I don’t do this often, write a blog in English, but doing an exception now because I have an acute case of girlcrush on designer Ida Lanto since I met her couple of weeks ago in Stockholm.
She just released her beautiful second collection with Nelly.com and I got the priviledge to interview her about her career, inspirations and all things nice.
HOW DID YOU BECOME A DESIGNER?
For me and my three older siblings dancing was our life when growing up. Our mom made all our dancing costumes, there was fabrics, glitter, feathers everywhere in our house.
I was always watching her, sitting besides her when she was making the clothes. I used to make princess dress sketches all the time and after a while started making my own clothes.
I went to study fashion design in Borås and when I came back to Stockholm I started my own brand.
I worked in a clothing store before going studying in Borås and got a call from the manager asking if I’d wanted to start my own brand. So I started with a minicollection and sold it in the store. I had showpieces of my collection there and would custommake the designs – only couture dresses, for the customers.
I’ve only made couture and made to measure dresses until now with my collaboration with Nelly.com.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PIECES TO DO?
I think it’s the evening gowns and gala dresses. I love to design for women with strong identity, to make my design to match her personality. I want to find everyone’s strengths and what they are proud of.
Women are always so hard on themselves. I want to find each customers best assets, her thing, and lift that up.
It is so important to listen to the customer. On the first meeting that takes about 1-2 hours, we just talk about everything so I get to know her, ask her to show me pics of her favorite dresses and clothes so I can get into her head and to learn what she likes about herself so I can lift that up.
After this we have 3-4 fittings before the dress is done. It’s a long process giving time to change and fix details on the way and to see what works and what doesn’t.
The most important is that the customer feels the best herself. If she things she looks good and feels confident in a dress then everyone else will too.
WHERE DO YOU YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION?
From my clients. And from everywhere actually. From my travels, buildings, nature, everywhere.
WHAT ARE YOU INTO RIGHT NOW?
I’m always superinspired of the female figure, the shapes and curves.
Everything right now about lifting women up so I think that is why I’m even more inspired of femininity, this is our time. So let’s do this, be proud and find our own thing and style.
WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO?
My mom and my sister also. I have a big sister and she’s also a big part of how I became a designer. She started as a singer and I made all her stage clothing and gala dresses.
HOW DID YOU AND NELLY.COM TEAM UP?
Actually, we had our first meeting about five years ago, just in the beginning of my own label. At that though I didn’t feel ready since I wanted to start my own thing first. I wanted to make my own name and then maybe after a few years collaborate.
And as I had thought after couple of years I felt ready I contacted Nelly.com saying ”So okay, are you ready to do this? Now I’m ready!” From that call one and half year later we released the first collection.
When the time is right, everything just works.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND COLLECTION?
There’s actually kind of a big difference between the two.
The first collection is always the first. I had never done a collection before and didn’t know how things worked. It felt kind of almost like a test.
The second collection felt like we were one; Nelly.com knew what I wanted and what was important for me and I knew there were no limits working with Nelly.com.
The first collection was more like five separate dresses, my favorite dresses that I had made for my couture line, and we made them a bit simpler fo Nelly.com
This second collection is a wedding collection so everything goes together. I think it’s so fun to have your bridesmaids wearing them, everyone can dress according to their own style, mix’n’match but still looking harmonious together.
The wedding dress is a two-piece with a removable skirt and goes from day to night and is packed with beautiful details.
The fit is so important and we have worked a lot with the shape. When doing this collaboration it was so important for me to be at the fittings, we went through every single centimetre to make everything perfect. We had four fittings before we made the final product. No compromises.
HOW ABOUT YOUR OWN PERSONAL STYLE?
Funnily enough, I’m not a dress person myself at all but I LOVE seeing other people in dresses.
I always wear boots, jeans and t-shirts.
When you work with something I think it’s always the opposite. I work with all the colors, glitter and feathers all day everyday, it’s my work so on the contrast when I’m outside of my studio I go to my basics, comfortable and easy clothes.
BEST STYLE TIP?
Style things your own way. I love to see how people make their own thing by mixin’n’matching and adding their favorite details to outfits. So make it your own, don’t look at how others style things, do your own thing.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO YOUNG IDA?
Believe in yourself, work hard, reach for your goals, you can achieve anything.
Maybe you have to give up something on the way but it’s worth it in the end. It will all work out, believe in yourself.