The Fashion Folk S01 ep18 : Devota Lomba, Lomba Fashion, [Madrid]
Interview with Devota Lomba
KM: What is Devota y Lomba?
In a way the brand is the spirit or is very similar to the spirit but for practical
purposes, the spirit is the brand.
When Louis died I never doubted that I should change the brand from Devota y
Lomba to simply Lomba because the vitality of the brand came from our
relationship and continues to this day.
KM: When did the company start and why did it start? What was the reason?
We were 22 years old, and were friends. My late partner Louis was studying
architecture and I was in the world of fashion but not directly designing at the
time, and it was at a particular moment that we found in each other, the missing
pieces which we needed to create a design team for fashion. We felt that if we
could work together, the combination would lead to great ideas - marrying fashion
KM: When you got together with your partner to start the company what did you
think that you were going to offer that was not existing?
At the time, there was a strong movement in the Spanish Fashion industry. A very
talented woman designer named "Sybilla". Sybilla was a young girl, who went to
Italy, had a relation with Givot who was the producer of Jean Paul Gaultier at that
Sybilla' style and ideas led to a huge boom in the local Spanish fashion market
and her career flourished. So then the movement she started was in a way
followed by our - Devota & Lomba's stylist idea of minimalism - an architectural
way of designing and dealing with fabric and fashion.
Very Post modern.
It is funny to think that even in a very small country like Spain, compared to the
United States, you have such a mixed and different type of aesthetic. Not only in
the different weather patterns in the different regions of Spain, but also in the
landscape. I come from the same part of Spain as Balenciaga and Paco Roban,
which is the North of Spain - the Basque country, and there you have this idea of
the light, which is not very bright. The colours are very deep, the green of the
forest, the heavy rains lead to a very austere and severe aesthetic.
Yes very harsh. Then there is the south of the country which has a different light,
and heat, where colours are very bright.
It’s almost like being another fashion designer, and all this in a very tiny place.
And we have been invaded or influenced by so many different cultures from the
Arabs from the west, to the Gauls from the north, the Italians and Greeks from
the South, so that cocktail makes us so special and different.
Maybe the cocktail... I think especially the north of Spain compared to the South
is really so different - I mean in the character, in the mood of the people, and then
when you go to the East of Gallicia, they are also very very special.
It is mixed - there is contrast. Sevillia is all yellow, you go to the north and it is all
green, brown, so it is that contrast that makes it so stimulating for a designer.
KM: How do you reconstruct architecture and then recreate clothes?
My fashion style is really very structured. The creations or forms are conceived as
really ... as elements that you can put together like in a building or in a structure -
but in a way more a creation than a practical translation from one to the other.
Other designers might say that they are influenced by the Orient. For me there is
an energy, or even a life force, which I receive from furniture - for example there
was furniture made by a well-known furniture designer and decorated by his wife.
In this furniture you can feel the feminine upholstery and the masculine structure
and my clothes borrow from that idea of mixing the feminine and masculine.
KM: When did his partner die?
In Russia, there is a specific way of selling and presenting jewelry. It's store fronts/displays, decorations, it's a synthesis of different art forms - painting, sculpture 04.59 05.20 It's where jewellery plays the role of the main actor, where if a person looking at it, they speak to each other as equals
Where does it come from? You have to ask 'up there', I'm just a humble servant. I serve the almighty.
If you talk about us, were are people who are driven to do what we do. About others, I can't say. My artisans can be maniacs, they don't sleep, they don't have wives, no sex even!
KM: It must have been a very big shock at this stage when you have built up a
business from 1984 to 1993 – work, work, work, work.
It was an emotional, personal, and professional shock because we were very
close, but also after assuming the idea that he was no longer here, it was a
challenge to keep D & L as equal or even more energetic than before.
I feel that I owed it to Louis to continue and that is something that always… on
and on, I'm always thinking, "Am I doing this, because I know that you would like
me to do it".
KM: What do you think he would say today if he saw what you were doing?
Louis was a very special person who didn't take himself too seriously although
took his work very seriously. I'm sure that if he saw my designs today, he would
be very happy but he’d try not to show it.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Devota Lomba, Lomba Fashion, Madrid