Gabriella Perezutti-Isacson and Natalia Jacobs started Candela NYC back in 2004 with a basic line of fashionable T-shirts. Since then, they’ve expanded into dresses, sweaters, and (most deliciously) shoes. In the last 6 years, Candela NYC has become synonymous with the young and fashionable set. The Fashion Spot dropped in on their mid-town showroom recently for a cozy chat.
tFS: What made you decide to start a fashion line?
GP-I: We were friends. I had moved to New York, and she (Natalia) moved after me. She said ‘Why don’t we start our own brand?’ and I said ‘Why not?’ And then we started out designing T-shirts, building up from scratch.
tFS: Did you have any big plans? What were you thinking?
GP-I: When we started Candela, we wanted it to work. We wanted it to be our job… We started the company, and a year after we were working only on Candela.
tFS: How did you end up adding shoes? How did that come about?
GP-I: In 2006, like most of the things that happened it was coincidence – one coincidental event. In 2006 we designed a very small shoe collection and it took off. Ever since, we have been increasing the size of our shoe collection – to the point now where shoe sales are, like, 70% of our business. It’s become the strongest part of our business right now.
tFS: You guys design the shoes together?
GP-I: Yes. We design everything together.
tFS: I noticed that the Spring/Summer collection was peaches, greys, and sequins. It seemed to have a kind of mod influence?
GP-I: The Spring/Summer was always a bit more… bohemian and laid back, and we use lighter materials such as cotton voile and silk chiffon, so it’s more ‘flow-y’. And it has a stronger ethnic feel, while Fall is all about embellishments and embroidery and heavy chunky knits. And outerwear. It’s heavier. It has the density of fall and layering.
tFS: Is it the same for the shoes? What are you seeing ahead with them?
GP-I: Shoes, well we are always very edgy when it comes to shoes. We also do a lot of embellishments for Fall. And of course, boots. I will show you the pictures.
Gabriella brings her laptop over to show me photos of the newest styles coming up. Her voice is excited as she describes the new shoes – great masculine shapes in rich caramel suede with rhinestones and punky studs. She shows me embellished polo boots, and some wonderfully naughty over-the-knee styles. Also, an updated version of their hit bootie the Claudia. I’m dying! So in love…
GP-I: We have a lot of masculine influences. But what we do here is embellish.
tFS: When is your website going to have all this on it?
GP-I: Hopefully soon. We are working on the website, so it should take around 2-3 months to have everything as complete as we want. We’re going to have a real, operating website and open our online store.
tFS: So let’s say…maybe April?
GP-I: Even before that.
tFS: I think I saw a mention of Candela in WWD recently? How did that happen?
GP-I: Through a jazz singer who liked a tulle dress that we did. Her name was Nikki Yanofsky.
tFS: And you were also mentioned in Teen Vogue?
tFS: Will you be presenting during New York Fashion Week?
GP-I: What we’re going to do is present the collection during Coterie, which is after Fashion Week. During fashion week we are planning a big photo shoot. And our PR agency, Dennis Williams, will do our meet and greet for a few days. The press will be there, and the collection. That will be in mid-March.
Photos by Faith Bowman.