaspora to network with each other and support creative outlets.
You can find Stella personally on Twitter.