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Interview with a Galapagos Fashion Designer

The Galapagos Islands are home to fascinating species of flora and fauna, and a unique culture of people that live and work in an ecological paradise.

During my land-based Galapagos tour with Red Mangrove. I happened to meet Luis Angel Yanez, a fashion designer who was born on the Galapagos islands and is inspired by the sea. Below is my interview with Luis Angel and his unique Galapagos fashion brand.

Where is your family from?

Women's pantsuit, photographed against endemic Galapagos opuntia cacti

Women’s pantsuit, photographed against endemic Galapagos opuntia cacti

My father is from Riobamba (mainland Ecuador) and he moved to San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos when he was 23 years old. My parents live on Santa Cruz island and they work in commerce. We have a clothing and sourvenir shop for tourists.

What is it like to live in the Galapagos?

Growing up in the Galapagos islands is something unique.
It was unique back in my time – I remember when the lights went out at midnight, and the freedom to go in the ocean whenever we wanted. It was spectacular, and even more so when I worked as a Tour Leader for Red Mangrove.
Working in tourism helped me to rediscover myself with nature. I got to know people from all over the world, chatting and helping them have the best image and memory of what the Galapagos Islands are, and who we – the Galapagos islanders – are.

How did you decide to launch a fashion brand?

Galapagos fashion for men

Galapagos fashion for men

The idea to create a fashion line occurred to me in Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires was the center of my studies – I started studying and working in a kitchen – I am a professional chef, bartender and food & beverage manager. I dedicated myself to culinary arts and I loved it, but I felt that something was missing.
I loved to walk through the rowdy colorful streets of Buenos Aires, where every person walked at a hectic pace. My bus was my tour through the windows of fashion, seeing fashion billboards and many urban fashionites.
I decided to start studying production of fashion and costumes and I found that I had an incredible passion for it. I kept working in the kitchen to pay for my studies, but I started dreaming about clothes – imagining what I wanted to see walking through the streets.
My grandfather was a tailor and he sat me in front of his sewing machine and told me that one day it would be mine.

What inspires your designs?

My first collection is inspired by nature.  The sea breezes, the volcanic rocks, the seascapes, and all that the Galapagos can offer have inspired me, creating fluid edges that remind me of the natural and organic.
I have also thought of what you can use wherever you go. It is a question of finding what is practical and comfortable in the garments.
Galapagos - inspired pantsuit, photographed on the volcanic rocks of the islands

Galapagos-inspired pantsuit, photographed on the volcanic rocks of the islands (photo by Josue Fernando)

Where to find the clothes

You can see the latest designs and get information on purchasing on El Luis Angel’s page.

Learn more about Galapagos vacations.

What do you think about the designs? Let us know in comments!

About the author: Lisa Cho Lisa Cho is an expat living in Ecuador, originally from San Francisco, California. She writes about the Galapagos Islands on the Red Mangrove Galapagos Travel Blog and about her mainland Ecuador adventures on

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Lovely December 14, 2014, 10:51 PM

    I’m also a nature lover and I also love to design but I’m not satisfied with my work.Thank you and I was inspired by you blog:).


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