Only her daring spirit and boundless energy could have designed this!
We are proud to present something extraordinary and completely original! Sol Caleyo is a brand designed to leave you breathless!!!
It is our distinct pleasure to present to you the fashion designer and owner of the brand Sol Caleyo, Maria Ines Lobo!
IB: Hello Maria, how are you feeling?
M: Hello and good afternoon!!! Feeling great in this beautiful sunny day in Gijon!
IB: Can you tell us a little bit about how the brand Sol Caleyo started?
M: Hmmm… it all began in 2001 in Argentina. To be honest I have always wanted to be a fashion designer, I believed that I will be one, and it happened.
IB: You started your career in Argentina, now your shop is located in Spain, in Gijon Asturias, hoe did that happen?
M: Argentina has changed a lot. In 2015 my husband and I have decided to leave the country and moved to Spain. Firstly we considered Madrid, than Barcelona, and then, one very cold day in June, I started looking for my grandfather’s home country, of course I only knew its name, and had that nostalgic feeling passed on to me by my grandfather while I was still a child. He was like a father to me… I remember the images of the people and nature of Asturias that have left a grand impression on me, so much beauty in one place. On that day in June I said to my husband: We are going to Asturias!
Finally, on 16 June 2015, the five of us arrived, my husband, son, our cat and dog, and me. Asturias, for us, was all we have expected and more.
IB: I believe this was a truly courageous move. You began working solely on clothes and now you are designing intricate and complex footwear, a daring move?
M: In the beginning, only clothes, smaller items, little by little, I always made designs I myself would have wanted to wear, it is important for me to stay true to my style. People have reacted to my designs with enthusiasm from the very beginning.
IB: This is no coincidence, the passion you have for your work is plain to see in the items you design,
and it looks like success is guaranteed? Do you have any plans as to how you will develop as a designer?
M: Everything was growing slowly, I worked with no expectations, it all sort of grew in an on itself, and at one point a realised I have to give my brand a name.
IB: Tough decision?
M: What a moment!!! What name should I use? Than it finally hit me, I remembered my grandfather from Asturias, Sol Caleyo. A name that fits perfectly with my designs, I think it sounds great and it means a lot (at least to me). This is how my brand came to be and got its name.
IB: Wonderful! Most designers talks about their beginnings and finding their own style. You originally decided to design apparel?
M: Hmm… yes, I started with apparel, however, as the years went by both Sol Caleyo and I have matured and evolved together. Designing apparel turned into designing lingerie. How I turned to designing footwear from there I cannot explain even to myself.
IB: Do you still design apparel today?
M: I would present myself as a footwear designer, and I believe I have found my calling for certain. In addition to footwear I also design handbags, on occasion an odd clothing item or two. Currently, there are a couple of vests that I felt the need to design. I think they will be complemented by the boots I am designing.
IB: your boots are surreal! I clearly see why you chose the path of a footwear designer.
M: The clogs are the flagship of my brand. They are made with wooden platforms. I have a great passion for wood and leather. This was also the last product I designed in Argentina.
IB: It is really amazing how many designs you conceived of such a simple item. Did you take many risks when you chose to innovate your designs?
M: In 2015 when we moved to Gijon, Asturias, I have had to start from scratch. I discovered something completely new for me, jute for the production of soles! I love a challenge. I designed my first jute-sole sandals, and soon they evolved into boots. This is how my footwear design started.
IB: I have to confess that they leave me breathless.
M: Stores with shoes and boots are special places for me. I feel that the entirety of art can be found on a pair of shoes.
IB: Where do you find your inspiration, it seems boundless?
M: Inspiration,… it is not easy to explain, this is something that comes to me as a natural process, I don’t know, it is difficult to verbalize this, to define that moment, I am not certain I truly understand it either. What I can say with certainty is that my best ideas always came to me in moments when I was completely relaxed, exciting me awake in the process. As you can see, once I get going I cannot stop until my vision is accomplished.
IB: Are you demanding of yourself? How much freedom do you allow for your imagination when you work?
M: Perhaps this would be best explained with the way I design handbags. I start when the design is completed in my mind, however, while I’m working on a handbag it becomes different, it keeps evolving… I could compare it to drawing or making collages when we were children. I think that playfulness is a crucial element of creativity.
And whether I am demanding of myself, a pair of boots usually requires about a week, this is a time consuming process, time and dedication are required in order to end up with an item that truly satisfies, in order to be satisfied with your work. I think this is the essence.
IB: Thank you for sharing your story with us! It was a pleasure to talk to you, and we wish you all the success you deserve!
M: Thank you!