Marta Bahillo has always been a creative soul. After studying Fashion and Textile Design in Dublin, she moved to Argentina to work as a designer for an important company. However, her creativity and talent made her come back to Spain to create her own brand —Babaà— in 2012. Babaà creates high-quality and 100% natural knitwear for kids and adults and offers its clients the best materials, the highest qualified artisans and the most careful production as they track every single step meticulously. Their commitment with Spanish local artisans offers them the chance to work closely with them to guarantee the best results.
Marta has a very interesting story to tell, a creative job, a great challenge, a dream come true…we can’t wait to show you all the amazing adventures of this successful entrepreneur. We are sure you will find inspiration in every single word!
Marta, let’s start with you. What’s your background?
I am from Madrid but studied Textile Design in Dublin and then moved to Argentina to work as a knitwear designer. Then moved back to Madrid and set up babaà in 2012
Babaà products are really special because of their quality and the values behind them. What’s the brand’s philosophy?
We just want to do everything right, not just long lasting, quality products but also with good natural materials that had been produced in the right way for our society and for the environment. It is not straight forward at all but we care about what we do as much as about how we do it.
Tell us, how is your common work process?
We work in the factory in Barcelona and in our studio in Madrid. We also travel a bit for fairs and collaborations or presentations. The process is just work a lot on lots of different aspects of the business, we are a very small team.
What’s the best and the worst of the entrepreneur’s way?
As an entrepreneur, it feels that you work at all hours and there is a lot of pressure all the time. These are always more you can do but I like the challenge and being able to mix work and family works well for us.
One of the most important features of babaà is the careful selection of raw materials and the handmade production process, has this way been very difficult?
It is very difficult but there is no other way for us. I am totally passionate about it. Is that the fashion aspect in which you are interested? Yes, it fascinates me, I was just reading an article about the paper about the Spanish cotton we use, how sustainable it is all cotton from Spain and Greece due to UE regulations and how amazing the quality is yet how difficult it is to compete with cotton from China or Brazil because the prices are very different due to this sustainability and because we obviously do not use child labour. Isn’t it fascinating that we do not question that as clients? If you buy a cotton t-shirt for your kid for 3 euros as I saw them this summer, well, come on, you know what you are buying.
The same with the factories, we know who we work with and how they work, Having a factory and sustaining that work is not easy financially. We are proud to work with a family factory in Barcelona that we nearly call family ourselves. Prices are not discussed. We want a very high quality and we know we have to pay for it. What’s the point otherwise?
Talk about your designs, where does your inspiration come from?
Normally from the materials, I see linen and I know what I really want to do with it, or a very thick cotton calls for something else… Then I discuss techniques with the factory and we study possibilities, always looking for long lasting and timeless designs. If you buy something that will last you forever you really don’t want to get tired of it. We work a lot on that.
You design for both women and kids, what’s the most important thing to remember when designing clothes for young kids?
That they are probably going to wear them nearly every day, that they will be washed often and that they will be well played with so durability and comfort come first. Is there any difference between kids and adults? Not really, we design with the same principles: you want to wear our knits lots, you want them to be comfortable, cosy, and hopefully never get tired of them both as a kid or as an adult.
This summer you have worked with Bobo Choses, you launched products with one of our favourite materials, linen. What’s next for the babaà brand?
We are launching a collaboration with Mabo Kids this Sunday in NYC and our first babaà for Men in November!
Finally, How do you imagine babaà and yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully still happy and making progress.
Thank you, Marta, for this amazing interview!