CONSCIOUS, TIMELESS AND SILKY: MEET STEFANIA BORRAS OF DATURA
“Timeless pieces, both feminine and comfortable. Natural fibres that feel like a second skin. Effortless from afar; elegant up close.” The New York-based label Datura is both beautiful on the surface and below.
Looking at Datura for the first time, one might recognise an aura around it which is hard to define. “Glow” would probably be the most appropriate notion to capture this rosy, eased and honest substance which comes truly from within. No wonder, the sustainable fashion label combines the passion for natural fabrics with an adventurous yet glossy take on classy elegance.
Founded by Stefania Borras in 2012, the brand explores the connection between nature and our modern lives in the city. Originally coming from Mallorca, the Mediterranean flora and approach to life has always been essential for Borras: “The nature there is stunning with purity and rawness. I like to bring those elements to the city.” The simple shapes of the delicate dresses, jumpsuits, blouses and trousers of Datura pay an homage to the fabric itself. Made of subtlest silk and linen, the flowing and airy cuts lap around the body like a second skin, giving the label its unique look of a highly modern wardrobe.
Through a controlled manufacturing process, exclusive online-only distribution and the use of 100 percent natural high-end fabrics, Datura offers versatile and timeless designs that can be worn all over day and in the nighttime. All designs are created in New York.
After studying fashion and leaving Burberry and Marithé + Francois Girbaud, Borras started her first self-titled label in the Spanish metropolis. She experimented a lot and both conceptually and creatively found the elements she wanted for her own brand. Three years later, Borras moved to New York, closed her label and made a new start with Datura shortly after. “Datura had the essence of my previous brand but I chose to make it online-only to make the price-point more affordable without sacrificing quality,” says Borras. Down to the present day, not only that Datura has become a cherished label which is just about to take over our hearts in Europe. Borras also portraits inspirational women in the creative industries for the Datura blog as an insight glimpse to their work and style.
This is why we wanted to know more about Datura and the woman behind it. Stefania Borras told Material about her very personal relation to fashion, her fascination for materials as well as sustainability.
Stefania, please tell us a bit more about the story behind the name “Datura.” It sounds so lovely!
Datura is a plant. It has a beautiful trumped shape flower called a moon flower that opens up at night sending a strong and elegant smell. The plant has hallucinogenic properties, too. I liked the idea behind it, as something beautiful and sometimes dangerous (if used in the wrong way), encapsulating much of nature which is my biggest inspiration.
What was your very first contact with fashion?
From an early age I would lose myself in the images and concepts of editorials in magazines. I found some of the images and stories would set my imagination free and into another world. I would look at them over and over again trying to catch further details. Thee way these images made me feel excited about something unknown, I loved this.
How did slow fashion then come to your life?
I didn’t know it was called “slow fashion” or that it was a movement at the time, it was more of a frustration I felt in my mid twenties after I had studied fashion and I guess living in Spain where a lot of the big fast fashion brands started influenced me. I used to buy fast fashion myself in my early twenties – having new clothes every weekend felt like a necessity but I didn’t like the way it made me feel. When I bought something from a boutique or a vintage item it always felt more special and I treasured those items. With fast fashion, the excitement of having something new vanished the moment I bought it. I guess that’s the essence of consumerism. After I started my first label and saw how much work, money and time went behind every piece I realised how the fast fashion industry could not be sustainable or made properly and I started to look into doing the opposite. Our generation has grown up with fast fashion more than previous ones.
So you decided to make a difference. How do you guarantee that the processes of Datura are sustainable?
We make all of our clothes here in New York. It’s very important to us as a brand to make everything locally and in small batches. We never overproduce or have overstock and every piece is carefully made. We source our fabrics from all over the world. We look mostly at the quality and durability so that these pieces can become part of you and your wardrobe for a lifetime. Datura is not only a fashion brand, but an empowering movement for women to grow with and be a part of.
Your collections are an homage to the materials themselves. What is your fascination about linen and silk, for instance?
I’ve always used and been drawn to these materials. Linen is great for summer or for hotter days. It’s fresh and feels great on the skin. I love the feel and look and how raw and chic it looks at the same time. Silk is one of the fabrics I use the most as it’s timeless and you can wear it all year round. It’s very flowy, sensual and feels like a second skin. It’s very airy and almost feels like you’re naked.
Which picture of a woman do you have in mind while designing?
Many different ones. I try and imagine a special scene where they would be wearing the garments and then everyday casual occasions, too.
Do you feel women still have to learn to support each other?
I love women and being a woman. I feel I understand women and women that undermine each other or envy each other is something I detest. I feel a need to help others and empower who we are and can become.
What does style mean to you and how would you describe your own style?
Style is a difficult term to describe because it’s about individual taste. What’s stylish for one might not be stylish for others. I feel one’s personal “style” is something unique and distinctive, the true meaning of self. For me, style is something that looks rich in quality but has been put together with not so much effort. It’s a bit of a mix. I wear a lot of my own designs but I love to mix them with other pieces. Good quality and good fabrics are really important to me. I guess I have a relaxed style and like to mix between feminine and masculine elements. People often say I have a very natural look which I choose to take as a compliment!
Has Datura changed the way you consume and live yourself?
Yes, of course. In every aspect – always quality over quantity!
Last but not least, what are your plans for the future?
Expanding and growing Datura and my new family.
Thank you for the interview, Stefania!
All images courtesy of Datura