A BRAND’S WORTH
The more I read interviews about you, the more I’m surprised at how everyone treats you with affection and respect. The result we get is a very natural impression, of someone very approachable, just like your clothes.
We are very good people. (laughing) No, seriously, we’ve always tried to be as approachable as possible, attending to everyone’s needs, and we aren’t short-spoken at all, we think this also matters in some way.
Your thing is like going back to simplicity, to quality materials, values that are not necessarily related with young people, maybe. How do you make it work?
We are looking for the atemporal value, simplicity and pure lines. We are trying to give values to the clothes through materials and details that can stand on their own feet. In reality, we have to say that our customers are not only young people, as it’s commonly thought. We are a young brand, but our target is more like thirty-years-old people or older. We suppose this has a lot to do with the current situation; young people would like to wear this kind of brand, but maybe they cannot afford it. Slightly older people appreciate materials more, like in our fathers’ times, when they spent money in clothes but you didn’t go buying clothes every day.
Nature and Nordic surroundings are often mentioned as your inspirations. Do you have any other icons that we wouldn’t imagine that work as inspiration for you, too?
We don’t have a dark side! (laughing) The fact is we don’t have time; we aren’t really in touch with the day-to-day. Oh but of course, we love Anna Dello Russo. When we have something special out of our pencils, we always say: “This is for Anna!”
Your motto in Spanish means something like “Beauty has infinite shapes”, but there must be some kind of clothing that you detest, even when you were younger.
Shoulder pads. I’ve never understood shoulder pads, especially for children. And large trousers. Hail to men’s skinny jeans!
Tongatapu is a paradise. What made this place so special that you decided to give its name to your last collection”
Its Maori culture played a big role in it. We really liked the idea of totem heads, so we made some investigations and when we discovered Tongatapu we loved it.
Patterns also are really important in your creations, and you have worked in Tongatapu with artist Mikel Paskal to create them. Do design and patterns give your works an even more special meaning?
Yes, of course. No doubt, you sell more pattern clothes: they are just like our basic clothes, but with a distinctive touch to them. Maybe that’s the reason why this collection is more popular among youngsters; people from every part of the country have bought it. We are really working into the relationship between colour and garment, and our collaboration with Mikel was great; he is also the one who helps us with the graphic theme and the image of the brand. We enjoy doing something more powerful with him.
To which paradise would you like to go now without thinking too much about it?
Asia, where nobody could understand us, Or the United States, in a forgotten village.
As much as you travel with your creations, you always bet in the end with local material. Your principles are something that needs to be admired, and studied.
Well, it’s a lot of work and a challenge; it’s the value of our brand. We don’t understand the concept of “made in China luxury brand”; if it’s a product that it’s 800 € worth, you realize that they earn a lot of money without respecting minimum work conditions. We want a more deserving production, at some conditions. Sustainability is something we always keep in mind.
Do you induce yourself to work more because of this philosophy?
It’s harder to find someone who understands it and appreciates it, and that in the end wants to buy it. Going to Zara or anywhere else is easier, of course.
Elisabet Vallecillo and Javier Blanco. The perfect couple?
(laughing) We practically never argue! Each one of us has its duties, so there is no place for quarrels.
All of us that are waiting for a personal project… are we crazy?
No. We are really happy every time something new appears; when our friends come out with something, we give them advice and ideas. We don’t like the idea of discouraging them. With the crisis, desperate people start thinking “it’s swim or sink”, and so they start on their own adventure. People try new forms of business and start their own activities. And even though we make mistakes, we are still young and we can make mistakes.
In order for Barcelona to be one of the capitals of design and try to always stay on top, the lack of funds for the creators from the institution is quite a big issue, isn’t it?
This has nothing to do with the rest of Europe. It’s an absurdity; we don’t get any help, and the organizations don’t work properly.
Better not to talk about the 080, right?
It has no sense that they decide to focus on young designers and alternative catwalks, and then invite Mango and Desigual with the press bragging about the front row only. There is an enormous conceptual mistake there.
The C&A thing must feel great, I suppose.
It was a greatly welcomed surprise! It’s an acknowledgement from a big company to small businesses, and the fact that they directly chose you well, it’s great. Moreover, the project is very good because it’s connected with our philosophy.
What are your plans for the future?
Rocking it with the shop we have (c/Vic 15, Barcelona) and we are going to do a capsule collection for men. And then, exclusive news: we are opening a new shop! We have a new space in the Born area that we are opening very soon.
We ask this question at the end of every interview here at La Monda. We give you the first part of a sentence and then it’s up to you to complete it. So, “Artistic expression as a way of defending…”
Web: Colmillo de Morsa
Interview: Ane Guerra