Adriana Esperalba is the founder of the cult favorite children’s collection, Bobo Choses. Each season the collection is inspired by a story combined with memories from the designer’s own childhood. Adriana went to graphic design school in Barcelona before beginning her design career. And like many successful businesses, the idea for Bobo Choses came when Adriana had her first child and was not enthusiastic about the children’s clothing available. The Spain-based and produced Bobo Choses has become so popular among children, Adriana had enough interest to launch a Woman’s collection with many of the same pieces designed for women’s bodies. Each collection has nearly 200 references that emphasize the chosen theme and Adriana’s artistry, love of culture, and respect for the environment.
How did growing up in Spain influence your interest in various forms of art and design?
I studied graphic design in Barcelona, and there I began to discover the history of art and design. I have always been fascinated by rationalist aesthetics, geometric designs and the Bauhaus era. Although Barcelona had its golden age with Modernism, I prefer a later period in which functionality, carefully chosen colors and straight lines came first.
Which creative medium do you find most gratifying?
I like to make shapes with rubber stamps and then play with the prints. Also I like to draw with a simple marker pen or colored pencils.
What about having your children inspired the initial eco-friendly t-shirt line?
I guess unconsciously yes. Two things happened that made me think about launching a collection in which children were the protagonists: one day I went with my little daughter to help to clean a stream that goes straight to the sea, and I was horrified by the amount of garbage that we found, I thought that the people who in daily life threw that rubbish of small nobody taught him that to respect nature is to respect all the beings that inhabit the planet earth. After a short time I discovered a book from the 70s that was a compilation of drawings of children from around the world that illustrated ideas of how they would improve the problems of our society (wars, poverty, ecology, inequality …). Children have fantastic ideas because they have less prejudice than adults, so their proposals are more creative. This is how W.I.M.A.M.P. (Worldwide Inventive Minds against Monsters of Pollution).
How has becoming a mother affected your design aesthetic, if at all?
I do not think that being a mother changed my way of designing, but my way of looking at things, life, what matters or what does not.
What are some of the differences in designing prints and shapes for children as opposed to adults?
This is something we have learned not so long time ago, when we created Woman’s collection, we thought that choosing those clothes that we liked the most and adapting them to a woman’s body would be relatively easy, but it wasn’t. The bodies of children have less shape and in general everything fits better. The woman has more shapes and not all fabrics or colors adapt really well.
Is it hard to strike a balance between creating practical yet fashionable children’s clothing?
The truth is that most of our garments are designed for everyday life, so comfort is very important, but in all collections we allow ourselves to have 4 or 5 more garments of image, which help us to complete the history of the collection.
How do you think the childrenswear market has changed since launching Bobo Choses in 2008?
There are many more brands than when we started. There is also more awareness on the part of parents when it comes to buying, now it is valued where you produce and if you are respectful with the environment, which I think is great because in this way they also push big brands to make more thoughtful decisions in a organic growth and not so much in the economic one.
How much of your collections are influenced by your own family and daily life with kids?
Everything influences me, my family, the future, a film … in our collections there is a mix of the past and present. It is like reliving the memories of our childhood mixed with current moments
What has your experience been like producing locally in Spain – do you work with a large team of artisans?
When we started this project the kids were very small and it was not possible for us to travel a lot to Portugal to control the production, so we decided to bring the production closer. I think it has been one of the best decisions we have ever made, now we have a network of providers less than 40 kilometers away, some less than 10 minutes from our headquarters. We have created a small community of collaborators who have understood our project and are now a very important part of Bobo.
How are you planning to commemorate the ten year anniversary of Bobo Choses next year?
I do not usually celebrate my birthday because it’s in the middle of the Christmas holidays and I have never liked being the center of attention. But the ten years of Bobo have to be celebrated! We will have a great party !!! I would like many people to come, in order t to be able to thank all that we have lived together during these years, there are so many people who have made it possible for Bobo to move forward that it would not be fair to do nothing.