Our Surf Chic editors were fortunate to come across this fabulous brand when one of our models was on a photoshoot with famed photographer Anne Menke for their new campaign. We immediately fell in love with the fabrics designs textures along with the super appropriate name for the line- Vagamundo.
We found the Vagamundo brand to be all about beautiful clothing and accessories that fit the bohemian lifestyle of a free-spirited but sophisticated woman who travels, surfs, dreams, seeks adventure and romance, and does it all beautifully while showing the world her own individual style. This is something that embodies the Surf Chic audience.
On a balmy afternoon-We sat down with the ever so talented photography producer turned fashion designer – Brandy Faling. She was thrilled to share her story with us:
1) How did you start Vagamundo and what is the basic theme of your brand?
Vagamundo began as a mutual desire to bring back and share the exotic fabrics, textiles, handcrafts, and other treasures that Sebastian my partner and I would come across during our travels.
At the time, we were based between New York and France, but spending winters in Chile, where Sebastian is from.
In the beginning, we searched for existing clothes, trinkets, and accessories that caught our eye, and we set up shop in a summer beach market in Maitencillo, a very special Chilean surf town which remains Vagamundo’s primary home from December to March.
Each year we found ourselves making extensive changes to improve the clothing designs, altering the patterns, fine-tuning the proportions, sourcing better materials, until gradually we evolved into our own line.
2) What is the inspiration for your company – Designs- and Theme
Sebastian and I have a bit of a bohemian lifestyle ourselves – we live part time between several countries, travel extensively, and have had the opportunity to be a part of many different cultures and industries – from the street-art scene in Paris, European artisan markets, South American surf beaches, ancient villages in India, to the fashion photography world of New York City.
We are endlessly inspired by our travels, art, exploring other cultures, and especially by the unique fashion style of our friends, and the fascinating people we meet on our journeys – the nomads, hippies, surfers, artists, academics, musicians, fashion models, and gypsetters.
This experience and inspiration not only affects the ovrall vibe of our brand, but the actual apparel. Our clothes are designed for travel, made from lightweight materials that are easily hand-washed and air-dried.
We have many items that can be worn in several different ways – throw one piece in your bag, and have four unique outfits! My personal favorite is our Shape-Shifter which can be pants, a strapless romper, off the shoulder blouse, or short sassy dress. We also have a great selection of one-size-fits-most items, which can accommodate sizes 2-16, and are flattering on all shapes.
3) How did you get your start in the photography world and then the fashion world.
I started in the industry as a photographer, which for me organically led to production. As a producer, I originally began my career in advertising, but eventually was introduced to the fashion and retail world, where I found my true fit. The seasonal schedule of shooting is ideal for my lifestyle, and the opportunity to work in different locations and with ever-changing crews of talented, fun, stylish people is truly amazing.
4) Tell us how those 2 worlds intersect for you.
Working as a producer for top retail clothing brands has given me unique insight into many facets of the business that have been very helpful in the creation of our own apparel line. I have also been extremely lucky to build friendships with incredibly talented and generous people who support and encourage our brand with their creative services. Additionally, Vagamundo has provided me the opportunity to re-tap into my passion for photography. I am thrilled to be shooting now more than ever, for our travel and inspiration journal, for social media and marketing, and product photography for the website.
I use my creative background and production knowledge in almost every aspect of the Vagamundo business. This experience is helpful from original concepts, design ideas and fabric choices, to outlining marketing strategies, managing production schedules, organizing our photography projects, creating inspiration storyboards, and art directing the shoots.
It has been a similar experience for Sebastian, whose background is in art, painting, illustration, and graphic design. His creative talents are integral to every facet of the business, from the first design sketches, working with the tailors to perfect our patterns, creating all original t-shirt and embroidery art, to full design and execution of our website and branding. We enjoy the collaboration, and our individual strengths make for a great team!
5) Are all of your designs a one of a kind?
The majority of our designs are original, and we have also reinterpreted and brought our own vision to some classic styles. Our entire silk collection offers one of a kind pieces made from repurposed saris, so no two are alike. Customers love knowing when they wear a Vagamundo silk item, it is a unique piece that no one else will have!
6) Where do your fabrics come from?
Currently, all our fabrics are from India. We travel there each year, scouring the markets in search of beautiful, high quality fabrics to fit our designs. We sort through enormous amounts of material, and also hand-pick each sari that will become part of our silk collection.
7) Tell us about the sustainable factor.
Upcycling existing materials, such as the repurposed saris used to create our silk collection, reduces the environmental impact of each garment by diverting those textiles from ending up in landfills, avoiding the use of valuable resources to create new materials, keeping costs down which allows us to offer luxurious fabrics at affordable prices, and the best part – results in stunning one of a kind pieces!
8) Why do you feel the Eco-Sustainable factor is important in fashion today.
The fashion and textile industry uses many precious resources and is a large contributor to the amount of pollution in the world. Every choice we make as creators and consumers affect the health of the environment, and the more responsible and resourceful we can be, the better for everyone.
9) What can we expect from your next collection and campaign.
The new collection, launching in early spring, will bring fresh new fabrics to our favorite styles. This season we have woven in some monochromatic prints and solid colored materials to balance our continuing selection of gorgeous textures and patterns.
This season will feature new original designs across all collections, and we round out our loose and flowy classics with some more streamlined and contemporary silhouettes, such as a straight silk skirt, a fit and flare dress with cut outs, and sporty trousers.
We are especially excited about our expanding line of jackets. Our classic army acket now comes in more color options and we’ve added a bomber jacket in a variety of the coolest colors, all of which feature original embroidery art. We also have a new short jean-style jacket in durable fabric, each piece individually adorned with vintage textiles hand-picked during our treasure hunting in India. We are also unveiling two new and very different styles of silk jackets.
We will also be launching a new collection of carefully curated jewelry and accessories.
10) When does the new campaign launch and where can our readers purchase your beautiful clothing.
The new line will launch in April, and our apparel and accessories can be purchased at www.vagamundostyle.com, where we offer free shipping in the USA, as well as shipping to Mexico, Canada, Australia, and the UK (with additional countries coming soon). @vagamundostyle
Hair and make-up: Graziella Jones/ Photography: Anne Menke