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INTERVIEWS

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?

Don´t miss anything from here and participate making your own question to our guests.

www.beinfashionspain.com 

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BHAVA is a women's fashion shoe brand founded by designers Francisca Pineda and Rushali A. Sanghani.  The duo first met in 2006 while collaborating on runway accessories for Cynthia Rowley in Hong Kong.  Bhava is named after the designers' shared devotion to purity and consideration for others, the highest form of Bhava.

Francisca has come to Spain to visit some retailers with Beiñ. In these days Francisca has known how fashion industry works here and she wants to come back very soon. Now we are going to talk a little bit with  her about fashion industry, spanish fashion and much more.

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Why did you decide to manufacture in Spain?

In NY I am a member of a small SHOEMAKING group with many industry professionals.  Several of the members had mentioned the high quality of the Spanish footwear industry, and their positive experience.  I started asking around my contacts and was able to be introduced to several factories which I will be starting to produce with this Fall for  a high quality black label range in the Bhava assortment.

 

What are your favorite textiles to manufacture?

 

Bhava is a brand that puts ethical sourcing of local, artisan, and eco-conscious materials at the fore front.  For our next collection we are very excited to introduce new textures and hand painted details that the market has not yet seen in footwear.  We are always looking to break through boundaries of "traditional" footwear materials and introduce artisan products like hand-painted exotic embossed cork, or inlays of fine locally sourced metal mesh.  Every collection introduces a new idea, and is inspired but thinking outside the box for new materials from limited edition exclusive sources that have not yet been imported into the US.  We've also collaborated with artisans on limited edition runs of hand woven fabric that have been very well received by customers and retailers.

 

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"There is a wonderful sense of play and fantasy in the work or the Spanish emerging designers."

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What do you think about Spanish fashion? And the spanish emerging designers?

The word that kept running through my head when I was in Madrid during fashion week and seeing the designs from the emerging designers was a subtle underlying feeling of "surrealism".  It's not easy to describe , but there is a wonderful sense of play and fantasy in the work or the Spanish emerging designers.   Combined with an attention to detail, knowledge of high quality fabric treatments and flawless presentation,  I am very inspired by these designers and strength of the maker movement that I saw specifically in Barcelona.  Several of the apparel and accessory shops had open studios where you can see the product being made right in front of your eyes.  Authenticity, attention to detail, and effortless creativity are what you can expect from Spain's emerging designers.

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Which steps do you think that designers must to follow to get into US market?

Before entering any market it is important to evaluate wether your product is right for each specific state and city in the the US, for example, California is very different from NY.  Once you have established what city your product works best in, it is important to research the small boutiques in those cities and contact those whose aesthetic and price point are the best fit.  Instagram, is very important here as well, and following the accounts of the local based retailers will give you a good idea of who their customer is and what are their most featured products are.  Having a line sheet priced landed, in US dollars will make it easier for boutiques to see if your product will fit in their assortment.  Most important is to put yourself in the boutique owner's feet and imagine how best to communicate the differentiating factors that your product brings to market that no one else can compete with.  Fashion is about what is new, you should be excited about presenting your collection and clear on why you think you can add value to their store.

"The US is one of the largest consumer economies, and in a luxury price point demands the high quality and attention to detail that can be found in Spain."

What do you think the US market offers to fashion designers?

I see two things happening in the fashion industry right now.  Opportunities for niche designs are opening up as e-commerce has increased the variety of choice that is available.  In some ways, niche shopping is creating mini-communities supporting indie designers, these seem small, but because of the increased international visibility of all designers all around the world there is an increased audience. Some things are getting very small and specific , while others are growing and increasing.  The US is one of the largest consumer economies, and in a luxury price point demands the high quality and attention to detail that can be found in Spain, because of this there is a demand for European made quality not just in the US but increasingly in Asia and other parts of the world that are looking to differentiate their assortment with authenticity and the centuries of craftsmanship that can be seen in countries like Spain.

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What do you think about Beiñ team & work?

