Our accessories team met the Barcelona based brand P D PAOLA at the Fall 2017 season of Premiere Classe. We have since caught up with the founder and CEO of the brand Paola Sasplugas to discuss what inspires her, the process and craftsmanship behind her jewellery and her future plans for the brand.
What made you start the brand?
So I was in my last year of architectural studies and I had always been passionate about jewellery and the fashion industry but I never thought it to make a living. I started making jewellery on my own just for fun and there was a friend who I will always be thankful to who told me that what I was making was cool and that I should sell it. At that time online stores weren’t as powerful as now so I just created a free blog. It then got to the point where I was about to start my masters and I quit it because I saw my jewellery was starting to sell so I took it more seriously and created P D PAOLA as a brand.
Who would you say your customer is and what makes them special?
P D PAOLA customer is a woman around 20-40 years old the brand is quite transversal because it can be for anyone for instance my own mother to a 16 year old girl, but if I had to envisage the woman who wears P D PAOLA then she would be medium age 28 years old and what makes them special is because at the end of the day she appreciates to wear something that is good quality but not typical jewellery so it goes beyond that. The person wearing it is a part of this world we have created. It’s about the jewellery but also everything around them and they can get inspired by it.
What inspires you?
Sometimes ideas just pop up, for instance maybe I am having lunch with my family and someone says something and it sparks an idea, but I used to just sit on a bench and look at people around what they are wearing and I see what people want to wear day to day and that inspires me to create something better for them. Seeing these people inspires me a lot, their personal style and their own decisiveness. I am aware of what is going on within the industry but that is not how I am inspired, I am inspired purely by the day to day and what is around me.
To quote from directly from your brand ‘PD PAOLA is about, designing pieces that are part of a well explained story in a setting of elegance and modernity’. Why do you think stories are so important when it comes to design?
I think when someone is wearing something within fashion design or jewellery design it’s not only because of the design but it’s what does it means to wear it. For instance the items have a relation back to something such as a tribe or a way of seeing life so stories are important not in the sense of telling a story for instance like ‘a girl is going to work’ but more in a sense but more of what’s behind the jewellery and how its created. On the other side it’s about what they represent, it super important and I think it’s mainly I would say the reason we have the customers we have is for the design but also for everything around it.
Tell us a little about the process of making your jewellery pieces?
So I mainly work by hand I don’t draw well, that’s a fact. The designs are simple but sometimes the simple things are the most difficult to reach like the balance and so on. I keep my sketches simple with a strong linear quality about them. Once we have the sketches we bring them to the factory where the designs come to life in 3D. Once the sample is created we analyse it and then the changes come. We always sample our products so then we can see if we need to change anything for instance the proportions or the detailing. I consider my style of design as a form of cooking. I take things, I put them together, a texture from here and there or a design we already have I take as a reference but then I could break it or cut it down the middle to create a brand new juxtaposed idea.
Tell me about the importance of material and how does that have an impact on the brand?
So in the beginning P D PAOLA started just making silver jewellery with no stones and we quickly realised that if I wanted to be an impactful brand within the fashion jewellery industry I needed to work with more elements. It was important for me to look for not the typical materials because it is about finding the materials that for me can be related to other fields that are not related to jewellery. In regards to branding we keep it very calm with a lot of grey and beige and white but at the same time we don’t want to create a romantic look. We think it’s important that the message is clear for our customers.
How do you feel that your surroundings (Barcelona) inspired your work/brand ethos?
Yeah definitely, in Barcelona people are very free minded. It is super cool you have many areas and every time you are in one of them it looks and feels like you are in a different country and in a totally different place. It is amazing and I think this has a great effect on me. I think because Barcelona is constantly moving and something is happening always it provides the perfect pool of inspiration. Meeting new people from abroad and hearing different languages being spoken is a constant source of inspiration, just having a casual conversation with not only my friends but a stranger and they tell me about their life and their travels. In Barcelona this happens a lot and I think it’s a key reason to why it is such an inspirational place to live.
What are your future aspirations for P D PAOLA?
Regarding the product I think we will stick with jewellery at least for the moment, but we have made tests within the watch field. So far we have only created the watches as gifts and I enjoyed that but I don’t want to highlight this as I think following the idea of the clear idea, clear mind and clear message means that we focus on our main priority which is the jewellery. Company wise we are selling online to not only Spain but now the rest of Europe. We have opened up a new opportunity to ourselves by expanding into Asia, working within B2B wholesale and we are very happy about this as this is a big step for us and we feel the idea of our brand and the aspiration is well understood by the Asian market. I think there’s a lot of exciting things happening in Asia and we love it there!.
To discover more about P D PAOLA visit them on their website here.