Did you always know you wanted to be a designer? Why or Why not?
As I would assume most brands start, I was not a designer aiming to create my own brand. I was a business person wanting to lead a project that could bring together designers and artisans.
What is your favorite part about being a designer?
Although I am not a designer, the part that excites me the most is to watch designers overcome the continuous frustration that developing a product brings. It is a continuous ‘trial and error’ attempt that will make both (designer and artisan) not give up on the process but instead overcome it with success.
"We wanted to create a brand that joined artisans and designers in a cool, contemporary, fashion-forward way."
What inspired you to pursue your own brand?
The possibility of bringing together talent from different industries. I knew we had artisans and craftsmanship as well as incredible designers and creativity in Portugal individually. However, we wanted to create a brand that joined artisans and designers in a cool, contemporary, fashion-forward way.
What is the inspiration for your brand’s name?
Surrealism, imagination, freedom, empowerment, creativity, and art.
If you could do anything different before starting your business what would it be?
I would have had mentors sooner in life that could help me understand how certain situations were closer or further away from my own individual purpose and vision.
What was the toughest circumstance you overcame when just starting out your business?
Juggling and trying to balance motherhood and entrepreneurship. My son, Gustavo, was 6 months when I first started and I didn't realize the impact of having two ‘babies’ on my well-being, namely sleep deprivation, stress, anxiety, etc.
Do you feel working in the fashion industry is different today than from when you started out? Why or why not?
Since starting Unreal Fields, my first experience of three and a half years ago compared to the present moment, I feel that there is a continuous and increasing effort on the sustainability aspect of the fashion industry. A few months after I started, Greta Thunberg started her movement; an adolescent who felt that things could be done differently, which was inspiring.
"Products will be more than products – they will be sustainably produced, empowering and bring together all types of people."
What direction do you believe the fashion industry is headed?
I think it is headed towards sustainability, community, and inclusion. Sustainability in the broad sense (social, processes, materials, etc.) is a ‘must-have’ and there will not be a single brand in the near future surviving if they don’t have a clear sustainable strategy defined and in place. Community because brands will have to create meaningful ways to connect with people (more than showing off their labels on their products) and allow their clients to express a lot of feelings in a more profound way that connect with their products. Inclusion because there will continue to be a pressure towards body positivity, gender equality, etc. Products will be more than products – they will be sustainably produced, empowering, and bring together all types of people.
What does the word “success” mean to you?
Having my crew be well. By ‘crew’ I mean people within my support system (family, friends, mentors, neighbors, colleagues) and by ‘well’ I mean in a stable, harmonious and fulfilling position.
Are you passionate about something other than fashion?
Dance will always be one of my main passions.
How has COVID-19 impacted your business and how are you navigating differently now than before?
We started providing services to other brands that needed assistance with branding and marketing.