Ariela Suster

Ariela Suster

El Salvador
Trip: 
Los Angeles, California
Mentored by: 

Mentored by: Gabriela León

Mexico
Trip: 
Los Angeles, California

Born and raised in El Salvador, Ariela was raised during the Salvadoran Civil War and her family experienced violence firsthand. Rocked to her core, it ignited in Ariela a desire to change it. She felt determined to influence the sequence of events that kept her country, and its people, in violence. Ariela went on to forge a name for herself in New York’s fashion industry, holding senior editorial positions at InStyle, Lucky and Harper’s Bazaar. 

Leaving the editorial world to follow her heart, Ariela returned to El Salvador and was struck again with an urgent desire to positively influence her country. She saw an opportunity to disrupt its story of violence by employing and empowering a group of at-risk youth to create beautiful, handcrafted artisanal products in their own community.

She is an award-winning social entrepreneur with a reputation as an expert in fields related to ethical fashion, social impact and women in business. Ariela has spoken at the UN, Yale University, NEXUS Global Youth Summit and the Microsoft World Wide Partnership Conference. She recently received the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award for Economic Empowerment and is a CALI and Aspen Institute fellow.