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Conversations with Women: Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur Lisbeth Carolina Arias

Hola amigos! I’m finally back from my Instagram break and I just want to say this…I ended up taking a much longer break than I originally intended (I was only going to take a week which turned into a month ooops) and BOY did I need it (but more on that later). Thank you so much for returning to my page and welcome back to the 2nd installment of my interview series “Conversations with Women”. Back in March, I did my first interview with Angela Salamanca, owner and founder of Centro; a successful restaurant located in Raleigh, NC. It was such a fruitful and empowering conversation that I decided to turn these interviews into a series. Where I will be meeting with women from all kinds of walks in life, backgrounds and ages to talk about their life’s journey, their passions, hardships and successes.

For this installment I had the pleasure of interviewing Lisbeth Carolina Arias, or Caro as I like to call her, founder of the clothing line Descalza. Caro is only 26-years old and she graduated from NC State with a degree in Fashion and Textile Design (shout out to my Wolfpack). If that wasn’t awesome enough she also interned in community led organizations in Guatemala, Brazil, Mexico, and Italy, and worked for several fashion studios, including Vera Wang, in New York city. I very much enjoyed our conversation, it was very refreshing and encouraging to get to know somebody as humble and hard working as Caro.

We met up to talk on June 26, which was a week after her latest fashion show featuring the designs for her Descalza Collection II.

I really enjoyed all the pieces in her collection, but one piece in particular, The Lucero skirt (click to shop), really caught my eye. Which is funny because in Caro’s words this skirt was made to “bring all eyes on you”. She also mentions other pieces in her collection; how she named them after some of her closest friends and also the purpose behind her clothing and her brand Descalza. She said:

"It’s very important to me for the clothing in my collections to compliment all shapes and sizes. The Avimilex Wrap shirt is named after my best friend and I created this shirt having her body type in mind. It’s a wrap shirt, which means that you can control how tight you want it and you’re able to create the silhouette to surround your body in a flattering way. I created that shirt so that it could suit my body type and hers as well"

"Descalza represents this bridge that allows me to use fashion as a tool to create the critical conversations that we need to have about our community and about being an immigrant."

Caro and her family migrated from El Salvador when she was 2 years old and as an immigrant she feels likes she’s “part of two worlds”. This feeling eventually turned into a passion to serve both the Latino and American community, and after a trip to Guatemala, Caro found a way to merge both of her worlds with the creation of her own clothing line Descalza. All of the pieces in her collections, except for the “chepita clutch" (El Salvador), are made with textiles from Guatemala and are being manufactured by local companies in NC. Descalza, which means "barefoot" in Spanish, is the product of big dreams, hard work and love for the Latino community.

The following is a video of the story behind Descalza. Caro begins her story with:

"America is a nation of immigrants where people who worked hard to get his far and no matter how far we move forward, will never forget where we come from".

It is such a powerful and inspirational video and I highly recommend getting some tissues before you watch.

Full interview has been broken into 3 posts. Click on the following link to access Part 1: Carolina's Background and Ties to Latin America. As always please leave a comment below with your thoughts and if you like what you read please share! Thank you for reading and hope you enjoy.

*All photos from this post are owned by Descalza website

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