2022 Artist

Isabel Varela

I wanted to turn my pain, shame, and guilt into freedom and relief through the clothes that once burdened me to art that can heal and empower others.

Biography

Isabel is a keynote speaker, life coach, master tailor, and sustainable artist. Not only has she overcome her fashion addiction with over $100k of debt in clothing, but she has turned her
life entirely around by:
• Becoming $100K Debt Free to a Successful Entrepreneur
• Filming an Award-winning Documentary called Fashion Addict
• Awarded Changemaker of the Year 27 years in the Fashion Industry
• Consulting major brands to implement CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) in their companies, including LVMH, SAKS, and Balmain.
• Exhibiting her works of art with Donate NYC, New York City Fair Trade, Remake, and Climate Reality Leader, and many more

Artist Statement

It all started with an idea to make a difference in the world, which is greater than me. I wanted to turn my pain, shame, and guilt into freedom and relief through the clothes that once burdened me to art that can heal and empower others. My mission with mixed media sculptures and paintings is to enable others to build a better relationship with themselves and their clothing for a better planet. My love of up-cycling clothing and recycling found treasures on the side of the streets to create art began at the age of 10, coinciding with the beginning of my sewing career and studying fashion design in school to the work that I do now as a sustainable artist. My work focuses on shining the light on the malpractices of the fashion industry and how it is destroying our planet beautifully and colorfully. Each piece offers positive solutions and actions that people can take immediately. Human beings want to feel that they are part of something. They want to know that they, too, can help and make a difference. Each piece I create offers a solution that you can take personally, locally, or globally. These two sculptures are 10ft x 3.5 ft wide, consisting of upcycled clothing and paper mache. I used sixty-five pieces of my clothing, signifying my obsession with consumerism over the past 20 years. The sixty-five pieces of clothing were cut into 10,000 squares to represent the 10 million tons of textile waste into landfills. The male dress form signifies the ocean and the depths of trash, and the woman dress form portrays the landfill.

Artist Gallery