Sisters Margaret and Alicia Amberson’s designs are inspired by their South Texas heritage and the nuanced, multicultural identity of ranching women in the region.
On a characteristically sweltering September Saturday in San Antonio, I made my first pilgrimage to the bi-annual Le Purge sale at Blue Star Arts Complex. I didn’t know what to expect from this chic, curated clearance of top local retailers, but I could’ve never predicted how inspired I would feel that afternoon. As I made my first lap around the venue to survey the vendors and decide whose items I would peruse, I was drawn to a booth where I spotted the most beautiful garments hanging, distinguished by their authentic and sophisticated flair. I walked up to explore them further; when I felt the quality of the fabrics, admired the lines and patterns of the vests, knits, scarves and accessories, I was transported to wherever the hills were alive…which could have been the Texas Hill Country or Salzburg, Austria—whatever this brand of clothing was, it was communicating something nuanced, elevated and universal to strong women. I needed to know who made it and the story behind why they did.
Estancia was created by sisters Margaret and Alicia Amberson, in effort to celebrate the vastness of Texas and the resilient women who came before them.
For design duo Margaret and Alicia Amberson, memories of an enchanted childhood on South Texas ranch lands with their grandfather have inspired their up-and-coming fashion label, Estancia Clothing. The Amberson sisters are young design talent to watch, on a mission to create a brand that empowers women with the same sense of strength and grace they find in the boundless landscapes and rich wildlife of South Texas.
The word estancia is Spanish for cattle ranch, and the brand’s garments exude the creative tension inherent in the nature of their namesake. The construction is part delicate elegance, part durable strength. The luxurious fabrics fasten at the seams to silhouette the grace of the female form, outfitting its wearer in stylishly elevated armor to find the strength and confidence for any occasion, from rural land management to cosmopolitan travel, business management and everything in between.
Estancia garments are primarily manufactured in Los Angeles (where Margaret lives) and Turkey, with a strong emphasis on quality control and ethical production. The attention to detail is evident in the craftsmanship of the pieces. “When searching for our manufacturing partners, we prioritized shared commitments to quality, ethics, and sustainability,” Alicia passionately told me. “Collaborating closely with local suppliers and manufacturers ensures our designs are brought to life as envisioned.”
When it comes to their creative process, Alicia and Margaret operate Estancia as a team, complementing each other’s crafts and strengths. Alicia is the artist, hand-painting and drawing each pattern. She sketches and colors every element of nature that becomes an inspired design. Her visualizations begin the production journey of the garments and accessories with prints and patterns. Margaret is the designer who takes Alicia’s art and processes it for production, painstakingly developing and manufacturing each garment through completion. The twins’ partnership ensures an integration of original artistry and distinctive quality in every piece they co-create.
In 2024, Estancia will launch their next women’s line, as well as a new menswear line, beginning with neck ties inspired by designs the sisters have found in South Texas nature.