“I am not one of those crazy designers,” said Paula de Andrés, the 26-year-old designer of Pol, which she founded in February 2013. “I’ve got my feet on the ground. I have a different product and I’m looking for a serious commercial platform to build a brand and a business. I don’t want to be just a media victim.”
Dresses, which generally run upward of $200, sell “a little” to the domestic market, while an e-commerce site targets potential clients abroad. Her online offer includes dresses, tops and playsuits with prices ranging from $142 to $215. She keeps a little stock, she noted, but generally makes merchandise to order, from sizes XS to XL. Locals can come to her atelier for made-to-measure service.
So far, she has customers in London, Finland and the U.S., where Lady Gaga’s team picked up a snap-closure black maillot swimsuit and a below-the-knee dress with transparencies — both from last spring — for Gaga’s “G.U.Y.” video released in March.
Wearing a tank and knee-skimming black skirt from a local street market and multicolor Nike sneakers, the designer said for September’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid, she’s working up 25 pieces, mainly dresses, a few pants and skirts, jumpsuits and a crisscrossed top with hand-embroidery. One of her highlights will be a baseball jacket with Fortuny-like pleating, a pastel blue zipper and chartreuse lining. Pleats are the season’s leitmotif, along with techie-type fabric and texture mixes, straps, sexy open backs, in a palette of mainly white and gray.
Pol (which is also de Andrés’ nickname) will be showing for a third season in Samsung Ego’s up-and-comers catwalk show, which helps her image, she said.
“Little-known designers are generally ignored in Spain,” she said. “Nobody pays much attention to us, but Ego’s good press is a start.”
After graduating from a three-year fashion course at the Madrid branch of Instituto Europeo di Design, she interned with local designers Antonio Alvarado and Moisés Nieto (who shares a runway show at Madrid Fashion Week), but in general, “Spanish fashion is boring. It’s either Inditex or muy señora [dowdy].”
Current inspirations are Alexander Wang and Alicante, Spain-based designer Juan Vidal, “who is building a business and I admire that.”
De Andrés works out of a diminutive all-white atelier — “I think better with white because nothing gets in the way,” she said — in Madrid’s buzzy Chueca neighborhood with floating antique wooden doors and a pair of blood-orange chairs the only spots of color.
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