I had the pleasure of talking to the fantastic Paloma Lanna and her team. Discussing the beauties and ugliness of the fashion industry, and how they would like to positively influence the fashion world. 

Paloma Lanna and her team are a group of creative entrepreneurial women who are taking the fashion world by storm. Slowly but surely, the brand is growing and maturing into not just a fashion brand but a community of inclusive women. Some innovative branding and marketing have helped Paloma Wool create a personal bond with its customers. A constant conversation of going back and forth with the people in their community has led to this fantastic project that they have embarked on. The Paloma Wool ‘WORLD TOUR.’ By talking to their audience, they choose a new city to have a pop-up shop for a couple of days. Here they set up their boutique that pops up like a Russian doll. Every piece of clothing and furniture they unpack from the truck they’re travelling with to create as little waste as possible. 

But let’s get a little bit of clarity. Paloma Wool is currently on a world tour, By not opening a fixed store or pop-up for multiple weeks or months, Paloma is breaking the fashion rules and changing the game

“Paloma Wool is always pushing the boundaries of what is considered the ‘norm.’ As you see, Paloma Wool isn’t just any other fashion brand: we are an art project. A project that is build-up of a community of women that want to create and bring more female creators together. Doing a World Tour of changing cities every few days gives us the opportunity to get closer to our female consumers and partners that share our vision across the Spanish border. Speaking with our women and customers via social media, email, phone, telegram, and in real life about the next step in our world tour. Hearing their opinions about the brand is important to us. We even go one step further by creating a local team to help us out.” 

“We just came from Paris, and talking with our online community Amsterdam won as the next location. For me, this city feels like a mix between Berlin and Copenhagen. Dutch people are very international, and the culture is very open to new ideas. It was a no-brainer that we would set up shop here in Amsterdam, the centre of the Netherlands.” 

You are the photographer, the designer, the stylist of your own business, and the fashion industry as part of your upbringing. Where did your personal creative story start? 

“My parents and grandparents were fashion business owners in Spain. You could say fashion is part of my DNA. I started out working for my mother’s brand, working together with her and with my current team from Paloma Wool. We used to help her out. Where did my personal creative story start? Probably when I noticed that I did not agree with a lot of the fashion industry norms. At my mother’s headquarters, we had a lot of freedom. We started a little art project to print my analogue picture onto sweaters. We would number the quantities by hand. Branding them as the only ones in existence, just like an actual analogue picture.

‘ONE OF A KIND.’ This helped me figure out that Paloma Wool needed to be fueled by art rather than being a sales-driven brand.” 

Being a photographer, especially one that works with film, requires a lot of patience and is probably careful of what they shoot. Do you have the same thought process while creating a picture as when you are designing a clothing piece? 

“Photography actually closes the loop for the entire art project. We started with the printed picture on the sweaters, and now while we are designing the collection, I am always thinking of how I want the pictures to look in the end. Taking risks is something I/we have always done, even shooting with film. I hope we will continue taking risks for Paloma Wool.” 

When I personally look at Paloma Wool, I see a creative, diverse brand that has its own voice entirely. Is there a particular vision you have for the project? 

“That we always stay the same.” Our values have always been and still are 1. creativity, 2. sustainability, and 3. female community. We still work by those values, and they are always our top priority while we are creating.” 

You have been breaking some major fashion rules, going against a lot of what is considered the norm. Has this had any effects on, for example, your sustainability values? 

“We pride ourselves on being as sustainable as possible. We have experienced some ups and downs. But we have noticed that going against the current has helped us out more times than not. For example, we produce locally with limited production. Paloma Wool doesn’t follow the regular seasons, which many bigger brand names do. This gives us the freedom to create and design as we want. In addition, we have the possibility to work together in harmony with our producers in Spain. Producing the smaller stock wouldn’t be possible if we would produce overseas. Working closely together with producers from Spain also gives us the ability to grow the Spanish fashion industry. One of our goals is to bring back the Spanish fashion industry to what it once was. A thriving and beautiful part of the fashion world.” 

Paloma Wool is a living and breathing project that doesn’t let itself be tamed down by the expectations of the fashion world. It grows with the beautiful women working in harmony with their passions and visions. It was truly a pleasure talking with the ladies behind all that is Paloma Wool. I could feel and enjoy their excitement about the project, the world tour, and their values. It is beautiful to see how Paloma is growing and staying true to her ideas with the help of the community she and her team has built. 

My last question was if they had some wise words for young creatives who would like to bring their art projects to the next level. 

“Don’t be afraid not to be commercial, stay true to who you are and your values, and don’t compromise your creativity for money. Trust yourself and your art.”

Words by Wies Kuijpers