The founder of the fun, unique & versatile brand uncovers the inspirations behind their creations and tells us everything you need to know about Maria Maleta.
When and where did you first begin?
We created the brand in September 2013. The business only started in mid-2014 and the brand was created in Porto – the beautiful city we still live in.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
The brand was created by two best friends. The relationship started in the 90s, our different personalities, life experiences and the serendipity are our inspiration.
We also feel inspired by the women of this century. The evolution and determination of today’s women are overwhelming. Independence, kindness, and love are ‘things’ that everyone should feel inspired by. Beauty, friendship and versatility in the simple things are our main inspiration.
Describe your brand in 3 words.
Fun, versatile and unique.
What is the most difficult aspect of running your own label?
Getting paid! Just kidding. In all situations of life, there is always a bad side and a good side. The downside of managing our own label is that sometimes you are too much inside of the problems and we need some fresh air to ‘think outside of the box’.
The hardest part when we started the business was probably the communication strategy, we had the concept, the product, but ‘how and to whom’ do we have to communicate to? We hadn’t a lot of money to invest, so we started step by step and slowly tried to reach customers and the public.
Which part of the creative process do you enjoy the most (and least?
The part we enjoy the most is the brainstorming about new products and all the ideas that come from it.
The part we enjoy the least is the first prototype. It’s never what we expected.
Do you have a mentor?
We have a few mentors.
Our family is our primary ones. They work in the footwear industry and their advice, comments and love have always been important to us. Furthermore, we have people that inspire us. No matter what the business. We have several people in music, politics, and sports.
Determination and resilience are things we truly appreciate.
How long did your latest collection take to create?
Our creative process never stops because we are always working on new things. The technical part between communication design, production, prototypes, and suppliers usually takes around 3-4 months.
What are your future plans?
We have a lot of plans, but we don’t know what the future will be like.
The planet is changing. Our consumption habits need to shift in order to create a better and cleaner planet. Our capitalist system will probably start to change with the scarcity of natural resources.
Our main plan is to stay here and try to help with this challenge. We want to make bags that last forever that is why we give a lifetime warranty to our products. Waste isn’t waste until we waste it. We also want to extend our products line and create bags not only for women but for everyone.
Which pieces do you think everyone should have in their wardrobe?
Pajamas. Home clothes are the best.
Basics. A white t-shirt with classic jeans.
A party dress. The best party is always the ones we’re not expecting.
A good leather bag.
What attracted you to The Clothing Lounge?
The personality, the good selection of brands and the design of the online store.