Barcelona. We loved our week there in April of this year, and still chatter about it when we cook bacalao or sip a glass of cava.
What sealed my love for Barcelona was the creative use of textiles and design that was on display in every corner of the city. In the face of economic hardship, the artisans of this Mediterranean city are using fabric and thread in ways both inventive and inspiring.
When Monica Farguell introduced herself by mail this fall, I glimpsed this Barcelona creativity again. Monica is a bag designer based on the hillside near Parc Guell in the city. She developed her brand Mofa Barcelona 2 years ago and is finding a great response to her colorful and creative work. She designs, produces and manufactures two new collections yearly in her own studio. She’s a one woman wonder.
Here is an interview I had with Monica, where she shares about her background and process. Enjoy.
1. Who taught you to sew?
I was never interested in sewing until a friend suggested we take a basic sewing class together, just for fun. That course changed my life as it awoke an interest in sewing I was never aware of. I started to make basic bags and experiment with fabrics and the reactions I received encouraged me to learn more and more until I finally decided to take a degree in Fashion Design. I am on the final leg of this journey and still learning.
2. Do others work with you, or do you design and sew alone?
I design and sew all the bags and purses that come from my studio, however my Mum cuts the fabric from the patterns I provide, which is of invaluable help.
3. Is there a typical day at MOFA? Is this your full time work?
I’m on my last year of a Fashion Design course, so right now I work in the mornings and go to class in the afternoons. I don’t have a set routine for the mornings, I just plan the week ahead and work from day to day accordingly.
I release a biannual collection so there are some months where the work is all around design and inspiration and other months where it’s just about production. This works well as it means a wide variety of work and pace for me.
As an experienced Graphic Designer I do on occasion take commissions for small jobs to boost my income.
4. What inspires your designs?
I am inspired by life. I really enjoy expressing my experiences. If I feel happy, my collection will be very colourful and my themes will be something that makes me feel good. On the other hand I can be going through a blue period while designing a collection and the designs will be darker and not so flamboyant.
I don’t try to follow the fashion stereotypes of the moment, although I do take note of the coming season’s palette, to know what you will soon be seeing in the shop windows.
5. Anything else you’d like to share about yourself?
I have two main goals that I expect to make real someday.
One of them is to design my own printed textiles for my bags and I actually expect to do this very soon. I think that when you are creating a collection if you can bring the concept through from the very beginning of the process the finished article will be richer and of course you would get a far more exceptional piece.
My other goal is to design and create a collection of baby clothes. However, this is something for the future.