Meet fashion’s latest print maven, Juanita Cárdenas. Born in Colombia, raised in Miami and now a resident of Buenos Aires, Cárdenas is making a name for herself with her graphic ensembles. Her eclectic background has served as the inspiration for Polychromatico!, her new fashion label. Growing up in Miami “filled my imagination with colors,”says Cárdenas, a given after browsing through her electric collection. Check out our Q&A for a glimpse into the world of this cultural hybrid and get inspired by Cárdenas’ can-do attitude.
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PP: How did you start your own line?
JC: I had wanted to start a line or to embark on a project for some time, but I always thought that I had to have more experience, money, etc. I realized one day that the perfect conditions would never exist. The ability to map everything out clearly was further away than I was willing to wait. I decided that rather than planning how to face imaginary obstacles I would tackle the real ones as they came. After this realization I started thinking about the line, drew a series of sketches, produced some samples, designed a website and a little baby Polychromatico! was born.
PP: What inspires your collection?
JC: My inspiration varies from collection to collection. A common thread throughout is an interest in developing characters. My first collection was inspired by circus characters. The second line is based on intergalactic heroines. The line I am currently working on is inspired by Alice in Wonderland.
PP: Who is your ideal consumer?
JC: Someone who enjoys getting dressed and is willing to experiment with her image. I greatly appreciate people who wear something and own it; people who choose to express their unique being rather than blend in with the crowd.
PP: How has your unique cultural background influenced your aesthetic?
JC: My cultural background serves as a database of images that inform my aesthetic. Having lived in NY informs my certainty that beauty is often achieved through taking risks. Having been born in Colombia and having spent so many years in Miami fills my imagination with colors.
PP: What is your design and style philosophy?
JC: My style philosophy resides on wearing what brings your heart satisfaction. I try to resist the temptation of altering my designs based on mass-market appeal and try to produce accessible clothing (as far as price is concerned). I am not at all interested in having my line become exclusive through pricing, as it’s more rewarding to have people wear your clothing because it helps them express their personality.
Coverage by: Rebecca Silver