By Maya McCarthy on February 25th, 2013
Alternative and original methods regarding the use of materials, exquisite handcraft work, and organic aesthetic inspired by the allure of nature’s unevenness, reflects some of the remarkable characteristics presented by Balmaseda’s capsule collections. This young brand, led by the super talented and spirited designer Zaida Adriana Goveo Balmaseda presents a very mature identity, aligning the boundaries between fashion and arts while designing commercial multi-function garments with strong appeal to the fashion lovers looking for sophistication combined with a contemporary statement.
Within the irregularities and non-linearity of Nature’s landscape, Zaida finds her own inspiration for a holistic concept of design, where the respect for the essential raw material, expressed in each piece, is contemplated through the mind set towards zero waste production, recycling, natural dyes and use of organic cotton, constituting the basis of timeless collections constructed entirely by hand aiming for creation of a meaningful link between the wearer and the clothing.
Through feminine shapes, Zaida expresses her distinctive look in lines, making them curve and round, emboldening the irregularities and transmitting the impression of more natural and smooth transience. The two collections, Calafuria and Manifesto, adduce this continuous organic feel, stressing the brand’s authenticity and reinforcing its leading edge character.
As a descendant of at least two generations of masters in the art of handcrafting, Zaida’s pursuit for perfection results in high quality items produced locally with deep respect to the workers, to the environment and to consumers. The yarns used in the knitwear lines are recycled from leftovers of NY’s textile industry or are chosen based on non-toxic properties. They are hand-spun and hand dyed with natural elements found in the designer’s daily surroundings; to name a few: berries, flowers, curry and coffee.
Balmaseda’s collections have been featured in international events such as the MMXI project at the Tribeca Grand Hotel in NYC, the Ethical Fashion Show in Paris, the Mittelmoda Design Competition in Gorizia, Italy and the Green Fashion Competition in Amsterdam, where Zaida was one of the finalists in the category of start up designer/brand with her Calafuria collection. According to the contest jury members – “The focus in this collection lies in the outspoken use of handcrafted materials. Fabrics are hand-dyed and quilted and knits are made from hand-spun yarns. This in combination with multifunctional designs make the label really exiting. The business plan shows a good knowledge of sustainability issues and covers more than just the right choice of materials. Like the designer says: ‘It’s more than the clothes, my work should be a catalyst for positive change.’”
Zaida can be considered a true source of inspiration for many designers looking for more significance in their work. In a video from the series Beyond the Fabric produced by Downy, Zaida genuinely shares her early youth aspirations of becoming a fashion designer in the big city as well as how her aspirations gained a higher purpose while developing an ethical fashion label.
Priscilla Camargo is a scientist, conscious entrepreneur and blogger who is completely passionate about technology, arts and sustainability. Through her writing she shares her experiences on sustainable development and heritage both in fashion and design, always expressing her love of aesthetics created from the mix of different cultures and her commitment to social and environmental issues. You can find more about her work at her social media channels: , Facebook and Blog.