Welcome to #leborgabalabrightwomen, a new series of interviews where every month we will introduce you to a woman who inspires us. We started with great enthusiasm by interviewing Natalia Lopez, founder of Vajillas de Ultramar, a craft atelier in which she creates unique pieces with her partner.
We talk about her career and what she feels when she wears a Lebor Gabala garment.
You started out as a dancer, what was it that caught your attention about this art?
From a very young age I was always jumping, dancing and doing pirouettes. They called me the “atomic flea.” I guess starting dancing was an obvious step.
After the dance, modeling came, how did it came about?
After my dance studies I joined the cast of the Zaragoza Ballet, which was a wonderful stage in my life. But in the last year I was in the ballet company, by chance I did a local fashion show. And from there it came out a small advertising campaign that I combined with my work. By bad or good luck, you never know why things happen, I had a small injury to my left ankle that I dragged on for years and made me feel very insecure on stage. So while the dance was going down, the fashion was going up. And one day I decided to pack my bags and go to Madrid … a month later I did them again, but this time to go to Tokyo with my first model contract and from there until these days.
How do you think these experiences abroad have influenced you? What was your first impression when you arrived in Tokyo?
Living abroad has given me, on the one hand, appreciate what I have and, at the same time, realizing all the good that is out there. It sounds like a contradiction, but it is so. I think you have to love who you are and where you come from but without believing that it is, neither the only thing, nor the best. Because no, it is not.
Tokyo was a roller coaster … I´ve arrived without speaking a word of English and without knowing anyone. I went for a month, but I ended up staying 4. It is a wonderful country, full of contrasts and truly surprising. I had a great time there, but I also cried a lot. Well… I have to say that during my career I have also cried a lot.
Any anecdote from the time that you remember in particular?
Millions of anecdotes, places, experiences, friends … fashion has given me a lot.
In 2014 you started your personal project, Vajillas de Ultramar, how did it come?
After living in New York for 14 years, I decided to return to Madrid where I put my modeling career on hold for a while. I had my two children and at the same time I had the need to create something new. Together with my cousin, friend and now business partner ship, Mariajo, we decided to jump on something that had always excited both of us: Decoration.
How is the collaboration between you both? What does each contribute?
The separation of tasks is not very marked between us. We usually collaborate on almost everything or sometimes one does the task that the other usually does. We are very attuned in almost all aspects that concern the company, from the design of the pieces and collections, to how we want our personal life to be combined with our work.
What is the added value of your atelier?
Our added value is our product. A simple product, sophisticated as well as organic. I sincerely believe that our pieces are a wardrobe essential that you never tire of.
You have designed a collection for the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum inspired by Alfred Sisley’s work, “The flood of Port-Marly”. How did the project come about? How it has been the creative process?
The project arose through the store manager Ana Cela who knew our pieces and wanted to have some of them in the museum store. Curiously, the idea of making a collection with clouds was going through our minds but then Ana came telling us that they wanted to make a collection inspired by the skies of Alfred Sisley.
Sometimes we have the feeling that the collective imagination is so strong that it catches you without your knowing it.
The pieces of a tableware are your form of artistic expression, what do you want to convey?
I would like to transmit calm, well-being and love.
Most of your career is associated with the creative world, where do you find your greatest inspiration? Do you have a routine?
The truth is that no, I don’t have a routine and I don’t consider myself a very creative person either. What I really like is watching … and I think I’m good at it. I observe well.
You have followed our brand for several seasons, how do our garments make you feel?
Lebor Gabala garments fit me great, they have the perfect mix of modernity and classicism combined with excellent quality. They are like our pieces… a precious wardrobe essential!
On the cover, Natalia wears a cardigan from our collection “El mar, SS20”
Natalia Lopez ´s Instagram: @natalialopez_____
Vajillas de Ultramar´s Instagram: @vajillasdeultramar