The Creatives: Paloma and Ana from SUNAD
'The Creatives' is a series of interviews that aim to showcase inspiring women in the art and design scene. Together we talk not only about trends and fashion but our daily lives, motivation, challenges, and doing business.
Paloma and Ana are the founders of SUNAD - an emerging Spanish brand focusing on beautiful yet functional timeless shirts for the modern woman. We noticed their well-curated Instagram first and became fans instantly. We are impressed by their aesthetics and the overall harmony between them, so keep reading to see their point of view on the Spanish design scene, get a glimpse of they work and what inspires them.
Thank you, Ana and Paloma, for answering our questions and being part of our small community. It is a pleasure to meet you and know more about you (even when it is online).
Tell us about yourself. What was your background before starting your own brand?
We both studied Design and Management at Parsons The New School for Design, while Ana specialized in interior design, Paloma focused on concept design and trend forecasting. Once we finished our course, we moved back to Madrid and each worked in our different fields until we decided to start Sunad.
How was Sunad born and what was the inspiration behind it?
Sunad was born from a mutual love for shirts, nostalgia of the look of the 70’s and the will to bring back products that were as durable and timeless as the ones back in the day. We’ve also always been very inspired by nature, especially by the desert, which is why all our shirts are named after deserts of the world.
A quick look on Instagram reveals a boom of emerging Spanish designers. How would you describe the art and design scene in Spain at the moment and what is it like to work there as a young designer?
Due to the economic crisis that started in 2008, a lot of young creatives were left unemployed or had just graduated and had no possible jobs. There are super talented people in Spain and even after things started to pick up, it’s still hard to get paid a decent salary or to have a fixed contract. I think those are things that have pushed young people to venture on their own. If you’re going to work around the clock, why not do it for something that you love and it benefits you? Spain has become a melting pot for creativity with a lot of people harvesting.
If we are about to visit Madrid, where would you take us? Share some of your favourite spots in the city.
We love Madrid, it’s such a fun and lively city and it’s filled with amazing food, great music and inspiring art and people. Some of our favourite spots for food are Fismuler, Vega, Celso & Manolo or Olivia Te Cuida. For drinks it’s great to start in the closest plaza or terrace you find and ask for a Tinto De Verano, nothing cools you down like that!
What was the last design project or item that trully inspired or impressed you?
So many! We try to always be in the loop but one of our favourites is always furniture designers Muller Van Severen. Every new item they create is amazing! Love how multipurpose and artistic they are.
What does the perfect shirt look like?
It has to be comfortable yet stylish. You should be able to wear it for different occassions and times of the day. It needs to make you feel good.
What are the best and worst things about working with someone in a team?
It’s great to work with a friend! We know we can always count on each other and that we will be completely honest and trustworthy. Working at Sunad is like being in a family. The worst, sometimes it’s hard to make decisions if you don’t agree right away, but luckily we’ve not had many of those!
How does the collaboration process work for you?
We’re both very involved in everything in the brand and that works for us. We’re lucky that since we both studied at the same school we have a similar way of approaching design. We both value the inspiration and the journey almost as much as the final piece.
What is the most exciting part of your creative process?
When we see the finished samples for the first time. After working on them for a couple of months, finding the right fabrics, buttons, etc to see the final product, and to love it, is the best! You’re already thinking of how you’re going to shoot it and style it.
How important is social media for selling a product?
We mainly use Instagram and Pinterest as our social media channels and it’s a key to be able to show your product. But not only that, we love how visual both platforms are, they offer endless possibilities to tell a story, meet future collaborators and many other things, it’s not only about selling.
How does the woman wearing Sunad look like?
She’s someone that is comfortable in her own skin, curious about the world and its cultures. Someone who values quality over quantity and is willing to bet on slow fashion as a way of life.