This is the designer whose jumpsuit I am taking in my pannier throughout Central America just to wear with a cowboy hat in Las Vegas. It's the only piece I know that will make me feel fab with whatever silly adornment I choose to add.
Riding through her beloved Nicaragua, I checked in with Shantall once more.
When I met you last Shantall, you said you would be doing a small SS13 collection specifically for Nicaragua, has this been realised? Do you any pictures for my readers?
Actually I am working on my new spring/summer 2014 collection. The objective is to work with artisans from Masaya that embroider and weave. The collection looks to freshly interpret certain typical Nicarguan pieces, such as 'caso de la guallavera' and the 'caite' (a typical Nicarguan shoe). I am working on it as we speak and it should be ready by June.
I know you spend your time between your two ateliers Nicaragua and Argentina. How do you divide up the time? Is it very cut and dry?
Actually I live in Argentina, but the machinists and the majority of my team are in Nicaragua. Because of that and other projects I am involved in, such as ND (Nicaragua Diseña), I spend half the time in each. For the SS14 collection I have spent three months straight in Nicaragua as it involves artisans from Nicaragua. On the other hand in order to introduce the brand internationally, I travel quite a bit. It's not easy. After a while you don't feel you're from one country or the other. At the beginning it's an odd sensation but then looking at it positively it gives you a sense of freedom, where the whole world is your home .
I know that you play very much with textures and cuts, whilst still keeping a feminine softness through your transparencies, which is totally Central American. I love the distinct landscape here in Nicaragua can you see the influence in your designs?
I think there is a lot of influence in my work. Although not always immediately visible in the collections. But yes, it's always there and if you look carefully, you can see it.
Well for the moment it's finishing the SS14 collection then showing it in Panama, Mexico and the USA, then wholesaling the collection to boutiques in the USA. I am also starting a new label called S&L, which is more commercial and aimed at a younger market. I will start selling here in Managua.
Shantall, you're heavily involved in promoting Nicaragua fashion. Can you tell me if you have seen any emerging talent coming up?
Yes there are a lot of kids with talent, not only in fashion, but also in the other art disciplines. I really believe that in a couple of years the Nicaraguan talent will not only be stronger but internationally renowned.