Francisca Pineda is creative director at Bhava Studio, an innovative women’s footwear brand in its third year of business, based in New York. They’re one of my favourite brands for finding high quality and fashion-forward boots that still manage to be really comfortable. They always try to source the highest quality artisan, organic, recycled and cruelty-free components, and whilst their classic models reappear each season, they keep improving the style and the materials so they just get better and better. Plus they’re often introducing new styles and new colour-ways too.
Francisca is a graduate of Parsons School of Design, with almost two decades of experience working as a fashion designer in apparel and accessories. Fully committed to ethical and environmentally conscious design, Francisca taught Ethical Fashion and Sustainable Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. As founder of the Ethical Fashion Academy and the Fashion Portfolio Academy, she is committed to inspiring designers and future entrepreneurs, and is frequently in demand as a speaker on ethical fashion at regional and international industry events.
What three words would you use to describe your style?
Timeless, Effortless, Unexpected.
What are your favourite brands?
I am in awe of all of the amazing female entrepreneurs working to redefine ethics. One of the brands that stands out for its fearless leader and commitment to sustainability is Vaute for their coats.
What is your most treasured fashion item?
A hand beaded dress with an “under the sea” theme! I wore it during the dance party of my wedding in Costa Rica where I was born and it has embroidered sea horses, eels and tropical flowers so it reminds me of Costa Rica.
What’s been your biggest fashion mistake?
#1 is definitely having worked as an accessory designer in NYC for over a decade, and never making the connection about the pain and suffering that my work contributed to.
Who is your style icon and why?
I definitely love the styling in the French New Wave films by Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut. For her fearless and yet exotic look Anouk Aimee, very few in Hollywood today could come close to the timeless allure of the French New Wave
Why do you do what you do with Bhava Studio?
What you don’t do is just as important as what you do. If we all stopped to think about the industries that we work in and the environmental, social and ethical effects, rather than just play into society’s expectations, the world would be quite a
Where do you get your inspiration from for Bhava Studio?
My customers and their needs are first. You won’t find Bhava Studio making 5” heels or using cheap soles that fall apart. My best friends and family buy and wear my shoes, and I want everyone to not only feel good about their purchase but to literally feel good wearing comfy shoes manufactured by experts in foot health, something that is hard to find amongst many of today’s footwear brands.
Who do you think we should interview next and why?
Sica of Bead & Reel, she is one of the loveliest and most committed entrepreneurs working towards an ethical fashion industry.
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