What would you say to fashion design inspired by Samurai, cohabitating in Spain and Honduras? The latest Nineteenth Amendment designer Gian Padilla Suarez’s brand, G.I.A.N. blends a youthful soul inspired by eastern cultures with the spirit of the Hanbok, a traditional Korean dress. Gian’s first collection, Aires De Oriente (Oriental Breeze), infuses modern looks with the art and traditional clothing from Asia. Her minimalistic pieces maintain structure with hidden jumpsuits, cut outs, and ease of wear all while using natural fiber fabrics that include linens, silks and cottons. Find out more about her biggest struggle, her design philosophy, and how she makes her space her own.
How and why did I start designing?
From a very young age there was something that I loved about clothing. I think I was born into it, there was this connection between what clothing meant to me and who I was. In my teenage years, I developed the desire to design clothing for myself, but it was limited because I didn’t have the tools to comprehend how a garment was made, so I modified dresses that I saw in magazines. Then I decided to make it my life’s mission to become what I wanted to be – a designer. I went to live in Europe – first to Paris – where I absorbed as much culture, fashion, and art to actually convince myself that this was the path I wanted to take. So I headed to Barcelona, where I started off at a little school of design and pattern-making and then to IED, Istituto Europeo di Design, where I acquired the necessary tools to be who I am becoming today.
What is your fashion philosophy?
There are no rules, there’s just creating. Be faithful to your own creative self, you can’t go wrong.
How has your design changed over time?
It actually changes every chance it gets. I am a very curious person so I want to try new things. Inspiration comes from reading, watching movies, looking through pictures, traveling as much as I can.
What inspired your latest collection?
“Aires de Oriente” (Oriental Breeze) collection is based on my fascination with cultures that I have a deep appreciation for: Japan and South Korea. I am a great admirer of their art whether it is film, theater, music, or their traditional clothing (costumes).
I have been very inspired by the film Rushomon, directed by Akira Kurusawa, for this collection. As well as ancient photographs of samurai warriors, geishas, and Japanese families. I also embraced Korean culture, more for their traditional Hanbok, the traditional Korean dress.
What is your biggest hurdle building a brand today?
I am staring off, so I would say that the biggest hurdle is in production. I am so glad that there are platforms, such as Nineteenth Amendment, that help young designers produce their collections. It’s a marvelous starting point for any designer, and I am so excited to be part of it!
What do you think about fashion today?
Fashion is ephemeral. It moves to fast, it doesn’t marinate enough to be what it’s meant for it to be. There’s a sense of contempt towards it, especially in fast fashion, that really makes me wonder if it’s getting out of control. Quality, design and inappropriate working conditions are damaging fashion.
As a designer I want people to be conscience about what they buy and keep in mind that there’s a responsible way of consuming fashion.
Where do you go and what do you do for inspiration?
I make my own space where ever I am, I live in both Tegucigalpa and Barcelona, and so I am constantly changing atmospheres. I also try to travel as much as I can to new places, it’s the best thing. I learn from new cultures by reading, watching films, documentaries, looking through pictures, art…. It’s very important to never stop learning. Immerse and be immersed.
What is your brand aesthetic?
It must be eclectic. As I said before, I just let myself be inspired by the things that surround me, by what I see and what I learn. I can go from creating exaggerating volumes to minimalism, from blacks to color… I am not afraid of taking risks.
Any tips and tricks of the trade?
Experiment with as much as you can. Don’t be afraid of anything. Never stop to doubt yourself, but keep on working on it until you are satisfied with your work.
Pick up your own re-imagined Hanbok with G.I.A.N.’s first collection on Nineteenthamendment.com.