For today’s post we had a very special visit at the offices of INVITADISIMA. Nothing more and nothing less than Paloma Yumi, one of the people that thanks to this firm exists and has relaunched 30 years later.
INVITADISIMA: Well Paloma, nice to meet you and to have you here with us, tell us a little bit about yourself, your backround…
PALOMA YUMI: Well, I am originally from Spain, born in Barcelona, my mother is from Barcelona and my father is from Madrid. In Spain I started my degree in Finance at the European University and later in the US I did my internship analyzing start-ups and I loved the fact of being with entrepreneurs, seeing the strategies and much more that later was what inspired me to create my own company.
INVITADISIMA: Why Paloma Yumi, is it a nickname?
PALOMA YUMI: My mother 30 years ago set up her own company, Nita Suri, which lasted 7 years and now we are relaunching it. At the time, she went to Japan to find a distributor in Tokyo, which was the market she was mainly focused on and my father was in the commercial office of the Spanish Embassy there, they fell in love, we lived there for 5 years and basically my brothers and I have Spanish-Japanese compound names, and the question I get asked a lot is if I speak Japanese and no, only my parents (she laughs).
INVITADISIMA: We know that your mother ran the brand 30 years ago, but why was there that break and why have you relaunched it now? What has changed?
PALOMA YUMI: My mother was in the wholesale trade, there was no online channel then and the brand was already at a high point so to speak and she decided to leave it for a while since my brother was born and later she went into interior design, she touched more fashion like designing dresses and many more things. It is impressive how creative she is, I consider her a superwoman and a supermom (she laughs).
INVITADISIMA: What was it like to relaunch a brand that was already at a high point in Japan?
PALOMA YUMI: My mother took up Nita Suri and bought many Korean industrial machines, this already the last year in South Korea and learning to make the bags she sent me the iconic LIA and PILOT to Los Angeles where I lived and worked taking advantage of going to many events of start-ups and important people. The attraction was incredible because all the women wanted one.
Lupita Nyong’o with the LIA WHITE bag, get it HERE
INVITADISIMA: How is that feeling of knowing that everyone wanted to hold one in their hands?
PALOMA YUMI: The feeling I had was like saying ”only I have this bag, my mother made it and no one else can have it, I feel unique, exclusive, I know where it comes from and the work behind it”, and that feeling is what I want to create with this new Nita Suri company, that every woman feels like me.
INVITADISIMA: What is the inspiration behind each Nita Suri bag?
PALOMA YUMI: First of all, the name Nita Suri may seem Asian to you, but actually my mother’s two great-grandmothers are responsible for this name, Anita and Ursulina. My mother was accompanied by her father through the streets of Barcelona and Gaudi was a direct inspiration for her. The bags have geometric shapes and are focused on architectural structures. The bags are not heavy and have a kind of whale that make the bag does not lose its shape, an important feature in the design is that they do not have dark linings, we love that a bag has a light background to find the object we have inside.
INVITADISIMA: We women couldn’t agree more on that last fact haha. We imagine that each bag has a very careful process until it gets to be in our hands. Which one is it?
PALOMA YUMI: Of course, we spent three years for testing and one year to get it manufactured. We want it to be a luxury brand with quality. It has a long process, it has been and still is a very big challenge today because everything is totally handmade. Each one of them goes through a quality control so that they are in optimal condition. They are exclusive handbags, with a lot of work behind them and the soul of my mother is transmitted when she sees it pristine and knows that it can be hanging on your arm.
INVITADISIMA: Wow, it is really impressive how far you have come, what does the future hold for you?
PALOMA YUMI: I have not been in Spain for long because I have been living in many places, but when I came in 2017, Moda Operandi asked me for some samples and it caught their attention, reaching in August, a month when there are almost no sales, more than thirty thousand dollars that same month. We have had an exclusive collection for Selfridges in London, and we have signed this June with Saks in the New York flagship store and I have pending to close the June meetings with Galeries Lafayette in Qatar and Paris. In the not too distant future I hope to be getting the company into Fashion Tech, which can be very cool to do.
INVITADISIMA: Well Paloma, thank you very much for visiting us in Madrid and especially for your time. We hope that in the near future we can chat again and have more of your designs in INVITADISIMA. Thank you very much!
PALOMA YUMI: Thank you very much!
Paloma Yumi – Founder of NITA SURI Barcelona