Diana Saldaña thinks in colour—heaps of colour and she’s not afraid to use it! The former art historian/photo curator has proven that if you work hard and hold on to your dreams, that combined with passion is enough to lead you into a bright future.
A few weeks ago, I caught up with the designer to discuss her latest collection, the women who have inspired her, and some of the most important things that she’s learnt along the way since starting her own label.
Just two years ago, Saldaña created Royal Caballito, an emerging clothing brand focussed on producing comfortable garments with values of sustainability. The collections are designed with imagination and prudence. She uses family-owned manufacturers to help with production, but does all of the designing herself. There's knitwear throughout the collections with cardigans, skirts, and roomy dresses or tops that can all be blended with other separates. But, there's also accessories, including scarves and printed notebooks.
So, what does Royal Caballito mean? With inspiration from Saldaña’s English and Spanish multicultural background, she came up with the name for her brand by using the imperial quality of the word Royal, and Caballito, which means “little horse” to capture the playful and childlike spirit of the brand.
Comfort and culture is certainly at the forefront of what Saldaña’s niche is, and there's an artful ease about the line that just makes sense. The result is a practical and unique collection full of character and sprightly attitude. Some pieces even have an abstract aesthetic. “I like natural fibers the best. Cotton, silk and wool are my favourites. They provoke an emotional response in me,” Saldaña said.
For those who don’t typically run toward donning patterns or busy graphics they may be surprised and delighted, because the design graphics are wearable and flattering. The soft colour palettes and overall aesthetic works marvellously with the simple silhouettes, whilst navy and black break up the collection as a smart accent amongst the prints!
There’s much to appreciate from Royal Caballito, especially the fresh perspective that the brand exudes as a whole. And, there’s no surprise that many garments have already sold out! Here's a view of some of her garments.
What do you think of Royal Caballito's pieces?
Getting To Know Diana Saldaña:
On her inspiration for the Autumn/Winter line …
“Ice” was inspired by my determination to create pieces that could help drive away the winter doldrums … When days get short and temperatures drop I really cherish spirited and colourful warm clothing.
The coming SS15 collection, called Harvest, could be well understood as an extension of that dialogue.”
On her dream collaboration …
“I would absolutely love to do any project with either Miranda July, Susie Bubble, or Tavi Gevinson. I’m such a fan of these women!”
Words of wisdom and most important learning experience …
"I really love the feeling of being my own boss. The downside to it is that you are on your own, and sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming. It is so significant to make sure that this is really where your heart is. Create a good network of like-minded people, of designer friends who are going through the same process. Supporting each other is amongst the most valuable things you will get."
On upcoming projects and events.
“For SS15 we will be launching our first unisex pieces, the idea being to progressively continue expanding the men’s line for future collections. I am also very pleased that our pieces will be sold in the USA, Japan, France, and Spain.”For more information or to shop the collection visit www.royalcaballito.com.