I have known the Beiñ team for a few years now as we have collaborated on events and now through my work in Spain.  Gloria and her team have always impressed me with their  professionalism, positive attitude, and attention to detail.  From an event flyer to organizing meetings, every detail and logistic is carefully planned to ensure success.  I highly recommend Beiñ for their experience, hard work, and the genuine passion that they put into every project.

 

 

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Eva, founder of Ecoology

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When did Ecoology start?

Ecoology was born to create fashion with beautiful stories behind. I was tired of consuming fast fashion without personality, wearing everybody the same clothes as uniforms, cheap clothes made from the suffer of others with bad quality. One day I said this has to stop and I need to do something with common sense. 

 

How do you define Ecoology? 

Comfty and atemporal woman clothes that respect the environment.

 


What is the philosophy of the brand?

Minimize the environment impact without giving up the design of the clothes and take care of persons that work in fashion industry.

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What is the slow movement for Ecoology?

Slow movement is a way to live and see everything. Breathe and be quiet in every moment giving priority to the things well done and have the time to do them. Slowfashion is more or less the same...make your designs thinking in all the production line from the raw materials that after turn into a dress until the selling action. You have to measure the impact that making a dress cause, thinking in every hand that every part of the dress have passed. Also is very important  recycle after use it or try to give the clothes a second chance or as times your creative mind can think.

 

Philosophy of Eva

I am in love with funny things and beautiful ones. I try to smile every moment and have good times. I think you are living your life to learn and enjoy with what you have and always trying to make a better world for the people will come after. 

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What are the influences of the brand?

This brand has strong values and very defined: respect the environment, workers, no exploitation under any concept. We try to contribute to make a better world, the world everybody want to live. 

 

Celebrity crush?

I like a lot Livia Firth due to she has a lot of media power in the slow fashion industry and I believe we need people like her. Vivianne Westwood is one of my favorites and now she is making a good work in the green thinking.  Lily Cole is also working to introduce the slow fashion movement and she wears her own clothing firm. All of them are my inspiration.  t

 

Any celeb wearing Ecoology?

Elsa Pataki (international actress) bought part of the collection and was so funny making adjustments in the clothes for her, all the designs look so nice on Elsa. Almudena Fernández (spanish model) wore an spectacular dress 100% organic cotton that fits perfectly on her. 

 

What were the Key moments in the history of the brand?

There were and there are a lot of them.Now you have to take into account the market and demands and you have to face obstacles every day and you have to take the right decisions. Now I am focus in international markets. 

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What does US market mean for Ecoology?

USA is a really cool market and there is a big target to dress Ecoology that is a brand with international thinking and with a strong philosophy that encloses with the US citizen.

 

Tell us a little bit about working with Beiñ (Be in fashion Spain).

Beiñ is a big opportunity that makes your dreams real. When your expansion is with people with same toughs and values is really easy make good job. Sustainable development, slow fashion are things we share...we understand each other perfectly. They help me in every step in my business and projects, Beiñ make it easier and look after opportunities in the US market with good results. 

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Pavan Bahl from Open Source Fashion

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Tell us a bit about Open Source Fashion and its main objective.

Open Source Fashion is a community of helpful innovators working with(in) fashion and retail.  We focus on educating our peers and finding collaborative opportunities amongst our community members.  

On July 21st, we launch our new platform which will focus on the Who, What, & Where for our audience.  

Who you need to meet: Profiles of approved creatives, developers, strategists, and technology solutions that you can leverage to grow your business.

What you need to know:  Our educational content that we will be publishing from a community of over forty expert contributors.

Where you should be:  A listing of worthwhile in-person opportunities in your area (starting with NYC and DC)

 

So, Open Source Fashion is all about networking. What is the reason why you focused in this? Why would you say networking is such a vital tool in the fashion industry?

The business landscape has dramatically shifted over the past five years.  There are now even more moving parts that go into building and sustaining a successful business. Many of these “moving parts” that have become vital components of business (omni channel retailing, social media strategy, big data, fit tech, etc.) were unheard of just a handful of years back.  It is nearly impossible to be an expert on all of these moving parts.  I felt as though if we, as entrepreneurs...learn and supported one another, we would be able to succeed as a group.

