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photographer / Bex Griffin

stylist / Ashley Pamela Miller

makeup / Sonia Reshetnikova

hair / Caitlin Mae

As a child in Tijuana, Mexico, Ilse Valfrè used to terrorize her parents’ walls. She collected Archie comic books and was a big fan of the original frenemies, Betty & Veronica. Who isn’t? Like many girls, she dreamed of growing up to become a pop star but lacked the musical talent.
Fast-forward to today. Girls dream of being Valfrè, or at least like one of the girls in her drawings. Largely inspired by her teenage years, she illustrates cool girls loaded with sardonic wit.
“I went to school for college to be a Montessori teacher. I really like kids, so I went to study that while I was working. I didn’t like the 9-to-5 kind of job, so I wanted to do something freelance. The only thing I could think of that I was kind of good at, the thing that I enjoyed most and thought had some potential, was my drawing skills,” she shares after our shoot.
She quit her job and started blogging her drawings daily. She dressed her girls in clothes from real-life brands, looking to the latest collections from Prada and Dolce & Gabbana for inspiration. She wouldn’t leave the house before updating her blog, making it her top priority.
The dedication paid off. With the help of a little press, the following grew and in November of 2013 she launched her brand with shirts, jackets, and accessories online. Next on her plate is developing a TV show where she can finally give her characters a life outside of the page. After watching re-runs of Daria for over a decade now, we’re ready for a new kickass female-fronted cartoon dealing with teenage life to take over. Let’s cross our fingers it happens soon.


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