In a world where social media closes trend seasons just as quickly as it ushers them in– in a world where meretricious piles of polyester fabric pile up in deserts and clot in oceans–Paloma Martinez wants women to appreciate lasting luxury. The native Angelino and Christian Louboutin alum has launched a slow, seductive fashion brand: PALOMA MARIA. Aimed to introduce enduring, fashionable staples to the closets of luxury seekers everywhere, PALOMA MARIA is dedicated to garment quality and longevity.
PALOMA MARIA clothes, though they serve as wardrobe staples, aren’t basics. The debut capsule collection by the designer, which launched on August 14th, boasts under-and-outerwear featuring tantalizing leather detailing, as well as wool coats and shorts to accentuate a look through any season. Available in sizes 0-12, the collection articulates a flirtatious brand of femininity through bold silhouettes and classic shapes.
“The PALOMA MARIA woman never fears an entrance," Martinez has often stated. It’s true– when clothed in fine leather and wool garments designed in Los Angeles and produced in Italy, it’s difficult to shy away from a good entrance. Martinez, who drew upon elements from her Mexican and Croatian heritage to imbue the collection with a sense of dauntlessness, sat down with FLAUNT to talk about the brand’s inception, present, and future.
What was on your mind in the days leading up to the launch? How do you feel now that PALOMA MARIA has met the world?
More than anything, I feel grateful for the opportunity to share my work with the world. The days leading up to the launch were surprisingly relaxed - I threw everything into this collection and obsessed over every detail from the start. A calm confidence comes with knowing you've done all you can. I felt ready. It's an honor to hear and see the overwhelmingly positive reception - that's just the cherry on top.
What obstacles did you face transitioning from working for a major fashion house to creating your own business? What drove you to take that leap?
How does that phrase go - building the ship while learning how to sail it? The transition felt like that. I worked simultaneously at Christian Louboutin during the first year of starting the company, so those earlier months saw long days and sleepless nights. Initially, finding the balance between establishing the business and developing the creative was the most significant challenge. It all comes down to clarity of the vision, problem-solving, and moving forward.
Like many of us, the pandemic offered clarity as to how we spend our time and a sense of perspective, which compelled me to make the jump. Establishing my own company and becoming a fashion designer is all I've ever dreamed of; it was a matter of betting on myself and learning how to sail.
What measures do you take to promote sustainability while maintaining an inclusive range of sizes? Is your clothing produced in limited quantities?
Yes! For my Premiere collection, we produced quantities between sizes 0-12. I aim to show people the value of the slow fashion movement amidst our fast-fashion world. This movement encourages slower production, unifies sustainability with ethics, and encourages investing in well-made and lasting clothes. Quality > Quantity.
Can you elaborate on how elements of your Mexican and Croatian heritage helped to inspire your brand identity? Are there any related themes and motifs that may appear in the upcoming collection?
I have always admired the timeless elegance of European dressing and the confident sensuality of Latin dressing. The blend of both cultures creates a powerful energy that has become the brand identity. I look forward to building upon this ethos in future collections.
Your line values eliminating waste and investing in quality simplicity. Your wardrobe aside, in what other aspects of your life have you embraced minimalism?
I love to create and connect with friends worldwide, but truthfully I can easily forgo social media entirely and feel just as connected. I value quality time deeply, so I try to limit mindless scrolling. We live in a world we are rewarded for how much time we spend online, so it's a double-edged sword. Finding the fun is what keeps me active.
In opposition, what are you gluttonous about? Perhaps a feeling or commodity you can’t get enough of? Something you could overindulge in?
Beauty products - easily! As a self proclaimed glam girl, I try every potion and powder in the shop. Self-care and experimentation have always been a form of meditation for me. Over the years, I've tried to become more curated with my collection, but I always find something new to try. On nights out, my room tends to look like a makeover montage exploded, and I feel a strange sense of comfort in that.
What dreams do you have for the future of your designs? Which dreams have already come true?
Truthfully, launching this brand is nothing short of a dream come true. Manufacturing in Italy with true artisans with a classic sense of tailoring is another big dream come true. I now dream of expanding the clothing range and leaning into new genres like dresses and knitwear - always maintaining sense of structure with a relaxed feel.