Competition is dead and collaboration is the future.  Businesses must align strategically with one another in order to execute effectively.  Since this process relies on relationships,  you need to go out and find folks that you connect well with...as individuals and professionals.  OS Fashion creates environments that are conducive to uncovering collaborative opportunities amongst like minded individuals.  

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How did you come up with the idea of creating this meetup community in the first place?

A few years back I started developing a consumer focused brand.  I was selling products to a handful of retail boutiques between New York City and Boston.  I quickly realized that I did not have the proper background or education to effectively develop a successful and long lasting brand.  

At the time, the emergence of digital technologies had just started to give smaller brands an opportunity to compete for visibility in a global marketplace.  I started the OS Fashion Meetup as a way to gain the right education in regards to these platforms and new strategies.  The only way I was able to attract the right educators was by gathering an audience for them to speak to.  

 

What kind of individuals attend your meetings?

Our events are open to helpful innovators that are actively working with or within fashion or retail.  This can be anywhere from designers, retailers, and brands to technologists and service providers that lend to the industry.

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How many networking events do you organize per year and around which topics?

We have moved away from our quarterly meetups, to bi-annual conferences.  OS Fashion produces the Freestyle Fashion Conference every 6 months in New York City.  The conference focuses heavily on education and collaboration.  We are extending this program to Washington, DC and Miami, FL within the next 9 months!

Each program hosts fifteen classes, all taught by professionals that have a very specific domain expertise as it lends towards business development within fashion, retail, and related technologies.  Visit freestyleconference.com for class information - it really spans the spectrum of biz dev.

 

What’s next for Open Source Fashion? Any new plans in the horizon?

We would like to partner with good people across the globe to bring the Freestyle Fashion Conference to various cities.  An ideal partner would be an individual or team that already cultivates community within the Fashion + Technology space and is motivated to extend them exceptional value.  Ultimately we see Open Source Fashion bridging individual markets so that innovators in various regions can access new markets by leveraging OS Fashion communities worldwide.

 

For now, we are focused on expanding the conference program, and preparing to relaunch our platform in July.

 

Any new trend in the fashion industry that you would pinpoint? 

The acceptance and adoption of technology is not only a trend, it’s a revolution in the industry.  Businesses small and large are integrating and experimenting with a myriad of solutions to keep ahead of the curve.  

NY Fashion Tech Lab serves as a great example of how retailers are making a priority to work with startup tech solutions to facilitate their growth.  My guess is that NYFT Lab will serve as a model for businesses globally that are looking to bridge the communication gap between innovation and enterprise.

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What would you say about Spanish fashion industry? Do you see a bright future for Spanish designers in the US? 

I won’t bullshit, I don’t have a firm pulse on the actual fashion that drives this industry (i’m more of a solutions person).  What I do see is that the US market is more than ever before, distinguishing themselves through fashion.  From colors to cuts, the “average” consumer is more knowledgable, curious, and better informed in regards to international culture / trends.  Because of this, there’s an open door for international designers to breakthrough in the US market.

 

And last, but not least. All emerging designers are young entrepreneurs and you are an entrepreneur yourself… Some words of wisdom to share with them?

Read.  Know about...and take advantage of tools that can streamline your processes.  Do not focus on anything that is not within your core competencies.  Find strategic partners.   Try and make forward progress every day.

 

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www.beinfashionspain.com team in a Open Source Fashion Event in NYC

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Guillem Llull Vila designer and creator of GUIËM

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When did Guiëm start?

Fashion is something that I love specially men´s clothing. When I was a little boy my mind was full of designs and new kind of clothes that I have never found in the streets. Is for that Guiëm was born is a way to create.

 

¿Cómo definirías el estilo de la marca en una frase? 

Nordic cut and mediterranean Style

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What is the philosophy of the brand?

Guiëm  defines a men with a string style, someone that has clear ideas and wants to be different from the others. Guiëm is a way to express yourself trough out what you are wearing.

I think there are a lot of stereotypes in men´s clothing and we want to be free in this thinking.

 

What are the influences in Guiëm?

