Globally Bejeweled

In 2010, while Liliana Aguilera was enrolled in UM’s Executive MBA Program, she conceived Varelli, a fashion-focused company that took her from extra-credit to couture.
Text by Rony Mo | May 26, 2018 | People

What started as a class project soon became an entrepreneurial obsession with storefronts in Santiago, Chile, and Santa Cruz, Bolivia, with plans to land in The Design District. The half-Brazilian, half-Bolivian Liliana Aguilera also had a subversive idea that would appeal to Marxists and Capitalists alike; she’d boost her bottom line while maintaining a socially responsible supply chain. Varelli’s designs are shaped from leather and metals crafted by former victims of domestic violence at La Casa De Mujer’s job skills center. The Capim Dorado line was inspired and supports indigenous Brazilians who make light, woven adornments from sustainable textiles. Neither group ever imagined their work would end up on the hand of Latin Pop Star Belinda or decorating the napes of the Real Housewives Of Miami. Aguilera’s use of crystalline colors and plunging necklaces align with current trends, but she also styles ready-to-wear classics;