The Fashion Folk S01 ep4 : Mariano Puig, Nina Ricci, [Paris]
Interview with Mariano Puig
You have to make dreams with truth, and what does truth mean, it means that all the effort that you put in one product you have to see it, otherwise the public will never pay the money that you are asking for.
Nina Ricci is a universe, Nina Ricci is a philosophy, Nina Ricci is an attitude in
front of life. Nina Ricci is trying to take the good part of life and put it in
KM: Why are you with Nina Ricci
We have been involved in perfumeries since 1913. In fragrances we have been
working with Nina Ricci for the last 35 years in some countries, then an
opportunity presented of being able to take over Nina Ricci which is what we
did, about 3 years ago.
KM: Originally you were from Spain, yes?
Yes, I am from Spain.
KM: From Barcelona?
I'm from Barcelona. We have a sort of spirit of openness, we are very much
interested and curious about different people from different countries so the
connection we have with other people is very close and we love the sea very
KM: How did a chemical engineer become a fashion house mogul?
We are involved in fragrances and in the 60's we thought that the second
generation of Puig which is the four sons of my grandfather they thought that
Spain was maybe a little bit small for them so then they started doing things
outside Spain. We started in 1968, in 1968 we created Paco Roban fragrances
and since then we have been involved in luxury products. Then we bought the
fashion house of Paco Roban in 1988.
KM: But he still works for you as a designer?
Yes, and then we started also with Carolina Herrera
KM: Yes, in New York?
In the states and now we have three houses, three fashion houses which are -
Carolina Herrera, Paco Roban and Nina Ricci. Nina Ricci is one of the biggest
ones we have.
The consumption today of luxury products can come from any place in the
world. The designer, at least the artwork or the creation can come from
KM: The creation.
There are three or four places, which nurture these qualities, because for
many, many years, many people have been working on that and there is know-
how in the country. There is know-how in the place, I mean Paris has know-
how in the luxury business, there are people who know how, there are
craftsmen they know how to do things because they have been doing this for
years and years. It is much more than an expertise. The expertise creates a
community of people who no-how to do deal with that.
KM: When we talk about a luxury business, we talk about fantasy?
KM: What is your interpretations of the dreams?
You have to make a dreams with truth, and what does truth mean, it means
that all the effort that you put in one product you have to see it, somehow you
have to see it otherwise the public will never pay the money that you are
KM: How are you interpreting the spirit of the founder?
You have to sense the soul of the brand. Sometimes the soul comes from the
product, sometimes the soul comes from the people, and sometimes the soul
comes from consumer and at the end of the day the adding of all the efforts to
the brand at the end you make the soul of the brand which has to be from the
continuity and finally the consumer will say yes or no - I believe that this is
what I wanted to see.
Haute Couture was something different 40 years ago, was something different
10 years ago and will be something different in the next ten years. You cannot
continue to do the same thing. It is a way of promoting the brand, it is a way of
approaching the consumer and it is a way of using tools and means in order to
be heard by the consumer
KM: Today there is a globalization in the luxury business?
KM: Is this something you have to factor into your business plan?
Absolutely, absolutely for instance fragrances which I know much better than
the fashion - 10 years ago there were 100 houses, then we came to five or
four and now there are again new houses, why because there is no one way of
doing things. I mean people have to express themselves, and they will do it no
matter how many groups there are there already. But these groups owning
brands are just one way of being able to express this business.
KM: I noticed that your design director is an American?
She is from Canada
KM: Canada? Why, why are you not using a Spaniard?
I wanted a woman with experience in the two continents both in Europe and in
America. I wanted to have her pragmatism that an American can have in front
of a business, in front of designers, in front of some sort of decisions but also I
wanted her, this person, with some experience in Europe. And Natalie has had
a big experience in Europe, especially in Italy and France, so a woman that
has had these experiences but also a person who could understand what Nina
Ricci's soul was. It was one of the main things that she could understand what
the roots of were, where the true Nina Ricci is. We have already had some
experiences with the new bottle for L'air du Temp, she has been able to
address this issue.
KM: Is the fragrance still the same or has it changed as well?
100% the same, 100% the same
KM: So it is just the packaging.?
We are changing looks, you see. We are not changing the soul, which is the
soul, the essence, we are changing the clothes. You are not dressing today
the same you way you dressed 10 years ago. My main job is not to create
something by me personally, is to put it in front of the right people at the right
moment in the right situation that they can be able to relate to that.
There is no secret, there is not. There is not one formula fortunately, because
otherwise you could buy it and then have successes. There is no formula for
anything. There is no formula for success, and there is no formula for having a
better thing or a worse thing. Sometimes one of the most expensive projects
has been a flop and sometimes you know a very small house has been able to
create something, which was gorgeous. So this is how life is, I mean you
cannot know. You know when you are born you do not know what is going to
happen to you, this is a nice thing. So we are the adventurers of this life, we
are. Everyday that we wake up we do not know what will happen that day and
this belongs to what, it belongs to what we are here for.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Mariano Puig, Nina Ricci, Paris