Trully I have inspiration from everything. I put special interest in details, they go to my mind and after I put these ideas in designs, Guiëm is a brand that Guillem Llul will wear. 

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Celebrity crush?

I love and admire Patrick Harris: elegance and easy manner in one person that I share as Guillem Llul 

 

Any celeb wearing your brand?

Not until this moment.

 

What have been the key moments in Guiëm life?

Guiëm starts in March of 2014 so is very soon to say something or analyze what are the past special moments in the brand. But I have to say that is amazing the support from bloggers and media...is a reason to continue in this industry.  

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What does USA mean for the brand?

USA is a very important market for Guiëm and new for us, something that we have to explore and explote. EEUU is the country of opportunities so we hope to meet our costumers. 

 

9. Tell us what is  Beiñ. for you

Go out from Spain, know a new market and an amazing opportunity. 

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Shooting day with the winner of Nolcha Fashion Week Raffle. Veronica Cruz

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First of all, congratulations for becoming the winner of the Angradema shoes we raffled during Nolcha Fashion Week and thank you for accepting modeling for us with your brand new shoes!

We would like to know a bit more about you. What can you tell us?

Thank you, it was such a thrill to be the winner of the gorgeous Angradema shoes!

I moved to New York City with my husband last January- by way of Arizona- and have been loving our time settling in! I find life here to be constantly inspiring, exciting, and stimulating- especially for those of us with an interest/obsession in fashion, styling, and media. Almost immediately upon moving here, I connected with some really great, like minded people. I have since started working on creating my own blog and have gotten to participate in and attend some amazing local fashion events, including Nolcha Fashion Week. It's been such a wonderful experience. I am having a blast..and the adventures just keep coming! 

 

The raffle you finally won lasted two days during Nolcha Fashion Week: the day of the runway and the day of the bloggers & media brunch. When did you meet us? How was your experience talking to Beiñ’s team? Did you expect becoming our winner?

I first met your team at the runway show, where I was drawn to the promotion for airfare to Spain, as it is one of my dream destinations. The girls and I chatted about our wanderlust and passion for international travel, a topic I can talk about for hours. When I first saw Bein set up at the media brunch, the first thing that caught my eye were the shoes- I even took a picture with them! Of course I signed up for the raffle but never expected to win. The first time I actually win a drawing and the prize happens to be a pair of shoes I had already fallen in love with!

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Once you were selected as the winner of these shoes, we contacted you in order to get your measurements as the shoes were going to be handmade FOR YOU! Moreover, we went to give you your new shoes in person. How was the whole experience with us? Did you like the bag Beiñ’s team hand-painted for you?

The entire experience was surreal- from the moment the announcement was made to getting them delivered in person- it felt so intimate. The delivery and hand painted bag was such a lovely and personal touch- it made my handmade shoes feel all the more special. All these little details are what really made my experience with Bein so exceptional.

 

Then, next surprise: you would be modelling for us and the designer! Tell us where did Beiñ’s team take you for the shooting and how did you like it?

I loved it! We met at the Highline- one of my favorite New York spots- and got to take pictures around the Chelsea area. I felt like Carrie Bradshaw for the day- posing and modeling my new favorite shoes in the middle of NYC... every girls dream, right?

 

Which of the designs in our website are your 3 top picks (apart from your fantastic shoes, of course)?

Anything by Beatriz Penalver. I love the white bell sleeve dress featured on their lookbook!

And I know I would live in Taller's silky fringes for summer, as well as Red & Rouge's floral turbans.

 

Any style you are missing in our website that you would like to get a hand on?

I would just love to see Bein continue to showcase and support independent designers who are committed to a higher level of craftsmanship. It is really exciting to see Spanish designers go global and have such a presence in NYC! Quality and talent are meant to be admired in every language and culture.

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How would you describe fashion from Spain?

Luxurious, sleek, and modern but with a nod to rebellion. Sophistication with touches of romance.

 

How likely are you to recommend Beiñ’s store and designers to your friends and family? And how likely are you to become one of our customers?

Very! I've already shared some of Bein's links and posts on my personal social media sites, as well as mentioned my own unique experience with them to everyone I know. It is something I will always treasure

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