Winner of H&M Design Award, Hyères Festival, LVMH Prize and ANDAM Prize, Ester Manas is perceived as a size inclusivity pioneer in fashion. Founded in 2019 by Ester Manas and Balthazar Delepierre, the fashion brand is celebrated for its bold collections for fierce, joyful women. Inspired by women’s empowerment, the duo create only sustainable and socially responsible pieces.
Founded in 2019, Ester Manas is a sustainably-conscious fashion brand created by designers Ester Manas and Balthazar Delepierre, who both undertook a five-year course at La Cambre in Brussels and practical knowledge during internships in fashion houses Annemie Verbeke, Balenciaga, Paco Rabanne and Acne Studios.
Where did the inspiration take seed to create a size-inclusive fashion brand? As a size 44-46 woman shopping for fashionable garments, Manas found it to be an exhausting task. She soon felt that if she was big, she wasn’t welcome in luxury fashion. So when she was working on her final graduate collection, she was clear the focus would be on size inclusivity so she could bring about a change in the fashion industry and empower women with all body types. It wasn’t an easy task. When she couldn’t find big mannequins, she fitted her graduate collection on her own body and developed techniques inspired by swimwear and lingerie with stretch fabrics, ruching, smocking, threadworm and lace for a stylish, sensual one-size-fits-all collection crafted using upcycled fabrics and deadstock. It was a huge success.
Label Ester Manas, co-founded by designers Ester Manas and Balthazar Delepierre who met at Brussels’ La Cambre art school, won prestigious prizes in no time including ANDAM Prize, H&M Design Award and Galeries Lafayette Prize at Hyères fashion festival, and reached the final stages of the LVMH Prize and the Hyères Festival. What’s more, iconic Parisian department store Printemps was the first to stock the label, followed by Galeries Lafayette and others in Nice, London and Los Angeles. The fashion brand’s development is also supported by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.
Today, the label’s DNA is “one size fits all” and the collections celebrate artisans and craftsmanship and aim to empower every body type. Per Vogue, “Pleasure, not deprivation, is the operating principle. ‘Comfort,’ said Delepierre. ‘But beauty and sexiness, too,’ added Manas. They started with stretch fabrics, gathered and ruched for one-size-fits-all flexibility, and featuring cut-outs that offered peekaboos of their new swimwear. At AZ Factory earlier this year they began experimenting with pants shapes, and they added them to the mix here, using the same gathered and ruffled techniques. On the knitwear front, they’re proud that the new yarn they sourced isn’t itchy.'”
Empowering every type of woman
Size (doesn’t) matter
Founder designers Ester Manas and Balthazar Delepierre
Body-inclusive, sustainably-minded womenswear
H&M Design Award, Hyères Festival and ANDAM Prize