Marçal Taberner at Uno models featured in this feature editorial featuring Spanish designers Carlotoams, two-time winners of the National Award to Emerging Talent at 080 Barcelona Fashion Week, photographed by Adrián Catalán for Carbon Copy #23. The feature was styled by Cristina Planelles, who also interviewed the duo for the issue, which you can read in full below.
Photography Adrián Catalán
Fashion Editor Cristina Planelles
Grooming Egon Crivillers at Kasteel Agent using Moroccanoil
Styling Assistants Borja Gomila & Alejandro Acosta
Model Marçal Taberner at Uno models
All fashion Carlotaoms AW/16
The concept of “Agender fashion” has recently gotten a lot of attention. Does it mean that the Fashion world is changing and becoming genderless? Well, if we define fashion as a way to express ourselves and our identity, it should be. Society is changing, being more open and democratic, so shouldn’t fashion go with the flow in letting individuals be themselves? There are a lot of emerging designers out there who are breaking boundaries and pushing for a new revolution in genderless design.
We first met duo Elisabet Carlota and Elisenda Oms, the creative founders of CARLOTAOMS, right after they had been awarded for the second time in a row, with the National Award to Emerging Talent at 080 Barcelona Fashion Week with their Autumn Winter 2016/17 collection named “Itinerant”. The emerging Catalonian based label is defined not only by being urban and utilitarian but for also making high-end tailoring patterns adaptable to all shapes and using pure materials to ensure maximum comfort. I must say that we saw more that just two young women. We saw two talented visionaries who know what they were doing and their special perception of the industry allows them to anticipate what is gonna happen in fashion. Our Fashion Editor spoke to the duo in an exclusive interview during #080BCN Fashion Week earlier this year.
The Editor would like to extend a special thanks to:
Elisabet Carlota and Elisenda Om, #080BCN Fashion Week, XXL Comunicación & Fabric PR
CARLOTAOMS Interview with Cristina Planelles, Fashion Editor
1. Tell us how CARLOTAOMS started?
It was at Felicidad Duce Fashion School in Barcelona where Elisabet Carlota and Elisenda Oms studied together and joined forces in their final year project to eventually obtain national and international recognition. At the beginning, we showed our own separate collections. Elisenda Oms presented her collection at Vancouver and Elisabet Carlota won best Emerging designer Award at Valencia Fashion Week and also she was the second best designer at ANDE (Spanish Emerging Designer Awards). After being acclaimed by the media and the most relevant experts in the fashion industry, we started our own brand CARLOTAOMS and showed our collections in the FashionClash Festival (Maastrich, Holland), Lisbon, Brighton and 080 Barcelona Fashion Week. We have both an entrepreneurial nature, fresh ideas and a need to explore our creativity.
2. What defines CARLOTAOMS?
CARLOTAOMS believes in an innovative type of design called “Agender” and “Km 0” (Kilometre zero) for people who live, work and enjoy the city. Functionality is the main key, so we design comfortable garments easy to adapt to the client’s lifestyle, helping them to develop their own identity. Therefore, our priority is the tailoring cut and a perfect selection of materials using high-tech and thermoregulating fabrics. Our product offer solutions to the daily urban needs. It all starts from the premise that what we wear, defines our identity. The garments aim to reinforce our client’s personality and they are designed with lines and textiles that allow comfort and movement.
3. You define your brand as “Agender” and “Km 0”.
Tell us more about it. CARLOTAOMS has a particular way to understand Urban fashion where there’s no gender differences. We break down the stereotypes and develop a design without gender. Our clients are seeking comfort, feeling happy and being free to move anywhere. The brand offers attire in which pure lines and urban style interact with the person wearing it.
4. Tell us your day by day routine.
The day by day of CARLOTAOMS starts at 9 am having a double cup of coffee at the studio. Both of us have more developed the creative side rather than the business one, but we are on it because of the brand development needs. We are very creative and concept orientated, always bringing new ideas to the table and aiming to be different from the others. The creative process is as usual: creating the concept and ideas, design, cutting, fitting, catwalk and production. We work many hours in order to make the project happen and be successful. We also work side to side with professionals from all different industries.
5. You have won 080 Barcelona Fashion Week twice in a row for the National Award to Emerging Talent 080 Barcelona Fashion. What does your Collection “Itinerant” have that made it stand out from the other’s?
CARLOTAOMS elaborates a unique and exclusive high-end product embracing different aspects from the fabrics to the tailoring cut. Our cutting edge design is timeless and wearable. Being a sustainable brand, we avoid the concept of “fast fashion”. Our Autumn Winter 2016 collection “Itinerant” gets inspired by the climbing world, bringing the sense of freedom into our chaotic society of commuters. The prints are key in each collection as well. We collaborate with graphic designers and illustrators creating our own exclusive prints easy to relate to the brand. All our garments are locally designed and produced. The creation and production are carried out by companies in and around the Barcelona area. This business statement pushes the strength of Barcelona as a city. Barcelona sells well by itself. Our product is unique because of the introduction of “Agender” concept into fashion world and pushing it beyond the limits and generating an identity through it.
6. Where is the inspiration of “Itinerant” coming from?
We live in a society where moving has become a necessity. We move, intersecting momentarily with introspective strangers with whom we interact anonymously. We are abstract and voyeuristic beings, connected and isolated, who look for identity and comfort on our life’s journey. The barrage of daily stimuli makes us tense and creates the need for us to find ourselves again. When we can, we get away from the city looking for the sense of freedom we are offered by the mountains. CARLOTAOMS, with the “Itinerant” collection, aim to capture the comfort of outdoor clothing, extrapolating it from its original context and bringing it into the urban world. The lines and textiles favour a wellbeing necessary for this society of commuters.
7. Talking about professional ethics as a brand,what are your main principles?
The brand concept has developed and applied 6 principles based on identity and ethos, which can be incorporated in the daily lifestyle of anyone.
a) Don’t run away: Meaning to believe and push the concept of “Km.0 product” whilst helping the local economy. Nearby it is full of people who help grow the project.
b) Breaking away from stereotypes: By detaching the design made for genders through adapting the “Agender” concept. Our patterns with shapes that fit and adapt to the bodies aiming to create a personal identity through clothing.
c) Explore: Going beyond the initial ideas. Creativity is essential to enhance the concepts and realise them.
d) Enjoying: Taking the project as an opportunity to learn and discover. Having fun with the creative process and development because that is as important as the result.
e) Enhancing: Being conscious of the weaknesses by creating synergies with the professionals in order to understand how to improve and work better. Joining forces with other people helps to develop ideas in a more fluent, precise and delicate way.
f) Observing: Open your eyes to the world. Not being away from the reality and living day by day, being aware of what’s going on. You can find ideas in every message, image or corner that can help your project move forward. Nothing makes you feel indifferent.
8. Many young designers and creatives felt obligated to move abroad to find more opportunities and develop their professions. What do you think about it? Have you ever thought of doing the same?
Accepting emergent fashion in Spain is an endless battle. Making people understand how it works and what’s happening in fashion industry is something that moves very slow. That’s why many designers are looking for other ways to commercialise and distribute their products in order to make it worth it. For this reason, even though
CARLOTAOMS is promoting and pushing local markets, is also looking for international growth, getting into markets where there are more people interested in emerging design and quality.
9. What is CARLOTAOMS’s future?
Keep working and growing internationally, being able to create a team that embraces all kinds of different disciplines needed to improve our project. And to keep creating networks with companies in Barcelona.