Paola Peres, founder of Paola Peres Complementos, was studying law when her mother encouraged her to find her true passion. This led her to fashion design, but it was a search for materials that made Paola turn to bags. While looking for a fabric store in Guadalajara, Paola came across beautiful leathers, and she was hooked. She hasn’t looked back since. Now, she spends her time creating colorful, embellished accessories using her favorite material, leather. “I think it is a humble material to work with, because you can create whatever you want with it,” Paola says of leather. For this designer, creating bags is like sculpting, and it is a labor of love. “I can capture my emotions with the colors of the materials,” she says. In addition to designing bags and belts, Paola manages her own photos campaigns, which gives her another chance to express herself. Paola explains her design process, how she built her brand, and tells us what she cannot live without.
1. Hello Paola – can you please tell us a little more about yourself?
I am from Chihuahua, a city in the north of Mexico near the border with United States. I think that the thing that makes me unique is that I really love my job! I love being able to capture my feelings and create art with them. For instance, I can capture them with the colors of the materials I use: if I am very happy, I can use bright colors, and if I am kind of sad, I can use darker colors. My feelings also influence the shapes of my designs.
2. When did you know you wanted to become a bag designer?
I knew I wanted to become a bag designer when I realized that I create a leather bag that is also a sculpture.
3. How would you describe your designs?
My designs are a huge garden full of baskets of exotic flowers with colored ribbons!
4. What types of materials do you work with?
Almost all of my designs are made with leather I think that it is a humble material to work with, because you can create whatever you want with it, and it also has a very nice energy!
5. What challenges did you face when you set up your brand?
I think the most difficult thing is making the decision to start something new and having the patience to see it grow, because the growth can be slow – like baby steps! It can also be tough to have the humility to recognize your customers’ tastes.
6. Can you please tell us about the design process of your bags?
Instead of making sketches on paper, I made them in my mind based on something I saw, I read, I heard. When I am happy with that mental sketch, that’s when the magic happens. I cut the leather and make the bag, but it is very interesting when, in the middle of the process, I decide to change something, to do something I hadn’t thought of before. That’s when the sculpture begins.
I also love to create the concepts for the publicity photos for each season. I have a wonderful creative team: a professional photographer, a makeup artist, and models. We all bring together great ideas for these shoots.
7. Who is the Paola Peres Complementos woman?
Every woman between the ages of 20 and 45 who appreciates wearable art and believes the accessories are the stars of an outfit.
8. How do you describe your personal style?
I love to wear designs made by emerging designers, and I also love vintage clothing. I just love wearable art!
9. Where do you like to shop, eat, and spend time in Chihuahua?
The best place to visit in Chihuahua is Copper Canyon, a please near the city with great, inspiring natural beauty. You can take the Chihuahua Al Pacifico train there.
I love downtown Chihuahua, where I have my atelier. My favorite store is Flores Para Frida, where you can find beautiful jewelry, clothes, accessories, and of course, my designs! I think some of the greatest pleasures in life are eating well and drinking good wine. That’s why I love to eat at Come Camila, La Crema, and La Casona. I love to go to those restaurants with friends and talk about how we can change the world.
10. What are the three things you cannot live without?
My scissors, my iPad and my dog, Yeni!
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