Posted on March 22, 2024 by Rebekah Alegria

Inspired to follow her heart for fashion and entrepreneurship, Isabella Haua, ’21 traveled 5,000 miles across the world to study in London and ultimately have her work shown at London Fashion Week. 

Isabella-Haua.JPGHaua, a management major, got her first taste of London through a study abroad trip in the spring of 2020 while a student at UTSA. While that experience was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, it planted a seed that she wanted to return. 

A first-generation student, Haua decided to become a Roadrunner and join the Carlos Alvarez College of Business to follow in her sister’s footsteps and to stay close to her family in San Antonio. Working multiple jobs during her years at UTSA and obtaining enough scholarships to almost fully pay for her undergraduate degree gave Haua the confidence and financial ability to pursue a master's degree in entrepreneurship in fashion and creative industries at the Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design in London. 

Haua had to quickly adapt to a new way of living. “I was a bit out of my comfort zone, but I feel like moving across the world gave me a new college experience and the first opportunity to live on my own as an adult,” she commented.  

Finding comfort in close friendships that she developed, and the fashion knowledge fostered by her education, Haua’s final project entailed the creation of a business plan. Inspired by her own experiences, Haua developed the brand Lure Jeans to find a fashionable solution to the often-uncomfortable task women face of finding “perfect-fit” jeans. 

“My whole life I have hated jean shopping. This was a universal experience between my mom, sister and I, and I knew that many women also struggled with finding jeans that fit each unique body shapes. That was a big motivator in the creativity and thought behind Lure Jeans,” stated Haua. 

Haua’s master’s thesis blossomed into something more as she and her classmates were invited to showcase their hard work during London Fashion Week in 2023. In a three-day whirlwind of excitement and achievement, Haua’s denim design garnered praise culminating in an award for the best master’s project at her college. 

“I wanted to really highlight the sizing struggles women find with denim brands and help fix this issue for women across the globe. Jeans should be made to fit you, not the other way around." Amidst the accolades, Haua was most ecstatic to have her mother and sister there to cheer her on during London Fashion Week. “My sister and my mom were both born in Mexico. The whole U.S. visa process was a huge deal for our whole family and getting to see them both travel internationally for something that I had accomplished was more than amazing,” said Haua. 

Now out of college and back in the states, Haua continues her pursuits in the fashion industry working remotely as an e-commerce manager for a sustainable denim brand based in the United Kingdom. Facilitating inventory, customer queries, website management and other tasks, Haua works closely with a small team comprised of mostly women in business.  

“I am inspired and encouraged every day by my small team. I work with women who are like-minded, goal-driven and love fashion as much as I do,” she said.  

Offering advice to aspiring women in the fashion industry, Haua emphasizes the importance of determination and resilience. “You potentially work twice as hard as everyone else as a woman in the industry, which can be discouraging at times. Do as much research as you can, be knowledgeable in whatever industry you want to pursue in fashion, whether it's business, whether it's graphic design, whether it's marketing, to really set you apart from others.”  

Despite the inevitable setbacks and rejections, Haua urges future fashionistas to view such experiences as opportunities for redirection and growth, reminding them that persistence and motivation are key to achieving your dreams in the competitive world of fashion.  

“We all go through ups and downs of applying and getting rejected and then feeling discouraged. But rejection is redirection. Everything is happening for a reason, and you'll always find something bigger and better, so don’t get discouraged. Use that motivation to push as hard as you can to achieve whatever it is that you want, and you will truly get it.”  

While a B.B.A. in business management was not the final step in her higher education journey, the support garnered from the college and its faculty and staff left a lasting impression on Haua.  

“I want to emphasize that none of my accomplishments would have been possible without the incredible generosity of the college’s advisory board scholarship and endless faculty support. It not only provided me with invaluable educational opportunities, but it has also empowered me to pursue my passions.” 

— Rebekah Alegria