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Q&A With Nicaraguan Fashion Designer Norma Gomez Saavedra

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By: Ulie Pavone

Hailing from Nicaragua, Norma Gomez Saavedra is a fashion designer, business administrator and the creator of NINI, an original fashion line located in Managua, Nicaragua and Brazil. Two years ago, Saavedra went to Brazil to pursue her dream in fashion design. Notables who are fans of her work include Miss Nicaragua 2011, Adriana Dorn, as well as several public figures in Nicaragua.

Ramp1885.com: Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Norma Gomez Saavedra: I'm 100 per cent Nicaraguan. I've always been passionate about fashion and always knew that I was going to be dedicated to something about fashion. I had that certainty since I was little, maybe because of the fact that my mom would sew my dresses. Since I was a child, I grew up with that influence and my mom always was a pillar. I've always wanted to come to Brazil, with a big interest for this country, [with] a big love.

I first studied international business, then I changed and graduated in business administration and now I just graduated from Brazil's SENAC (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje Comercial) in tailoring, fashion [consulting] and fashion design.

I want to keep on working with NINI in Nicaragua, and here in Brazil too. I know it's difficult to work in the Nicaragua branch from Brazil, but thanks to God I have an excellent team in Nicaragua, which is my family.

Ramp1885.com: What does fashion mean to you?

NGS: Well, to me, fashion is born on the streets. It is then is taken to the industry as a mixture of trends by fashion creators, bloggers, etc. Fashion is more complex than what most people think, but personally I consider that style is beyond fashion.

Interview continues after slideshow

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Ramp1885.com: Focusing on Nicaragua, how would you define your country's fashion?

NGS:I think it's growing little by little; it's just starting but I think that people are already starting to breathe more fashion. I'm thrilled with the support that I've received on my blog from my Nicaraguan people. I think fashion is growing in Nicaragua. There's a lot of talent and the support exists.

Ramp1885.com: What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?

NGS: [Laughs] A SKIRT! I love skirts and strapless dresses. I always enjoy designing skirts and have to confess that it's what I like the most. Besides, my mom always sewed the skirts I designed; she liked sewing skirts and I love dressing a skirt. NINI is an extremely feminine brand and the skirts are the face of NINI.

Ramp1885.com: How long does it usually take you to construct a piece?

NGS: Well, at the beginning it was easier, now I'm more exigent. There's the marketing research, creating the sketch, looking for the right fabric... Sometimes, it can be a long process to construct a piece.

Ramp1885.com: Describe the general process you go through to design and realize a piece of clothing.

NGS: I always have a sketchbook in my bag because the creative process starts everywhere and anywhere, from a building to a person, colours, etc. Then I choose a theme and start creating the sketches. I talk to my mom to look for the fabrics and start creating the piece at the workshop.

Ramp1885.com: Do you have a specific style in all your clothing lines? Where does your inspiration come from? Or do you change from season to season?

NGS: My brand has a specific style and concept [and] I go from there. There are always new inspirations that supplement the concept of my brand for every season.


Ramp1885.com: What are some of your accomplishments as a designer?

NGS: I think that the biggest accomplishment is the acceptance of my father; he likes my designs and my parents support me on everything I do. Also, [getting] the support in Nicaragua in such a short period of time, as they don't know me that much because I'm in Brazil.


Ramp1885.com: How long have you been working as a fashion designer?

NGS: I started creating designs for me and my mom would construct them -- that was around six years ago. Professionally, around two years ago.

Ramp1885.com: Who are some of your favorite designers?

NGS: Martha Medeiros, Carolina Herrera, Alber Elbaz, Christian Lacroix, Elie Saab, Valentino, Riccardo Tisci.

Ramp1885.com: 
Do you consider yourself an artist?

NGS: I honestly consider myself a person that is offering a different style.

Ramp1885.com: 
What do you like best and what do you dislike about designing clothes?

NGS: I like everything! I love it from the creative process where the pieces are born to where they are put on sale.


Ramp1885.com: How would you define your personal style and the style your line exemplifies?

NGS: Sexy! The style of my line is my personal style; I wouldn't be able to design something I wouldn't wear. My style is romantic, sophisticated, sexy.

Ramp1885.com: 
What are your favorite colours, fabrics and patterns to work with and why?

NGS: I really like to work with vibrant, bright, catchy colours. I like tropical, bright patterns and Guipure lace.

Ramp1885.com: 
Do you only design for women; or do you see yourself designing for men in the near future?

NGS: [Laughs] I have never been asked this question before! In a short period of time, I see myself growing within my current line. I love designing for women like me who identified with my [collection]... I don't see myself designing for men in the near future, but I do later in the future.


Ramp1885.com: What age group are you aiming for?

NGS: At the beginning, I thought my creations were for women between 17 and 35, but I love designing for my mom, so there's no age range.

Ramp1885.com: 
What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?

NGS: Follow your dreams, prepare yourself, study and trust your style.

Ramp1885.com: 
If you could design the wardrobe for any movie or TV show, which would it be?

NGS: SEX AND THE CITY! No doubt. I grew up watching that show.

Ramp1885.com: What trends do you see being big for 2012?

NGS: Colour blocking will continue strong, tropicalism, masculine style, baggy trousers, full cleavage!!