A master of craftmanship, Pilar Bande has been in the forefront of Spanish custom made design for more than 20 years. Her vision, sensitivity and attention to detail are her hallmark.
Did you always know you wanted to be a fashion designer?
I always knew which lifestyle I wanted and that to achieve it I had to work in a creative field. I explored different disciplines and ended up focusing on fashion design
Where did you go to school? What would you highlight from the experience?
I studied fashion design at Istituto Marangoni in Milan. It is considered one of the best fashion schools and it has a presence in the main fashion capitals which makes it easier to create professional connections. The relations you make within the industry and with its different personalities help your vision and understanding of the global fashion business
What can you tell us about the creative process when making a dress? Where do you start?
I always think about functionality, what is the garment going to be used for and who is going to wear it. That defines the style and attitude. The aesthetic codes change depending on whether I am working on something exclusive and custom or on a collection. In any case there is always a distinctive mark in the use of materials, textures and lines
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I really enjoy the trips I make searching for materials, trends, craftmanship… That is when I start focusing and materializing ideas and concepts
Where or how do you find inspiration?
It is usually inspiration that finds me and I try for it to happen while I am working. It can be anywhere
What does fashion mean to you?
I understand it as a business. I manage creativity while looking for an economical benefit. That is the way of understanding if a product is successful or not
Tell us about your work space. What do you like the most about it?
I like what it inspires: creativity and passion. When people visit they usually say that they feel like getting to work, I like that
Something you learnt from a mistake?
They are always part of the learning process
What would you tell somebody who is trying to find her space in the fashion world?
Follow your instincts
When creating made to order dresses, designed exclusively for each client, how do you manage to leave your own personal mark?
I always listen carefully to every client to understand her needs and taste. I analyze it and filter it with my criteria. That is how my hallmark is there
What does success mean to you?
The recognition of a job well done
What is your favorite way to disconnect after a long day at work?
Having dinner and chatting relaxingly
And if you have a free day, what do you like doing?
I like walking aimlessly in a city I have never visited before