Paloma Suárez, born in La Palma (Canary Islands), in the Canary Islands in 1993, is making a name for herself on the covers of numerous magazines since her debut at Samsung EGO last September. Her collection, “Impossible”, is full of optimistic messages and vibrant patterns painted by hand, an ode to youth and happiness.
A recent graduate from the ESNE design school in Madrid, Paloma won an award at TalentosDesign’13, was named a Young Talent by the Community of Madrid in 2014, took part in MFShow LAB by Pandora in 2015 and is a candidate for Young Canary Islander 2015, which is awarded to young Canary Islanders who have made a name for themselves. Her most recent award was the Dedal de Oro (Golden Thimble) which she received after her first show ever, which took place at the SAMSUNG EGO stage at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid.
Lara Arguedas for Neo2
It all started when she was only 12 years old and hand-painted her canvas shoes; they were an instant hit among her friends and nowadays you can find them in Spain and abroad.
The happiness and passion that this young designer exudes is infectious and she uses fashion as a way to communicate with the world. Here at So Catchy! Where Fashion Begins, we spent some time getting to know her better.
SO CATCHY!: When did your passion for fashion begin?
PALOMA SUÁREZ: I always knew that I would focus on some artistic discipline or other but I didn’t really know where to focus my creativity until I people started asking me for my personalized shoes. That’s when I discovered how happy it made me to be able to create something that could satisfy others, and to see my designs out on the street made me feel amazing. The first time that I saw my shoes being worn by someone else I felt so satisfied that I immediately understood what my future held.
SC!: So it all began with personalized shoes, how did you get the idea and how did it become so successful?
PS: It started when I was 12 years old; one day I decided to buy a pair of canvas shoes and paint them as well as I could, with a simple design the shoes became unique in the world. I always wanted to set myself apart and to be on top of the latest trends, but with my own personality. When I put those shoes on, it all began. The girls in the choir that I sang in asked me where I’d found the shoes and then if I could make a pair for each of them. It started out very innocent, I was a little girl who didn’t see her work as a business or a way to get rich, but rather a way to satisfy the needs and tastes of those friends who, just like me, wanted to feel special.
Success came, without a doubt, thanks to those who decided, on a day-to0-day basis, to wear my designs. Through word of mouth they helped to get my work out there and got others interested in my brand and my products. That’s how I’ve been able to grow and increase the number of orders. I owe it all to those people.
SC!: Since you finished your studies you’ve had quite a number of successes…
PS: I only finished my studies 4 months ago but it’s true that in this time there some incredible things have happened to rapidly move me up the career ladder, like having my first show be a part of SAMSUNG EGO at MBFW Madrid 2015 or my most recent award, the Dedal de Oro (Golden Thimble), a recognition that, without a doubt, I did not expect to receive. It’s a renowned award that is usually only given to people with a very strong and clear career path. It really was an honor for me. I’ve also recently launched an online store and I’m taking baby steps, but important ones, towards growth thanks to the constant support that I’ve received.
Photo: Carlos Ortiz Escrivà
SC!: What was it like to show at Samsung EGO?
PS: It was, no question, one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. It was magical. I enjoyed it immensely and lived it intensely. I almost felt as if I was wrapped up in a cloud, I still can’t believe that it really happened and everything that’s happened because of it.
From the moment they called to tell me I’d been selected until now, the only thing that I’ve done it work to make it all come together and to have it as prepared as possible by the deadlines they’d set, but I feel that, at all times, I was unaware of the reality that I was experiencing and the things I was achieving. Maybe that is my secret, unawareness. It left me happy, without any worries, absorbed in everything that was happening around me and learning so many things that I didn’t even know where to begin. From managing everything involved in an event of these characteristics to realizing the potential of my colleagues, who taught me the most and who I have the utmost respect and admiration for.
Lara Arguedas for Neo2
SC!: Tell us about “Impossible”, the collection you showed at Samsung EGO.
