Natalia and Diego met as kids and reconnected through the years, creating this amazing label in the heart of London, that has achieved so much since they started up in 2011: from scoring collaborations with Topshop or selling their label in over 40 stores in Japan, to witness celebrities like Beyonce, Alexa Chung or Kate Moss wearing their designs.
They say every collection becomes a challenge and a lesson at the same time. Their repertoire extends to the most gorgeous clothes overloaded with fantastic details, in a new way to look at contemporary design with an ear to the London streets, as being playful with fashion is something they share with the city. They love the feeling of constant renewal, so they absorb every trace of energy creating their own vision.
After an exciting conversation, Natalia and Diego reveal us their secret with a big smile: “We are actually workaholics although we are called The Lazy Ones!”
Natalia, Diego, how did you first meet? Please tell us a bit about your professional association and background.
We met as kids and lost trace of each other after high school as we went to different universities and were hanging around different people. When we finished our degrees we reconnect and spent a whole summer together enjoying each other company and writing some music and recording with friends as a fun thing to do while plotting our London move. We would write down silly lists with all the cool kids we wanted to meet and all the places we would love to hang out in (laughs).
Brick Lane is one of the coolest areas in London, which mix different cultures and looks. Freedom and creativity appear in every corner. Was it clear from the beginning that it was the place to be? Why did you decide to open the shop in the heart of Shoreditch?
When we first moved to London it was right at the very beginning of all the fuss about East. It just felt like a great place to start up something! Galleries opening, rock stars walking down the street, photographers searching cool street style for japanese magazines. We would come every weekend browsing for great vintage. Having our own store in the area was a dream that by chance became true!
Since you first launched The Lazy Ones in 2011, how has the brand grown up?
A great deal. We started from not much really! We did everything ourselves and never had any investment. The first week we opened our store resembled a gallery because we were so bare! But since then we’ve achieved so much: from scoring collaborations with Topshop or selling our a label in over 40 stores in Japan to witness celebrities like Beyonce, Alexa Chung or Kate Moss wearing our designs. We love that we have never sent our clothes to any celeb, they bought our dresses themselves! At the end of the day, all these experiences have taught us how to run a swift production and become better designers and business people everyday.
Your designs are entirely produced in London? How does the process of designing and producing work?
It’s a lot of fun. Generally starts fabric shopping, we always use dead stock and end of roll fabrics and we take it from there. Sometimes there are some shapes that we want to do badly and we need to move heaven and earth to find the right materials for the piece! Every collection becomes a challenge and a lesson at the same time. Our factory is near our store so we are constantly introducing newness or re-stocking our classic pieces, depending on the demand, you need a good nose to spot what you customer is looking for, but our secret is that we are actually workaholics although we are called The Lazy Ones (laughs).
Besides your own creations, you also offer a vintage selection of very special pieces. Which is your input or style guide when collecting them?
We don´t have as many vintage pieces as we did at the very beginning but when we find something that catches our eye is usually very eclectic and has some weirdness to it, be it the shape the material or a combination of factors that make it stand out. We favour pieces that wouldn’t look a miss on a stage and would be worn by some psychedelic star possibly!
How is the experience of being ambassadors for Beefeater?
Being Ambassadors for This is My London campaign is an amazing experience. It has given us huge exposure in Spain, and a voice to inspire others to come and pursue their dreams. Your voice will be listened here, if you have something interesting to say of course! It’s also really fascinating experiencing the creative process that is being in the middle of big advertising campaign and meeting great people along the way while having fun!
The Lazy ones is also the name of Diego’s music band. Which kind of music do you inspire you the most? And which are your main cultural and inspirational references?
We adore what the label PC music is doing at the moment, we are always partial to witty lyrics and lo-fi sounds. But also enjoy listening old friends like Blood Orange and Kindness and their clear crooner image and funky bass lines. We are also loving some great art exhibits that had been curated by the Hauser Wirth gallery and Natalia has a soft spot for Richard Prince and a bunch of artists that explore the concept of art appropriation and copyright infringement as art.
Which tips do you think are most catchy in the British sense of fashion? Are they more risky when it comes to create a look?
Always and forever we think they’ll carry this love for constant renewal, sometimes is triggered by a music scene they belong to or maybe for the simple desire of standing out. As well there is a great love for times gone by and people favouring one decade over another and trying to revive it via fashion choices. Being playful with fashion is a vision we share.
Besides your cool shop in 102 Sclater St, do you also sell online?
Yes, being online is a great tool for independent stores like ours. You can sell to a new kind of customer that might not know where your store is but loves your collection but also the internet brings an equality to all brands, from small to big, as its all about the product in the picture.
Could you tell us any news about your upcoming projects?
We have a ton of projects on the pipeline, actually, we are collaborating with a bunch of great new labels this winter like Hanna Lee Jade with Sofia Drescher or Saccharine Shrine and we are also organizing another TLO pop up before Christmas in Madrid. And for fun we are recording more music and Natalia is in the middle of drawing a kind of graphic novel with some friends. But as well suddenly being offered an unexpected project is always thrilling.