Posted on March 16 2015
By Serena Belcastro
Hey Pretty Birds,
During Fashion week, I had the pleasure of visiting Paula Cademartori in her new headquarters for the presentation of her FW 2015/16 collection. We had a nice, long chat, and I had the opportunity to discover her newly-launched collection of super feminine, colorful shoes. Beneath the explosion of color and glamour that define the Brazilian designer’s new range, there is a firm foundation of professionalism, a true passion for her work, and an unconditional love for all women. Find out more when you read our interview!
Where did you get the idea for this capsule collection of shoes?
I’ve always had a passion for accessories of every kind, and in particular I’ve always had a soft spot for shoes. This was a return to my roots for me, since my first personal project, after leaving Versace, was in fact a shoe collection that I created for Vogue Talents in 2009. What more, this is also an important time for our brand, a way to expand our product groups and acquire new markets in a fun way, since I love shoes so much!
Is there a difference in your approach to shoes now compared with your experience for Vogue Talents?
The Vogue Talents project was the first time I dealt with shoes: I loved them, but I hadn’t yet developed a brand identity. With all the work on my brand and working on my bags over the past few years I succeeded in finding a place for myself in the market, and I think this is the right time to dedicate myself once again to this product for which I have such a strong passion. Right now I feel shoes are much more connected to what I am doing and to my way of being a designer.
How different is working on shoes rather than bags – I’m thinking of your way of designing and your involvement with the various production stages?
My creative process, the choice of colors or materials, it all originates from the same starting point: a mix of inspirations and influences from the worlds of art, film, and music. Everything flows together in the mood of the collection. However I am also very interested in the “industrial” stages. I come from industrial design, and I enjoy following every stage of production from start to end.
Of course if we’re talking about shoes the job is quite complex: you must be able to design a beautiful object that is also functional and able to support the wearer’s body weight. While if you’re working on bags, the process is different, but just as complex: you can design a mini clutch that only holds lipstick and keys or a maxi bag where you can carry pretty much anything. But in each case, you must respect some limits, proportions, and functionality.
They are two extremely different processes, each one in communication with the other. Both cases pose challenges that I take on everyday, and that make me so happy because I love my job a lot.
The shoe collection is a complement to the FW 2015-16 bags and both collections are inspired by the same “starry” mood. What was your starting point when you created the shapes and styles of your shoes?
Our shoes speak the same language as our bags, they have the same mood, but I don’t like the matchy-matchy style.
There is one thing that was essential in the creation of this shoe collection beyond any specific inspiration: my desire for a more beautiful and feminine woman. I am fed up with the idea of the brainy woman who hides her shape under hyper conceptual clothes and wants to be weird at all costs. I believe in a design that enhances the shape of us women rather than hiding them. My shoes are feminine, colorful and sensual and most of all they are made for a woman’s legs, not just for her feet.
How do you see the recent trend of using sneakers or menswear-inspired shoes in women’s outfits?
I like lace-up shoes and sneakers. I use them too, but of course I will never come to work dressed in sweats, sneakers and a baseball hat.
Nonetheless, I think it is very interesting to see this convergence between fashion and sportswear, even from a designer’s point of view.
It can be a chance to approach new technologies, to play with materials and colors in a very interesting way.
So would you like to approach this kind of style as well?
Sure, why not! It would be a new challenge. But of course I would never pair them with drop crotch Bermuda shorts and a baseball hat!
Despite your natural inclination for femininity, have you ever thought about designing for men as well?
I think that if I weren’t born a woman, I would become one! It’s so good to be a woman, and I love designing for them.
I think there is a power woman inside each one of us, and it’s in our honor that I created the Powermartori charm.
The world of menswear is quite interesting, full of details, and I am very attracted to it. I love seeing well-groomed, handsome and cool men. But as a designer, I think I might be too woman oriented, I’m afraid I would end up putting all men in high heels!
LOL that’s perfectly clear.
How would you see the possibility of a collaboration with another designer or artist? Do you like the idea of working in synergy with other creative minds?
There are many architects I love, and I’d like to maybe collaborate with one of them. In a dream world, I would have loved to collaborate with the great Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.
Even if you are quite young, you have already achieved excellent accomplishments. In this time of financial crisis it seems so hard for kids in our generation to emerge, or even just get to work in our field of interest. What piece of advice would you give to a young creative that would love to do this job, but has yet to find his own path?
I founded my company at the peak of the financial crisis. In the beginning my parents gave me a hand, but after a short time, I was on my own.
Now I work a lot, and I also do consulting as a way to make ends meet.
My advice is to never give up and persist in your goals, while always keeping both feet on the ground and being aware that you will wake up at 4 in the morning and go to bed at midnight.
You will have to work hard, it is unrealistic to expect to only get the fun parts of this job, to design and create, without dealing with the daily issues confronting a job like this. You must understand how production works, deal with suppliers, manage all issues surrounding raw materials, deal with buyers, distributors, with admin, press and communication people. It should be a full-spectrum job.
Today, you can’t believe you can only design and be a creative head without dealing with all other kinds of issues. You really have to be willing to immerse yourself in the job, body and soul.
I love what I do a lot, and I am lucky to have an exceptional team. I started on my own, but gradually I gathered some fantastic people by my side to help me; today I have 14 people working with me in my company. It is essential to be aware that having a team is necessary, and everyone must go in the same direction.
I have a very young company, made up of young people because I want us to grow together towards the same goal. In my team no one is arrogant, but everyone is willing and keen to do and to work with their head down and both feet on the ground. 98% of what we do is hard work; the remaining 2% is glamour. But even behind that 2% you’ll find a big dose of work and stress.
In conclusion… you have to stay hungry and never be satisfied.
I am very hard on myself, very exacting, in order to get better and better, and as a consequence I am this way with others as well. Laying down some rules for oneself and others is a must, because rules and boundaries are always occasions for growth.
Necklace x 3: Sveva Collection
Bracelet: Sveva Collection
Gold Bracelets: Personal Jewellery
Rings: Personal Jewellery
Belt: Miu Miu
Shoes: Paula Cademartori
Stylist: Ellen Mirck
Hair & Make-Up: Ania Melnikova
Styling Assistant: Allegra Ghiloni
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