I first learned about Maristella during the Bloglovin awards when I was there to see her win the amazing “Breakthrough Fashion Blogger of the Year” for the Bloglovin x H&M Awards in 2016. Her aesthetic and style is so gorgeous and I really describe it as a breath of fresh air because she consistently (in my humble eyes) stands out from all the creative noise. Maristella is a Panama native and her outings (go follow her instagram and blog – I’m obsessed!) always have me wishing I was back in Panama City – I hope this interview makes you wish the same.
Tell us a little about yourself – how long have you lived in Panama and what do you do for a living?
I’ve lived in Panama all my life! I was born and raised here, in Panama City. I’ve only left for college—3 years in Savannah—and for grad school—2 years in New York. I’m a graphic designer.
What keeps you in Panama?
Panamanians are a weird breed. We don’t migrate too much! It’s a very comfortable country to live in. We don’t have extreme weather issues, it’s safe in relation to other Latin American cities. It’s a small city and country that you can get to know in very little time. And we have a very strategic location so there’s a lot of opportunity for certain industries. But the most important thing is that my family is here.
If we had one day in Panama City, where would you take us for breakfast, coffee, and dinner?
For breakfast, I would take you to El Trapiche so you can have a 100% Panamanian breakfast. It is pivotal that you try their hojaldras; a type of fried bread. For coffee I would take you to Café Unido the only local coffee store that sources and roasts Panama’s award winning beans. Before Unido came along, all that award winning coffee was for export only. None of it would stay here. For dinner, I would take you to Maito.
What are your favorite shopping gems?
Bruni Shop is an accessories boutique with the most beautifully curated selection of Loeffler Randall, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, By Far Shoes, any many more amazing emerging international labels. Uber Shop is a multi brand boutique that stocks well known labels like Mara Hoffman, C/meo, Finders Keepers and Keepsake. La Plural is a co-op with several different local designers and shops stocking regional and international brands and labels.
Where do you go to unwind?
The beach! Buenaventura, about an hour and a half away from the city.
When you travel, are you into mountains, beaches or cities?
Cities first, beaches second, mountains third. Haha! Rio de Janeiro is amazing because you have a vibrant and cosmopolitan city right by some of the most incredible beaches.
Describe your neighborhood in three words.
Secluded, lush and old.
Does living in Panama inspire you? And if so, how?
Certain aspects of living in Panama can be inspiring. Summer light, the Caribbean, afro-panamanian cuisine, hand-written signage and letters, old houses, buildings and neighbourhoods like the one I live in.
What are some under the radar must – do recommendations for visitors?
The best octopus you’ll ever have: Adriana’s restaurant in Colón, between Portobelo and La Guaira
Photo via: A Constellation
Graphic Designer and Founder of A Constellation
Best Coffee Shop: Cafe Unido
Her favorite cocktail bar: Amano
Her favorite shop: Bruni Shop