words by MARIA MOTA

Founded in 2022, Lucila Safdie embodies the female gaze, blending playful elements with seductive touches. From polka dots to ruffles, and nostalgic shapes infused with modern twists, Lucila crafts collections that evoke a sense of whimsy and allure. Not bound to a singular style, her approach embraces the complexity of individuality, reflecting a deep appreciation for personal style and expression in her designs. Here we dive into Lucila’s journey—from post-university uncertainty to creating a universe all her own.

What motivated you to start Lucila Safdie?

From the beginning, my idea wasn’t to create a brand. After finishing university, I jumped into a job that I really didn’t enjoy, so I quit, and was a bit lost. During university, I feel like you always have to work within certain parameters, please tutors or meet expectations. So I wanted to do something that felt personal and truly connected with my interests.

I wanted to create something well put together—a universe, a feeling—rather than just making individual pieces and posting them on Instagram. So, I started making clothes and put together a team with friends. Once I started it just kept naturally growing which is really fun for me, because it was never about launching a brand, it was more about pursuing my vision.

You just started, it all felt right, and now here you are!

Exactly!

So you are Argentinian?

Yes! And live in London now.

How was that transition?

At first, it was a bit hard because everything was super different. Now, it’s been around 7 or 8 years, which is just crazy to think about. But yeah, the beginning was definitely strange, my English wasn’t that great haha. I love London, but at first I was like, “Whoa, this is really big here” everyone has such strong personalities, and I didn’t know how to take the underground!

Especially at Central Saint Martins, known for nurturing strong creatives and personalities. How did your education there shape who you are today as a designer?

The whole time you are there is a journey of exploration of who you are. Being surrounded by amazing people, understanding their perspectives, having access to the biggest library ever, and being lucky to have tutors with industry experience was incredible. You also become quite independent because you have to manage a lot on your own, so it truly is an environment that encourages personal exploration.

When designing, what is your starting point?

Just stuff that I’m interested in at the moment. Mainly movies and books, or clothes I bought on eBay.

What do you find yourself navigate towards to when getting inspiration. When thinking of designs, materials, campaigns, etc? Is it still movies and books?

Yeah! And maybe also photographers, photo books, literature, movies… I think those are the pillars of what I’m interested in. 

“I’ve always been on Tumblr; I love how free it is and how you can post so much and it doesn’t even matter.”

There are a lot of mismatched elements in your collections and styling. Do you aim for every collection to be very unique and that it mismatches in such a way that it makes sense? 

I’m influenced a lot by the stylist I work with, who is a friend of mine, Jagi (@jaginelson). She is into that mismatched style that works really well. I also really like prints and mixing them together—seems a bit more fun. I love working with her and having her vision being brought to life as well. 

There is complexity and simplicity at the same time. 

Yes! Personally, when I dress myself, I want to have some statement or complex pieces, and then you need layering; at least that’s how I like dressing. So, when I design, I aim to create some pieces that are simple and can be worn everyday, alongside others that have more interesting patterns, cuts, or design details.

She is Barbie and she is poetry.

How would you describe your personal style?

It’s a good question because I’m not sure. I don’t think I have an aesthetic.

Tell me about your collection titles. How do you come about to pick them?

A lot of times, it’s again inspired by books, movies, songs—something I might come across that resonates with me. It’s more like they come to me, and when it feels right, I build from there. The titles play an essential role in defining the concept of the collection itself.

Your first collection Lick the Star, is named after Sofia Coppola’s first short film – did you wanted to position yourself in the industry as Sofia positioned herself with the same title? Like a lucky charm?

I grew up watching Sofia Coppola movies, and I’m completely obsessed with them. So, her work has been a significant influence and inspiration for me. When I started, I was drawn to this particular short film because it represents a raw version of Sofia’s filmmaking style and her portrayal of girlhood. I loved seeing elements, shots, and ideas in this early work that she later refined and developed in her more mature films with bigger budgets. So yes, the inspiration did come from that connection. I found it so cool to see the conceptual similarities between Sofia Coppola’s “Lick the Star” film and my “Lick the Star” collection—both marking her first short film and my first collection.

How would you describe the Lucila Safdie girl? 

I don’t think there’s just one Lucila Safdie girl. I like the idea that girls see the clothes, have their own interpretation and style them differently. When I design for myself, my friends, and people close to me, it reflects my personal style and who I am. Once it’s out in the world, everyone is free to interpret it as they please.

Do you have a specific muse?

I would say my friends are my muse. I spend a lot of time with my girlfriends—actually, I live with them—and they are very important in my life. But if I had to choose someone famous or a character, I would say maybe Anne Hathaway in “The Devil Wears Prada.” I think the style is so so good, so maybe her!

Where would you like to take Lucila Safdie next? Anything exciting coming up in the near future?

I’m focused on growing the brand slowly. I want to avoid rushing into things like doing a show while the brand is still developing and my budget isn’t that large, and then it ends up being something mid. So I’m taking it slow, improving how I release campaigns and do the photoshoots, aiming to make each step better than before. Next maybe a showroom or pop-up. I’m actually planning a pop-up in NY! After that, I’d love to expand to Japan or Korea and do pop-ups there too.

@lucilasafdie