Interview

Cecilia de Sola & Karla Martinez

08.26.13

Luxury loungewear line Piamita is the brainchild of jewelry designer Cecilia De Sola and W Magazine’s Market & Accessories Director, Karla Martinez. Born out of the duo’s desire to fill the gap in the marketplace for refined loungewear, Piamita officially launched in 2011. While still holding down their respective day jobs, De Sola and Martinez have charmed the past few seasons with their polished pajama shirts, versatile satin tees, luxurious silks and silhouettes that are as flattering as they are comfortable.

Interview

How did the two of you meet?

We met through a mutual friend almost 12 years ago.

Were you instantly friends? Did you always want to design a line together?

We became friends instantly and then became closer one summer on a trip to the Aeolian Islands in Italy where the idea for Piamita was born.

How do you divide the work?

We collaborate on the creative direction of the brand, design the shapes and color palette for the season, and develop our prints. Karla works on the social media, press and marketing and Ceci serves as the CEO of Piamita overseeing everything: our sales, production, operations, and financials.

Do you develop all your own prints?

Yes!

Is the design process focused on what customers would want to lounge in at home or when they are out and about?

It’s a little bit of both. We think of our customer as someone who has an active lifestyle, but who also enjoys her downtime—the Piamita woman travels, works and entertains, and she really appreciates luxury. We take all of this into consideration.

Did you always intend for the line to have a dual function?

We always intended our pieces to have a dual function—it’s the foundation on which our brand was built.  For some women, it might literally mean wearing Piamita to sleep or relax in, and for others (ourselves included), Piamita can be worn for day or night.

The lookbook features women in silk pajamas with heels—is there a woman that curls up on the couch with stilettos? Would you say women feel sexier in silk?

We think we give women the freedom to curl up on their couch wearing heels if they wish. Piamita transcends the conventional idea of pajamas.  We think women have a tendency to feel more dressed up in silk—there is a soft delicacy to it, and there is certainly more of a sensual feeling when you put it on.

How do you balance the work with your day jobs?

Having your own business is a 24/7 job: weekends, holidays…its non-stop and demands a lot of dedication.  Balance isn’t always easy to come by, but by a small miracle or a stroke of good luck we do happen upon it!

Do you have a lot of late nights designing?

Yes, design is a labor-intensive process and there are a lot of nights spent discussing those minute details that aren’t always as obvious, but make such a difference.  It’s the fun part though, so it’s always an inspiration and a pleasure.

What do you attribute the success of the collection to?

It’s a combination of staying true to the foundation of the brand—a finely edited, consistent collection of flattering shapes that are simultaneously comfortable and chic—and having introduced the idea of luxe loungewear at the right time in the market place.

Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming collection?

For Spring 2014, we are working with some new fabrics, which we are very excited about.  We have a beautiful silk linen that will live in the whole season and a new silk twill with a hint of stretch for our trousers that is super flattering. We have, of course, new prints in the most gorgeous color palate; it makes us excited to wear it all in 2014!

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