Sofia Contreras-Paredes – MEÜS
Sofía, Please tell a little about yourself. Where are you from? How did you decide to become a fashion designer? Why textiles? Why believing in Guatemalan design?
I has born the 8 of December, in Guatemala city. With 2 creative parents, it was obvious that at least one of us (my 2 brothers and I) will end up following a creative career. I remember drawing and drawing and drawing and eventually, the practice and other events, led me to a Fashion Academy, the plan was to see if I actually liked it and if yes, which area … fell in love with all except marketing and commerciality.
For textiles, it was all because of Anita Evenepoel, she made me see textiles as new world and eventually i realized fashion silhouettes weren’t innovative, innovation and development was made through textiles. One experimentation took me to the next one and now MEÜS is characterized by that.
It is amazing to see so much creative talent, but so many chose to stay in something “safe” and comfortable” … I believe one day, the ones that took that hard path will be enough proof to others that it can be done, If I can do it while i’m still growing and learning, why not doing it? I believe in a collective future, our work is made in collaborations, to give some of them a chance to show their talent, with a safety net of not doing it alone.
Now, talk to us about MEÜS. How the idea was born?
Always knew i did not want a “Fashion Brand”, for me creativity can not be limited to one discipline, so why not a “Creative entity” , divided in 3 areas that take design, Education and collaborations. I see MEÜS as a tool that Guatemalan creatives can use to create/ share with and learn from.
MEÜS is the latin word for MINE. The perfect scenario: you are walking down the street, someone comes to you and says – I love your sweater, from who is it? – and you reply its MINE. Not because you bought it, but because you saw yourself in it and that made it yours.
How is it MEÜS different from other brands?
Easy – we are NOT a brand.
What is the biggest challenge when it comes to work with textiles and artisans?
Understanding that we all have our methods, we all work differently. It is a lot of learning, listening and specially exchanging knowledge. You can’t go with a mental state of “im just ordering something or demanding” … is a process that does not end with a final product or textile but with a creative bond between the 2.
Why supporting artisans is so import for you?
It is not only artisans, but creatives in general. We believe that innovation comes from merging talents.
If we see only artisans, first because they, as us, take their time in each piece and working with the hands is what we both love … why not collaborating with someone that relates so much to your work.
It is a chance to merge talent and present their work with a contemporary approach, bringing them to new markets and opportunities.
Which one is your biggest achievement with MEÜS?
Have a team. A one person company is so limited, finding people that live by the same principles and that value work and understand what MEÜS is and does is magic … no words to describe how it feels coming in to our study and having friends working to make things happen!
What’s next for Sofía Contreras-Paredes?
For me as individual, I want to teach … MEÜS #Metamorfosistextil workshops made me want more of that “sharing knowledge” .