Mariestela Fernández began her career as an actress, pursuing a theater education in Mexico, London, and Madrid. In 1984, she completed studies in fashion design at the Modart School in Madrid, Spain, before she returned to Mexico to design costumes for theatrical plays and commercial advertising campaigns for companies in Mexico, the U.S., Europe, and Japan.
In 1988, she began designing costumes for feature films, very quickly earning recognition for her work. To date, she has been nominated for the “Ariel” Award (Mexican Film Academy Award) for Best Costume Design an astounding fourteen times and was the recipient of this award for her work on the feature films Tales of Mexico, KM 31, The Crime of Padre Amaro, Herod’s Law, Under a Spell, Novia Que Te Vea (Like a Bride), and the short film Sistole Diastole. Likewise, she was nominated for Best Costume Design for a Film by the Spanish Academy of Cinematic Arts & Sciences (The Goya Award) for her work in Perdita Durango, directed by Álex de la Iglesia.
Her more recent credits include the hit Emmy-nominated series Narcos and Narcos: Mexico, both for Netflix; the Amazon Studios film Cassandro, starring Gael García Bernal and set to premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival; John Woo’s next action film Silent Night; and the upcoming Disney/Hulu mini-series La Máquina, starring Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal.
Mariestela is a founding member of the Baul Cinematografico costume rental house in Mexico City.