Paolo is Italian, Carla is Mexican. Together they created Maravilla, a responsible and conscious children’s brand based on Mexican ancestral know-how. Made out of organic cotton and natural wool, all clothes are handmade by female artisans in Mexico.
The couple met ten years ago, while they were both living in Italy. An economist, Paolo lived in Brazil and in Argentina, while Carla, a designer, spent much time in Germany. Both worked several years in Paris : him in finance, helping large companies with their buying strategy, her in cosmetics for the luxury industry.
Two years ago, while expecting their son Santiago, they decided to join forces. Paolo was determined to work in social entrepreneurship, Carla had always been attracted by the idea of re-inventing products inspired by Mexican traditions and so the beautiful concept of Maravilla came quite naturally to this talented and multi-cultural duo.
During their frequent trips to Latin America, Paolo and Carla confess they were always very attracted by the vibrant colours, by the graphics and textures of the fabrics, and by the know-how of the artisans. But they were also disturbed by the fact that it seemed quite impossible for locals to keep that know-how alive, or to make it sustainable.
“We thought it was a real pity to see that ancient traditions were slowly disappearing, like hand wool knitting, cotton embroidery, or waving. We started to visit artisanal co-operatives that were very specialised, with great potential but that were not going to make it financially. Social vocation has been a great motivation for us. We decided to help these Mexican women to find a form of social and economical self-sufficiency while creating our own brand. So Maravilla is a mix of our own work experience, artisanal Mexican know-how and a Latin American influence/style”, explains Paolo.
Woven Ikat represents an important part of the Maravilla collection : 100% cotton, produced on mechanically operated looms, without using any electrical energy. In the same way, knits an embroideries are made out of natural yarns. Each collection introduces new products based on different techniques that are based on ecological and natural materials, and that respect the life rhythm of people who produce them.
Today Maravilla is mainly present in Europe as the brand is based in Paris, but the collection is also available in New York, Canada and Kuwait. Here’s a selection of stores that carry the brand : Abacus UK, Tiny Store Berlin, Making Things Zurich, Mercredi Bruxelles, Minimal à Vien.
This winter, Maravilla is introducing home decor products as well as women’s knits, exclusively available in Le Marais, Paris in a cool store not to miss, called Gachon Pothier.
Maravilla will attend the following professional trade shows with its F/W 2015-2016 collection:
– Playtime Paris – January 31 till February 2nd of 2015
– Little Fashion Week Brussels – February 14-16 of 2015 (open to the public on Sunday Feb 16th)