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Interviews with spanish designers in NYC and relevant people of the fashion panorama. All the answers about trends, fashion, design and business. How to create your fashion business? Are you looking to conquer the big apple?

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Ernest Costafreda, owner of Costalamel

You are graduated in Business, why are you in the fashion industry?

Sincerely, I do not really know when it all started…maybe 3-4 years ago when I printed my first drawings onto basic tees. I was doing it because I just loved it, without thinking beyond: no business, no brand, no shipping, just pleasure.  I never planned to go as far as I did, I was just focusing on enjoying the moment. My motto was, ”Do what you love and love what you do.

As the project started growing and growing, every day I had more and more work to do and it was getting more difficult to manage it with my full-time job.  So, I think about 8 months ago, the day came to take the decision: leave it or live it. I decided to turn my dreams into plans and try to make it worth it. And I’m pretty happy with my decision so far.

As I hold a Business degree, a Brand Meaning Master and Design and Illustration experience in a freelance way, It was a project where I could put together all my passions and skills.


Handmade and Urban Fashion are the two adjectives that describes your brand, but what make it different and special?

We try to differentiate from established brands by putting love and attention to details in every design we make. We can do it because we have small productions.We produce every single t-shirt manually, paying attention to the smallest thing, repeating it if it just doesn’t fit. We design, manufacture and print all the garments in small workshops from Barcelona. 4 different steps made by 4 different workshops, each step is carried where it is better done. This is the only way to achieve the best quality.

On the other hand, we differentiate from newborn brands with our brand meaning. It is difficult to find a brand that gives importance to a story or a message beyond the product. Many firms just focus on designing ignoring that people buy not only a product but also a story. Thanks to my studies we developed a brand positioning and a message to spread that we activate through direct marketing actions with people. What we call, the Honey People.



What is your favorite clothing of Costamel? and What was the first one? 

My favorite design is the Amèlie design: Rêves, with a quote from the film that transformed into our lifestyle: Les temps sont durs pour les rêveurs, mais je rêve quand même”. It is inspired in the character of Amèlie Poulain. We love Amèlie, she is a kind of personification of our brand values. She is a dreamer despite the world she is living in. She is a brilliant storyteller. She is “la honey”. Our first design was Mividaloca, and it is a tribute to the magnificent Kat Von D


What have Costalamel of Ernest?

One thing is me and another, similar but always different, is the brand.

The psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung used the concept of archetype in order to explain the human psyche. Archetypes represent fundamental human motifs of our experience as we evolved; consequentially, they evoke deep emotions.

I have a high level of creator and innocent archetype in my psyche, but when creating a brand meaning for a brand, for example, Costalamel, you must only choose one among 12 in order to make the message direct and clear. So I decided to take into account my innocent part and build Costalamel as the kid we all have inside. This kid wants to get to paradise and to be happy all the time. His sole strategy is to do things right and fears to be punished for doing something wrong. His talents are faith and optimism and is a truly dreamer. So I’m afraid that Costalamel has a great part of Costa.



How is a normal day in your life?

I usually wake up and walk to my studio in order to spend my mornings managing the brand. Emails, reports, accounting, invoices, shipping, developing strategies, advertisement…that kind of daily obligations. After getting rid of all this, normally in the evening, I try to focus more on receiving people, doing interviews, going to the ateliers or designing new items. I obviously prefer that part of the day but I always repeat myself that if I don’t pay the same attention to both parts, afternoon work will last 2 weeks.


The hardest moment in this adventure

I am the sole person that organizes and decides things in Costalamel, so, despite that I have many people surrounding me (without them it would be impossible) there are many times that you feel lonely and the inner motivation to move forward decreases. It is very important to be strong and brave all the time to not quit it. It’s been really though sometimes.


What projects do you have for this year?

To take Costalamel abroad. Try to see how Costalamel fits in Europe and USA. Thanks to Internet you can sell worldwide, so we will try to open markets with some partnerships in Europe and USA. We also would like to start doing small capsules every month in order to increase our web traffic and attract more and more people who are willing to spread our manifesto. We will also be collaborating with other brands with who we share values and strategies in order to create win-win situations and take advantage of it.

To sum up, try to spread the keep calm and make la honey manifesto wider and louder



What do you think about spanish fashion?

If you want to create a brand in Spain, you have to be in the streets, and the only way to achieve it is to be in the shops because people is not betting for ecommerce yet. Being in a shop in Spain means a lot of work and problems. Shops have a tremendous commission and they don’t pay you in time. A part from that, I think that we have good designers and brands here. Especially those who noticed that it is as important a good designer as a person who knows how to sell your collections and a CEO that manages your firm.I don’t really believe in catwalks, too many work and money for a few minutes of glory. I would personally invest my money on another type of advertisement.

For newborns, I think that we all have to be positive and work with passion; it will be the only thing that will save us after time.


Imagine…you have in front of you an international and famous designer, what would you ask him? and Any advises for the new designers?

For the international designer, I would really like to know the story, the beginnings and the steps he/she took in order to benchmark. For the people who are coming, as I said, do whatever you want, but do it with love and passion.