Objects Matter is a series dedicated to our designers. Here we explore their process, inspiration, and story. Read more to find out who is next!
With all that is happening locally and internationally, it makes sense that we are not focused on design and bespoke goods. But we interviewed five local designers that we are sure will rekindle that love. They share how they continue to work and produce their goods, with a positive outlook, for the future.
Diana Lugo is part of a new wave of local designers, based in Puerto Rico. She founded Esther, a children’s wear brand focused on creating long lasting pieces, made of only the best natural materias, handmade by the designer in her home based studio. We spoke to Diana about her creative process and how Esther was born.
How/When was your first encounter with design? When did you start designing? What was the first thing you ever made?
Since childhood, it is hard to trace back the exact moment but my sisters and I would always be making things with our mom; sewing, beaded bracelets and necklaces.
Why and when did you decide it was time to launch your brand? How long have you been in business?
I have always wanted to have my own thing at some point in my life. When I returned to Puerto Rico from NY, to work with my sister at LUCA, a friend (Karla/Isleñas) told me about a start-up competition here, in PR, and that I should participate. That gave me the push to create my own brand, I didn't end up winning the Grant, but I realized that what I was doing was gaining traction and decided to keep pushing through. It’s been one year since the launch of Esther!
What sort of things inspire your designs?
Mostly aspirational lifestyles of what I imagine my life will be and that of my customers. What I would want to wear if I was a kid in a given scenario.
Tell us about your creative process. How do you approach a new collection or design? What’s the first step? Walk us through your creative and production process.
I first start with a concept, then I think of what materials I will be using, details that will be present throughout and key pieces. For now I am only making small collections, and testing styles to see what people respond to, and are looking for. My current production process is all in house, my mom and I work side by side. I design, make the patterns, do the cuttings and fabric manipulations, and my mom helps me with sewing!
What’s most important to you when designing?
Since I design children apparel, staying true to my style and aesthetic is important. But I would say the most important thing is that the design works, is comfortable, fits properly to the needs of a child, while still being fun and creative, whilst using the best natural fibers and materials.