The creative world is full of talent, quirky style, and artists who never cease to amaze us. There are ladies who are spot on with innovative fashion, who write beautiful melodies, and whose paintings transport us to new places. We decided that we can’t keep them all to ourselves. Each month, we’ll feature our creative crush, a lady who inspires us with her work.
For November, we want to introduce the style genius behind Peruvian Atelier, Nicole Castagnet!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand.
Ever since I was little I knew I wanted to be in the fashion world, both my Dad and my Grandmother were in the industry and it was always fascinating to me. That path led to my Dad and I creating Peruvian Atelier in 2010. We knew Peru had these great fibers to offer and excellent craftsmanship that we decided to base our collections around them. We design, manufacture and export all the goods from Peru so essentially everything we have to offer has been made in Peru with the exception of a few jewelry lines. It has definitely been an adventure with a lot of successes and mistakes but we continue to push through and only come out stronger. I’m very fortunate to have his wisdom and help, otherwise I don’t know that PA would even exist.
2. What do you love about working with the materials you use?
A lot of people don’t know about Baby Alpaca and Pima Cotton so I love to educate people about these amazing fibers we use. Baby Alpaca is most compared to Cashmere while Pima Cotton is compared to Egyptian Cotton. Baby Alpaca is the first shearing of alpaca fleece, is hypoallergenic and it’s warming power is 10 times that of wool, not to mention it’s deliciously soft. Pima Cotton has a longer cotton staple making it softer and more lustrous, the number 1 benefit I find of Pima Cotton is that you can machine wash on delicate and lay them flat to dry – no dry cleaning required, that’s hard to find in a luxury fiber!
Other than them being such great fibers I love all of the blends it comes in as well, Baby Alpaca/Bamboo, Baby Alpaca/Nylon/Silk, and Pima Cotton/Linen to name a few.
3. What is your favorite thing about what you do?
That would have to be seeing the customer so impressed and happy with our product. There is no better feeling than seeing a satisfied and excited customer about your own pieces that you have worked so hard to create, from picking the yarn/fabric, color, and the final style it becomes.
4. Who or what are you most inspired by?
I draw inspiration from the most unexpected places, I can like the way something is cut or draped on TV but in my mind I’ve already reconstructed the entire piece using that one garment as a base, same goes for magazines, people watching, colors, shapes, and vibes I see throughout my day, etc…
As far as people, Coco Chanel. She is so timeless, classy and elegant. I’d like to think that our pieces transition seamlessly throughout the years. Since we use such high quality fibers that will last you for years to come, I strive to keep the silhouette timeless as well.
5. Favorite item from your closet?
I love representing my brand so I naturally gravitate to any PA piece!
6. You can only take 3 things with you on a trip… What do you pick?
Camera – to document all of those great moments, iPod – always have to have music, iPad – got to have that reading material.
7. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Greece is at the top of my list, I hope to make that happen soon!
8. Best travel memory?
Turkey, hands down. I was able to travel with some of my closest friends and got to share all of those fun moments with them. Beaches were breath taking, I’m a big beach girl – water, sun and great company – I’m a happy girl!!
9. Anything exciting planned for the rest of 2013?
We plan on increasing our knitwear production which I am very excited about. We are also entering the wholesale market and are hoping to have more stores across the US carry our brand. Very exciting stuff!
10. What is your favorite Simon & Ruby piece?
Oh there are sooooo many I love, it’s so hard to pick just one! The chandelier pieces are just stunning and so unique and I love the bigger statement pieces with bold color combos. However if I had to pick just one, it’d be the Lake Necklace in grey which I wear constantly!
Interested in learning more about Nicole?