Meet the future of Belgian fashion world - Ester Manas

12.08.2018 - Editorial

Even though designer Ester Manas is French, Brussels is what she calls her home. She moved here when she was 18 without expecting to study fashion, but La Cambre was calling her. There she completed her Masters degree just last year and her career is already taking off.

Her collection Big Again, the first one after her graduation, was presented at the 33rd Fashion, Photography, and Fashion Accessories festival in Hyères, France earlier this year. The line is a celebration of shapes, both in terms of bodies and clothing. It’s a complete wardrobe that includes evening wear, sportswear, workwear that goes from size 34 to 50. Manas want women to feel confident in no matter what they choose to wear. “Because for me, everybody should have the right to dream and wear whatever they want.”

The bold project, which talks about relevant topics of the time, was noticed by the upscale French department store chain Galeries Lafayette. Designer’s new collection will be available at the store late this year.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My first inspiration is quite common to my generation, I think, - the women/people around me. I keep seeing this answer in the various interviews I read. But how to make an honest collection without starting by looking what’s around you?

Then, of course, the kitchen. The art of the mouth and the table that is a basic necessity, which became a know-how, which unites us. Such a pleasure!

Do you think of fashion as an art or an industry?

I would say that fashion is a recipe and that art and business are its ingredients - one cannot be without the other. And since when art in not business?

Who’s the Belgian fashion icon in your opinion? Why?

Without hesitation, Martin Margiela. The only fashion icon, I would say.

What’s an unforgivable fashion mistake Belgian people make?

Being too shy, or too modest. Since the birth of the Antwerp Six Belgium has been an incubator of talent, where every year young people, who do not want to make compromises, bloom. Our fashion’s faux pas, according to me, is not daring to shout louder.

All alone at home, what do you wear?

Currently, (I'm home alone - a Sunday afternoon): A black XL T-shirt from the Hyères festival and pink satin pajama pants with second hand flowers on it that I’ve turned into shorts.

How big/small is your personal garderobe?

I'd say small. But I'm lying.

Where and what brands do you shop for yourself?

I must have about ten incredible pieces that I’ve received after my internships in Houses or made by my designer friends. Among them are two of my favorites - a black Balenciaga ski jacket and an asymmetrical quilted caramel Olivier Maire jacket. Otherwise, my closet is a mix of pieces of fripperies (I would say, 70%) and my basics, bought at Cos, Arket, and other stories.


What fashion trend do you like to see coming back?

None, I'd rather see some new ones born!

Which Belgian talent should we feature on Belgian Boutique next? Why?

Sanan Gasanov & Samuel Quertinmont. Both designers, one from the Antwerp Academy and the other from La Cambre. They are so different, but they come together on several points: strong, fair and uncompromising work, sublime sensitivity, and lots of humour and generosity.

Then there’s Milena Walter. French, but freshly graduated from La Cambre, so almost Belgian. In parallel with her fabulous Master collection, she has created her label of leather accessories Baby Turns Blue. A must see and wear!

More info: Official Page