I’ve noticed Maria on the last days of Paris fashionweek outside the Chanel show where she arrived with her friend Blanca Miró. She stood out of the crowd with her turban style knit hat, pink slippers and open smile, not a typical sight towards the end of the season. A month later I meet Maria in le Marais where she introduces me to Umami, a new café dedicated to everything Matcha. She wears a charming Vintage inspired look in earthy tones, flared trousers, a beige coat and again a hat, a classic one by Maison Michel this time.
It turns out that Maria has a thing for hats and slippers and collects them among other great Vintage finds. She also has her own fashion and lifestyle label Mau Loa, which was a great discovery for me. A selection of Kaftans in beautiful cottons that are sourced from Africa, South America and Asia, also bags, hats and a home line – I have a few pieces already on my wish list, the nice part, the pieces have a great quality and a fair price tag.
I photographed Maria in her stunning apartment near Parc Monceau thast she shares with her boyfriend Jérome Bâril. Let me just say, that apartment ! I am still dreaming about the windows.
Maria, where are you from and how old are you ?
I come from Madrid but I have been living in Paris for five years now! I am 22 (the answer that shocks everyone..!)
Where do you currently work ?
I work for Who’s Next, a French company which organizes fashion trade shows and events dedicated to fashion professionals. My missions are to manage the relationship with our existing clients and to discover new designers from all over the world.
At the same time, I work for my brand Mau Loa and I’ve recently started doing some styling for photo-shoots, which I would like to do more often!
Can you tell me a bit about your label Mau Loa ? I love the cottons you use and the easy of the cuts. How did you get started to create a label so young and what process did you go through.
Yes! So everything started after a trip to Peru with my family where I fell in love with the colors, the handmade fabrics … so I decided to start Mau Loa (“the eternal trip” in Hawaiian), firstly I started with accessories and unique pieces selling them to friends, friends of friends thanks to instagram – and little by little more people were interested and it has been growing since. One year ago we started to present the collection to buyers so the SS17 collection is now available in really cool stores around the world (some of them are Ron Herman & United Arrows in Tokyo, BHV in Paris, Cachemire Cotton Soie in Brussels).
How has Madrid/Paris influenced you ?
As I said, Madrid is where I am born and I have been living there until I was 17 so these are my roots, wanted or not, it has a big influence for me which is natural. When I think about Madrid I think about light, sun, happiness, color, laughs and of course my family and friends so Madrid is always with me… And Paris, well it has been my choice to be here, the first important decision I have made, it was my wish to come to Paris and it is where it all started and where I realised that I wanted to work in the fashion industry.
A few favourite cafes or restaurants in Paris ?
I have a huge list, but If I’d had to choose I would say Le Richer in the 9th, Café de Flore for breakfast is a classic not to miss… and Clamato, seafood sister restaurant to Septime!
Where do you go on your dream vacation ?
Right now I can’t stop thinking about sun & sea holidays, as it’s still cold and rainy in Paris (now is where I miss Spain the most … ) The dream vacation in summer is not too far ! Going on a boat trip with friends around the Greek islands or the Aeolian islands in Italy…
A place I would absolutely want to go to is Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, it seems amazing… So it’s on my travel “wishlist”!
What are your dreams for the future ?
My dream is that this Mau Loa “dream” becomes true and continuing to perseverate to achieve it.
3 sources of digital inspiration (insta, web)
My friend Blanca Miro is always surprising me with her unique style! @blancamiro
The Spanish photographer Rosa Copado, I love her work.. @rosacopado
Petite passeport that I always check for new food, fashion & hotel spots around the world!
Maria is wearing a jumpsuit, Kaftan and the checked two piece ensemble by her own label Mau Loa – new pieces will be available in her online shop end of May
Also pictured, a straw hat by Mau Loa, and the many Vintage pieces that Maria collects, Gucci loafers and any hats