Her passion for photography runs in the family. Her father, a shutterbug, used to take her photo often, which is why, when young Estela started shooting photos with her own camera, she featured the people who were part of her life.
A fashion brand that creates characters inspired by moments or circumstances that its audience can empathise with. This is how Reparto Studio’ founders, Ana Viglione and Margil Peña, define their brand. Their designs, which campaign for and raise awareness about forgotten concepts within the fashion world, were recognised at the latest Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid (MBFWM).
In 2018, after graduating from IED Madrid, Ana Viglione and Margil Peña founded their own brand (Reparto Studio) with a single premise: “Going against unjustified mass production,” which they captured in their manifesto. So, terms like reuse, customisation, or recycling are the foundations for their collections, allowing them to also adjust their prices. For both of them, each textile product must have —and convey— a concept, because otherwise their garments aren’t fashion, just clothing. This way, they avoid empty collections and justify each and every look they create, inspired by everyday life, with a touch of humour. At the latest edition of MBFWM, their talent was recognised by the Allianz Ego Confidence in Fashion Award.
Reparto Studio was founded in 2018. How have you evolved since then?
Sometimes it seems incredible to us how quickly everything has happened, but when we look back, we realise that we have tried to surpass ourselves every year, and that has led us to where we are today. What started out as a dream has slowly become our reality.
When creating the brand, how did you decide which role each of you would play?
Splitting tasks was one of the things we struggled with the most at the beginning. We both work in a remarkably similar way, and we learnt how to divide each department. Even though we are both involved in each process, Margil oversees communication, social media, and admin, while Ana focuses more on developing the collections.
“It’s important to be aware that devoting yourself completely to your passion will mean you sacrifice other things in your life”
You define your brand as “character-creating fashion”. Where do these characters come from?
Reparto Studio, by definition, is a fashion brand that creates characters inspired by moments or circumstances that its audience can empathise with. Some characters emerge unconsciously, from anecdotes related to our environment, but we always try to cover social topics, campaigning for and raising awareness about concepts that usually go unnoticed in the world of fashion.
If you were a character, which one would you be?
Creating creative concepts has an undeniable narcissistic edge, since, in the end, you're talking about yourself or things that interest or define you, and giving them a physical form, in this case, a garment. So, when we launch a new character that talks about anxiety, prohibitive rents, or even having a couple of drinks outside the club, we’re talking about us and our environment so that people can identify with us.
Who are your designs aimed at then?
Whoever empathises with the stories we tell with each character and those who want to leave fast fashion behind. The thing that brings us most joy is seeing people walking down the street in our clothes.
What advice would you give someone who’s passion is fashion design?
Whichever your passion, if it’s sincere, you can never forget it; so, develop it as a hobby, as work, or as a future project. It’s also important to be aware that devoting yourself completely to your passion will mean you sacrifice other important things in your life, and that’s the hardest part about spending so much time on a single thing.
What talents does someone who wants to work in fashion need?
To lead an emerging fashion brand like ours, you need patience, willingness to work hard, and a bit of recklessness. At the same time, you always have to keep in mind how you started, not how you’ll end up.
“We try to cover social topics, campaigning for and raising awareness about concepts that usually go unnoticed in the world of fashion”
And on the topic of talent, who are your role models?
Brands like Rottingdean Bazaar, multidisciplinary artists James T. Buck and Luke Brooks, New York brand Vaquera, British designer Ashley Williams, the creations of Mexican designers Víctor Barragán and Bárbara Sánchez-Kane, the famous Vivienne Westwood, the nonconforming Maison Margiela and MM6, and Balenciaga, among others.
How do you understand sustainability?
For us, it has always been important, both environmentally and socially. When we started the project, we promised ourselves to justify every single look and go against empty collections. We created a manifesto of sorts against unjustified mass production. Fashion is conveying a concept through a textile product that a person wears, otherwise it’s just clothing. Not long ago, our friends at Jane Bardot spoke to us about conscious fashion and it’s a term we feel extremely comfortable with.
“Fashion is conveying a concept through a textile product that a person wears, otherwise it’s just clothing”
How do you see the present and future of fashion?
The textile industry is one of the ones that moves the most money in the world and, at the same time, one of the most contaminating and exploitative of its workers. In the near future, we hope the waste generated by fast fashion is reduced and for noncompliance of labour rights to be severely punished.
If you had the superpower to change something in the fashion world, what would you do?
The problem isn't the fashion world, it’s us. Overconsumption pushes us to buy more and more, a cycle that is hard to stop. So, if we could change something, we’d make society more aware and empathetic.
Which are your upcoming projects?
Right now, we’re preparing the new collection we’ll walk the runway with at MBFWM Allianz EGO, and we’re also working on the ARCO staff uniforms for its next edition.