You both seem to have given a lot of thought to the character of the New York woman; who is she?
We envision a woman who is edgy and different, almost like a kaleidoscope. She can dress up or down but always maintains that “cool” factor. She has a natural beauty reinforced with confidence and sophistication. In New York, you are given unprecedented freedom of dress; you can express yourself any way that you like.
What did you think of the collections showcased during fashion week? What is Candela doing differently than everyone else?
I think that we are on trend, but we have been true to our own taste throughout. We design clothes that we want to wear, and that will stand the test of time. We noticed that there were a lot of collections catering to high or low price points, but nothing in the middle. We also are looking to create a distinctive look, fashion forward but affordable.
As an emerging brand, what have you learned from the mistakes of more established labels, as evidenced by the current state of the industry? How are you going to maintain growth in a struggling economy?
You know, this was the best year for us so far. It is difficult to see other designers struggling. Natalia and I knew that it was going to be tough. We both design with our intuition, and we have given 100% of our focus to the improvement of the collection. We understood the importance of beginning with the correct base—a great collection. Now, 5 years later, we are finally happy with the product. Women these days don’t buy as easily; they really think about what they want. I want each piece to be special, to stand the test of time and to be timeless.
What is next for Candela?
The sky’s the limit, really. Our type of aesthetic can also be translated to a number of different things; Candela will soon be a comprehensive lifestyle brand. We want to open a retail store in New York City and begin to show our collections; we have just hired a great PR company to help us. The Asian and European markets will follow, but there is so much to do here! We’ll get to the rest of the world eventually.