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Friday, December 2nd 2011

Introducing Piamita: The Picture of Refined Loungewear

Piamita designers Karla Martinez and Cecilia de Sola wearing pieces from their collection.

Launched by Cecilia de Sola and W Magazine Editor Karla Martinez, Piamita is single-handedly redefining luxury sportswear. The duo conceived the brand out of need: they wanted loungewear that was as flattering as it was comfortable, but there wasn’t a stitch to be found on the market. We talked with Martinez and De Sola about Piamita loungewear—its origins and its inspirations.

Shopbop: Piamita spotlights loungewear. What made you decide to focus on this category?
Karla Martinez & Cecilia de Sola: We felt there was a niche out there for clothes that were in essence comfortable, but simultaneously sophisticated and polished. The term “loungewear” makes most people think of sweatpants and spandex; we wanted to change that preconception and create pieces that have elegance, thus expanding the possibilities in this category.

SB: The pieces in your collection have a laid-back refinement. What is the inspiration?
KM & CS: They are inspired by a lifestyle similar to something you’d find portrayed in a Slim Aarons photograph: old-world elegance, leisurely vacations in beautiful locales, luxurious fabrics, and an unabated sense of refined ease secured by the blissful feeling of comfort and happiness.

SB: How has your personal background influenced the line?
KM & CS: Both our backgrounds and everyday lives influence the line. Whether it’s something from the past that conjures up an image that will end up as a print, or something we saw in a movie. Something spotted on a friend or stranger that inspired a shape, or a place we have visited that inspired a color. We are also constantly inspired by fashion icons such as Lee Radziwill, Talitha Getty, Brigitte Bardot, Katharine Hepburn, and Sofia Coppola, to name a few.

SB: Your prints are stunning. What is the process behind creating them?
KM & CS: First, we come up with a concept, and from there, we develop an image and various colorways. For resort, we drew inspiration from both our past and present. The Tangato and Tangatito prints, for example, were inspired by my much-adored cat—an accomplished “lounger” who lives a perpetual life of leisure. The Abanico print was inspired by our immaculately dressed grandmothers, who always carried fans in their purses.

SB: What’s next for Piamita?
KM & CS: We’ve continued to focus on stylish loungewear, introducing new fabrics for the fall season and prints influenced by Andean traditions and South America. In the future, we hope to expand more into lifestyle—perhaps beachwear or home. We’d also love to do a special Piamita set for an airline’s first class cabin—like the ones they give away on long-haul flights. That would be such fun.

SB: The holiday season is upon us. What’s on your agenda?
CS: I’ll be spending Christmas and New Year’s with family and friends in El Salvador.
KM: For Christmas I will be in Texas at my house celebrating my brother-in-law’s 40th birthday and my niece’s 7th birthday. It will be my last Christmas and New Year as Miss Karla Martinez!

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