Born in a family and community where love is the first language and hope the driving force, Eda Lourdes Aguilar always thought her story would be a fairytale that generations would marvel at and hope to replicate. This is because, as she moved to New York City some ten years ago from Puerto Rico, she envisaged her life taking a similar turn to the popular HBO series, Sex & the City. However, a decade later, she is charting a different course and excelling at it without a doubt.
Eda Lourdes was born in San Juan, the daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and a Cuban father. She affectionately remembered being a little girl on the “Island of enchantment” when the economy was experiencing a boom. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Puerto Rico, after which she proceeded to earn her MBA from Duke University. Subsequently, she worked 15 years in investment and treasury, although her professional career did not for a minute hinder her from pursuing her childhood passion of dancing and designs.
Eda began dancing at the age of three, and she regards artists like Ita Medina, Petra Bravo, Waldo Garcia, Caridad Fernandez, Rafi Flores, Emmanuel J. De Jesus and Pedro Aviles as her inspiration. Even while she was in school until she practiced professionally, Eda never stopped expressing her artistic ability. She has appeared on TV, such as Charitin, Wapa TV and several others; she was in the theater for Footloose; and she also made modeling and commercial appearances for Café Rico, JC Penny, Budweiser, and Coors Light, among others. She also danced at the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico with Marcelino Alcala.
After spending four years in New York, she fell in love with Paris and decided to relocate. On arrival, she realized that Paris is indeed a beautiful city. She thought it was refreshing, especially for her creativity in such a historic city, and her inspiration for newer designs skyrocketed almost immediately. So after several years of relentless practice and pursuit of her passion and professional practice, Eda founded Edalou as an accessories label based in Paris. Edalou, according to her, was created to meet every woman’s needs at the intersection of quality, functionality, and conscious style. Every design piece from Edalou is conceived with multifunctional and versatile elements that appeal to a wide range of women looking for modern designs.
Before deciding to launch her business, Eda had birthed her two boys. She worked five years with numerous fashion brands across the city, such as KENZO, IRO, Miriam Budet, Apparis, Lemloren, and Koshka Paris in different capacities, including as a digital marketer. Still committed to pursuing her goals, in 2019, she submitted her application to an NYC design competition: Independent Handbag Designer Award. Finally, the opportunity she had actively pursued since 2014 finally landed on her desk as she was chosen as a finalist out of the 2,000 designers that applied.
On what motivated and inspired her to go into the fashion business, especially as a successful wall street professional, Eda said, “Three things…my love for design and the ‘beaux-arts,’ my quest to regain financial freedom again after leaving my finance career, and my desire to give back and make a difference.”
Five years from now, Eda hopes to keep growing EDALOU PARIS and its products, projects, and collaborations. “Place our products in stores that share our values. Start giving back programs (mentoring, educational, support) to help women looking for a transformation. Just like our bags transform from one style to the other, we want to help women reach their highest potential,” she shared.
Learn more about Edalou by checking out their website for the latest accessories and upcoming designs.