PS: We all have desires, we all dream of reaching places where only a few have been. Sometimes, the only thing that gets in between a person and their dreams is inside themselves, it’s fear, a small and insignificant distance, a thin line between everything and nothing.
IMPOSSIBLE is a reflection of this line of thought, realized in clothes with clean and refined lines, converted in authentic canvases where I project my own hand-painted patterns, with big, free brushstrokes, where the noly thing that matters in the moment are my feelings. That’s how I get the intensity of the tones and the spots; they’re a reflection of a moment frozen in time.
The authenticity of each pattern, and the differences that exist between each piece, enrich the idea, underlining the magic of being unique, with no reservation about not following the established social order.
Normal is boring. What’s right is tiring. Different stands out.
Artisanally-pleated crêpe is one of the materials that I use together with semi-impermeable fabrics that allow for the application of fabric paint while maintaining their feel and natural drape. This creates urban, sport-chic silhouettes, advocating comfort and seeking to highlight the personality and sophistication of the cloths, with an eye for detail and the handiwork that goes into them.
The messages promote an authentic lifestyle and are the signature of this collection, the leit motiv of a way of thinking based on strength, hard work, perseverance and talent combined with personal improvement and leaving luck to the side. There are no limits.
SC!: And congratulations on the Dedal de Oro (Golden Thimble), how does it feel?
PS: It’s been difficult to take in because for me, it wasn’t even something that I’d thought about, and definitely not in the short term. It’s a very important recognition and since beginning in 2007, I’ve been following the different editions and admiring the winners. To suddenly be one of them is just incredible to me. In fact, I’ll wait until I actually physically receive the award to really believe it’s true.
SC!: ¿What are you going to do next?
PS: Right now I’m trying to fill the orders that I receive daily and I’ve started with the Christmas orders. I have some new projects for the next few months that I have to finish up, and, in the meantime, I’m trying to prepare my next FW16 collection, which I hope to show once again SAMSUNG EGO in February.
I think that I need to continue working hard the way I have been and to little by little release new things, I’ll let you know.
SC!: So you said you were selling online?
PS: Yes, in fact we’ve just launched the online store (link in Spanish). I invite you all to visit!
SC!: What kind of people do you think wear your clothes?
PS: I don’t like to classify people according to established social standards so, really, the only guess I would venture, and what from what I see personally, is that people interested in my products are those who have a great sensitivity for art and culture, with aspirations and objectives in their lives, and with a desire to move forward and to be heard.
People who understand that life is unique and that getting used to something is another way of dying. Who fight for what they want and face adversity with strength, using clothes as a way form of non-verbal communication.
SC!: Fashion needs…
PS: Passion and determination. I believe that they are elements that you need for anything, really, but especially in fashion. Without even realizing it, the way we dress says so much about us, and how we face the world from day to day.
Our job is beautiful, and it is in our hands to bring to the world our vision of what is happening around us and to motivate people to go about their daily business with one attitude or another. People use clothes to understand what others want to say about their state of mind and their intentions in life.
SC!: Any designers that inspire you…
SC!: A young designer you like…
PS: Pepa Salazar.
SC!: A place to lose yourself…
PS: La Palma, in the Canary Islands
SC!: A color…
PS: Pink. It’s relaxing and influences your feelings, inviting you to be more friendly, softer and deeper, helping us to feel care, love and protection.
SC!: The perfect look should have…
PS: Something to say.
SC!: Your favorite piece of clothing, something you can’t stop wearing…
PS: T-shirts that say something!
SC!: Do you follow any Instagram accounts or websites and blogs?
SC!: The best piece of advice you’ve received…
PS: That all the future successes are born when we dare to begin.
SC!: Your dream is to…?
PS: To be able to live from my work and to continue raising “Paloma Suárez”, till it becomes international.
SC!: If you could be anyone, a superhero or cartoon, whatever, who would you be?
PS: The Pink Panther.
Photos: Assiah Alcázar
Model: Pati Vaquerizo
Backstage @ Samsung Ego
Photos: Paloma Suárez
Translation and Layout by Michael Padilla