SNOW’s Winter Fashion Designer Dialogues – Pilar Tarrau
1. Tell us about Pilar.
I really love Art and Basquiat is one of my favorite artists, my first inspiration. Growing up in Venezuela was a blessing in disguise. I would have never imagined that living in rural Caracas would provide me with a template for a fashion related career. As a child, I always had an affinity with art and fashion. I can vividly recall accessorizing clothes, fabric, textiles and materials in attempt to manipulate certain styles in the fashion industry. Ultimately, my appreciation for handbags and the complexity behind their manufacturing gave me the motivation I needed to one day begin my personal line.
Before dedicating my entire presence to Pilar Tarrau Handbags, I studied at the Miami International University of Art & Design where I focused on accessory design. In addition, I completed a specialization in interior design with a focus on texture combinations.
Currently, I work with Hola Magazine for the styling department in Miami, with a further concentration in Spain and Mexico. Since I was a child, I have been inspired by the bold colors of my native culture and the country locales of Latin America. I have experienced first-hand a real and genuine connection with my South American roots. I get inspiration from Venezuela through its flora and fauna, especially in textures, colors, and silhouettes. Furthermore, I recently participated in the Aspen International Fashion Week 2014 showcasing my collection, which provided an excellent educational platform for my designs on a global scale. The icing on the cake has been my selection as a finalist for the Handbag 101 competition in the category of GUESS!
2. How start your brand?
Choosing my career path was extremely simple as I have always wanted to be in the fashion industry. Accessory design always caught my attention as I believe a woman’s handbag is the iconic product to finalize a woman’s outfit.
3. Where do you find your inspiration? Who are your favorite designers/brands in the SNOW world?
For this particular collection, my inspiration comes from my travel experiences ranging from my secluded hacienda in Venezuela to the snow filled mountains of Aspen, Colorado. Pilar Tarrau Handbags are made from the highest quality materials such as calf hair on fur (Mink and Fox) velvet, leather, metal details and lining in suede and fur. My inspiration has always come from my culture and the numerous countries of Latin America. My travel experiences to places such as St. Moritz in Switzerland and Aspen, Colorado has helped me develop a special sense of style as well as an opportunity to showcase the beauty of my country through my creations. Colorado was certainly a big inspiration in my career when implementing a western sophistication combined a more rugged Latin America approach.
My favorite designers in the SNOW world are Dennis Basso, Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana and Fendi.
4. Describe your signature style in one sentence.
Iconic, chic and fashionable handbags designed for timeless and endless use.
5. Did you study design from the beginning or did you start down a different path?
I believe my career path was always clear and never filled with doubt. My intentions were always directed toward the fashion world and my education at the Miami International University of Art & Design gave me the tutelage to begin my company. Also, I am interior and accessory designer.
6. What is your favorite place to ski or snowboard or just have a mountain holiday? Where and what is your favorite après spot?
Without hesitation, Vail and Aspen in Colorado. They are my ideal skiing destination. Afterwards, my favorite après spot is the Vail Village where restaurants and nightlife venues are in abundance for guests. And in Aspen, the Ajax Tavern.
7. Do you have any famous fans/clients?
During my styling career I have worked with a lot of famous clients such as Maria Conchita Alonso, Chiquinquira Delgado, Ms. Spain, Ms. Mexico, Roselyn Sanchez and companies such as Hola Magazine, Gossip Girl Mexico just to name a few. Many of those have fallen in love with my bag collection and now are with Pilar Tarrau as designer clients.
8. Tell us about your new collection and any must haves for the SNOW reader.
The Pilar Tarrau western collection, fall /winter 2014 /15, Is inspired by people who like to travel to fashionable ski resorts like St Moritz and Aspen, both of which are the most famous resorts in the world . Chic, elegant, and exclusive with a cosmopolitan ambiance. In my collection, I demonstrate how to style country-chic, inspired looks into a full glamour. It’s the Wild West meets High Fashion and sophistication. My inspiration is from couture and well dressed woman of New York and Aspen who are chic and fashionable just my collection. The western bag collection is made of fur (Mink, Fox) ,velvet, leather, gold details with lining in suede and fur. The Weekender Shari Liu bag and the Backpack in different colors are great for ski or Apres Ski. And the Mochila bag in fox blue and green, my favorite; for day and night time, casual and elegant are a MUST have for the Snow Reader.
Check out www.pilartarrau.com