Laia Papió: ‘I love when my clients tell me my garments are their favorite ones and they do not take them off for years’

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Laia Papió’s fashion and clothes tailor-made service involves a specific design approach based on long-lasting comfort and customers’ well-being. This approach clearly deviates from those trends which are still anchored in a short-lived concept of fashion and industrial production. Thus, Laia Papió keeps herself constantly searching for essential and timeless forms in the garments she makes. Her passion for essentiality and timelessness is the base for her clothes, which are made for urban life needs such as going out, pace changes and daily incidentals. Her limited series of garments for men and women are entirely made with love in Barcelona.

How do you manage to get rid of short-lived fashion trends?

I would not say I get rid of them but I try to have my own style just to be able to make and sell garments which I know positively they will not become old-fashioned in the next six months. I love when my clients tell me my garments are their favorite ones and they do not take them off for years.

Although you don’t follow short-lived fashion trends, do you take into account fabrics and color trends or any other criteria related to the textile sector?

Yes, I have to. When buying fabrics and trimmings, for example, I know they have been created by some fabrics designer according to fashion trends. We cannot escape from trends; on the contrary, everyone has to make their own reflections to draw their own summary. And, if everyone wants to use them in their daily life, that will be perfect. To me it is very important that people feel comfortable with the clothes they wear, no matter the style is. Above all they must feel good-looking; clothing has such a power itself. When we feel good and we like ourselves everything become easier. Fashion and clothing world are very difficult to describe and they involve too many things, but their ultimate goal is to make people feel good.

Would you say you design and create ‘sustainable fashion’?

I believe so, if ‘sustainable’ means local-made clothing using available fabrics. The label ‘sustainable fashion’ is widely used nowadays although it is not fully defined in my opinion. Personally, I think that a Catalan fashion brand like Laia Papió is a sustainable clothing brand because it uses fabrics which have been devised, designed and patterned in Catalonia. My garments have not traveled thousands of miles to get to your wardrobe. But, I repeat, ‘sustainable fashion’ tag opens up a very large potential range.

What kind of techniques and working proceeds are involved in made-to-measure designing?

When I design made-to-measure clothes I make unique garments taking into account the customer’s measures, their needs and tastes. That means having an interview with the customer just to know them, to know what they expect from that garment and to discover what they exactly want. Made-to-measure clothing involves keeping in touch with the customer and with the garment as well. I always feel lucky to find people who trust me to make their clothing dreams come true.

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What is the scope for limited series? How many clothes are there in a limited series?

In my case, limited series depend on the amount of fabrics I can buy for any of them. Laia Papió buys available fabrics, which means I buy as much as I can find. Usually there are from five to thirty clothes for each pattern.

Do you believe the line between ‘women clothing’ and ‘men clothing’ is fading away?

No way. Men do not wear skirts yet. But I do believe that, if you are a woman and you want to dress in a masculine style, you will easily find many brands according to that style. On the contrary, if you are a man maybe you are finding lately some stampings which were worn only by women in the past, but it will be pretty difficult to you getting edgings and skirts for men. I realize that clothing possibilities for men are still very scarce. Being a man and trying to dress in a ‘different’ style usually mean being immediately looked suspiciously. I believe that women are freer to choose the clothes they want to wear and to express what they want to express with them.

You are a woman, does it make any difference between designing clothes for men and clothes for women?

I had not thought about it before. The truth is that I make more questions to men when I am designing clothes for them, perhaps because I need more information. The key difference is that when I make garments for men I find it difficult to find a guy to try them on. On the other hand, when making garments for women it is much easier because I myself try them on.

What fabrics do you feel more comfortable working with?

The truth is that I have no preferences. I like working with knitting and with any other fabric as well. Party fabrics, thick knit, jacquards, etc. I love noble fabrics and crazy wools for coats make me go nuts. And I am very clear about too synthetic fabrics and lycra: I do not like them at all.

How do you usually choose your clothes for the day?

Interesting question! I usually look through the window just to know what the weather is like. Also, I take into account the places I have to go and the things I have to do during the day, so that I can choose my clothes according to the specific needs of the day. Just as everyone else I guess. I must say I do not have ready-to-wear looks in my closet; I am a bit chaotic about my own garments. Let’s say once again that ‘the shoemaker wears always the worse shoes.’

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