At 24, Esteban Sinisterra dresses Colombia’s first black female vice president with his amazing designs

Esteban Sinisterra Paz. Photo credit: Eltiempo

Esteban Sinisterra Paz, a 24-year-old Colombian student, shot into the fashion limelight when the wardrobe of Colombia’s first Black Vice President, Francia Marquez, made news headlines. His fashion pieces, which he calls “the resistance fashion,” have a unique way of catching the public’s attention with their Afro-Colombian patterned style; a suitable description of the persona of the vice president who is a single mother and former domestic worker who endeared herself to the heart of many when she led a group of 80 women on a 350-mile march to Bogota in a protest against a goldmine in her community.

Esteban and Francia believe they share a mutual history that goes beyond an employee and employer relationship, both were displaced by Colombia’s conflict among rebel groups. From his perspective, Francia represents the hope Colombia Pacific had long been looking for. More so, both grew up battling poverty and lack of access to opportunities, which continues to militate against millions from their home region.

Related by mutual circumstances, Esteban considers it a privilege to be working for the vice president. He recalled when he received an unexpected call from the then-political candidate requesting two outfits; a call that was only made possible through the recommendation of a friend. Thanks to that life-changing moment, the cordial relationship between the two has contributed to the recognition of Colombian fashion both locally and internationally.

When Esteban is not in class studying to keep his academic wheels oiled and running, he sits in his windowless room in Cali, spinning his creative web to deliver another fashion masterpiece for the vice president, the Guardian reported. In his view, Francia’s massive leap from poverty to the presidency is a reflection of the aspirations and voice of the millions of poor Colombians in the countryside, and there is no better way to exhibit this than through her fashion statements.

Like Francia’s big break in politics, Esteban emerged in the fashion world due to his life-long dream. Born to poor parents in the small town of Santa Barbara de Iscuande, near the Pacific Ocean, aside from fashion being a life-long dream, he was also compelled to pick up the profession of beautifying the wardrobe of his clients out of the need to feed his family.

His recognition in the fashion industry is credited to two of the first women in his life, his aunt and grandmother, the designers of their village who taught him the ropes of the trade as they sewed dresses for a living. Initially discouraged from taking up the creative profession by his father, Esteban enrolled at a local university to study social work and shake off his love for fashion design. However, the current support from his father and the rest of his family has been admirably overwhelming. Free to pursue his dream in fashion, he strategically built and extended his client base using social media under the fashion brand, Esteban African.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: February 28, 2023


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