1. As our neighbours here in Notting Hill, what are your favourite places to grab a coffee, go for post-work drinks, or simply go for a walk?
Ottolenghi which is opposite to our Ledbury Road store for coffee/breakfast and lunch, The Gold for drinks & Dinner and a walk down Portobello Market on a Friday in search of inspiration!
2. Much like us here at PAOLITA, you place real importance on quality artesian craft. Tell us about your passion for preserving these rare techniques and why this is such an integral aspect of your brand?
Our whole brand was inspired by the noble leathers of Spain, and the master craftsmen and women who’ve worked with them for generations. It’s an incredible skill and a partnership we’ve built on over 20 years now, and definitely one that’s integral, as without our Spanish artisans there would be no PC!
3. In a world where brands often aim for speed, what are the key benefits you find in partnering with these small family-run factories and workshops?
Skills! We simply wouldn’t be able to create the designs we do without the skills of the studios and factories we work with. PC has never been about speed, it’s about carefully crafted slow fashion and that will never change. Our Long Tassel Boot takes two days to make with 70 touchpoints.
4. At PAOLITA, we are incredibly passionate about environmental progress within the fashion industry, tell us about your sustainability development as a brand?
Well, we’ve always believed that for something to be well made, it needs to be made well; this means using skilled artisans, working in ethical conditions, with the best possible materials. That has always been our mantra.
We’ve never used any plastic packaging and continue to develop more sustainable initiatives alongside our factories & tanneries – looking at the latest innovations in vegetable dyes and transport etc. For us it was always a cornerstone of the businesses and it will always be a point of growth too!
5. Where do you gain your inspiration from?
Travel is a huge source of inspiration for me. I love learning about different and local artisan techniques.
6. What makes a great British heritage brand?
I think a classic, timeless aesthetic is key. We feel great pride when customers, like the Duchess of Cambridge, return to our boots time and time again over so many years. A classic style that really lasts.
7. How do you ensure that your collections retain both utility and style?
This is where production is so important to us. We work with the best materials and the best artisans who understand how to balance strong leathers, with utilitarian designs and signature features, like our Goodyear welt soles – which are long-lasting, replaceable, ensuring comfort as well as style!
8. Throughout the pandemic, people really took to the outdoors as a way of escaping the monotony of various lockdowns. Did this reflect itself in a demand for any particular styles of yours?
Our boots are super versatile and so lots of our customers style them in the city and the countryside – but we definitely saw an uplift in our slippers during lockdown!