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DRESS THE JOB BY BASTIDA FOR WORK

Bastida is a Barcelona-based design studio and brand run by Marta Soldevilla and Nagore Vitallé producing premium workwear.
Plácido y Grata

Hailing from backgrounds in fashion and fine arts, their paths crossed while working in a pioneering brand in sustainability, and it was right there where they both felt the urge to create conscious clothing for everyday life. 

They saw how creating a permanent collection of garments and accessories that were practical and comfortable could improve the conditions of workers, and this is how Bastida was born. 

Named after the catalan word for “scaffolding” which conveys a sense of construction, while “bastida” is also a feminine noun in their own language, thus underscoring their interest in designing clothes for women, avoiding the ‘one fits all’ kind of unisex approach to uniform pieces.

For the project they did for the apparel of Placido y Grata’s employees, they sought inspiration in the history and architecture of the hotel, resulting in a collection of garments in warm and neutral colors in line with the interiors and the design. But, most importantly, they are comfortable while they also exude timeless elegance.

 

For the project they did for the apparel of Placido y Grata’s employees, they sought inspiration in the history and architecture of the hotel, resulting in a collection of garments in warm and neutral colors in line with the interiors and the design. But, most importantly, they are comfortable while they also exude timeless elegance.

How did Bastida come about? When did you become aware that there was a need to create quality workwear?

We understand workwear as a real path towards sustainability in the world of apparel. Our goal is to make people reflect about the values behind the things they consume, and to offer a permanent collection to satisfy their need to get dressed, just like you use a spoon to eat.

We have that need to wear clothes specially designed for daily life ourselves, something that is comfy and easy to style. We’ve been developing that idea while working on different projects; we realized there was the need to renew and reinvent work clothes to offer a value proposal.

Tell us a bit about your design and work process. 

We always start with a concept or value that we dissect to get to the essence and translate it into clothing with the aid of visual references, materials, volumes, textures… Since we come from artistic backgrounds, our aim is to always tell stories.

We like to think that our work is closer to product design rather than fashion. Our motto is “form follows function”, but none rules out the other. When we get into a project it’s key to understand the work that’s going to be done, the intention and features behind the clothes.

How would you describe Bastida’s style?

Sleek, elegant, timeless; solid enough for each to wear it in their own way. It’s got a futuristic vibe. Uniforms come from tradition, but we’re headed to the future.

There’s a clear Japanese influence, given the admiration we feel towards their workwear culture and handicrafts. 

“Since we come from artistic backgrounds, our aim is to always tell stories.”

You mention the lack of a female angle in workwear design. Where did you put the focus regarding this matter?

We see work uniforms as an opportunity to fight inequality against women in the workplace, since it does play a very important role.

How do you feel when you’re wearing uncomfortable pants or a low-cut cleavage? Many uniforms are designed for men, and they are adapted to women by doing some fitting or simply changing the color. We are working on alternatives by developing patterns adapted to different bodies, always highlighting diversity and bearing in mind the comfort of any kind of person. 

 

How do you feel the effect that clothes have on us when we work? 

The most important thing is feeling confident; clothes should allow you to perform a task comfortably. We have felt on many occasions that we don’t wear the right clothes to do certain physical activities, either because they are not comfortable when moving or due to fear of damaging them.

Wearing suitable clothes is essential to carry out an activity with all the dedication that is required. If we also consider the fact that it’s customer-oriented work, there’s also a psychological dimension in how we are being perceived, it could even have an impact on the attitude towards customers. It’s something that all companies should consider when pursuing the excellence of their employees and the values they convey.

One of the perks of using uniforms is that they allow you to disconnect from work easily once you change, it’s like a physical ritual to leave work behind.

How is the reception of Bastida’s designs and services? Any outstanding collaboration? 

It’s been very positive. We feel that we offer a new service that wasn’t very common before. We’ve found many clients who didn’t know how much we were able to offer, and we always enjoy explaining to them all the many different options we can do for them.

We’ve been lucky to surround ourselves with highly inspiring projects and people such as Formaje, Plácido y Grata, Santa & Cole, among others, with whom we are still in touch.

As of now, we are working with a new restaurant that will open in Madrid and a furniture collector with whom we are developing a highly conceptual and creative project,

On the other hand, many people working in pottery and wood workshops are begging us to put out a line specially conceived for this kind of artisanal work. We are really looking forward to it!

How was working with the boutique hotel  Plácido y Grata? 

The project we did for Plácido y Grata entailed art direction and consulting for the hotel’s apparel. Their uniform consists of pieces from Bastida’s collection, combined with garments from other brands. 

The idea was to channel the warmth and elegance of the space through clothing by means of curating garments with textiles reminiscent of lounge wear while keeping it stylish and clean-cut. Colors also play that role: the earthy and neutral tones speak of the past, present and future of the hotel.

Do you believe that quality, local and sustainable products are more appreciated in the current moment?

They are, but some industries appreciate them more than others. We have worked closely with hospitality this past year, and they value all things local and natural, even clothing. The market is increasing, but it is hard to get to most of them, since big industries are still hard competitors.

Plácido y Grata

What are Bastida’s future plans?

As of now, we are working with a new restaurant that will open in Madrid and a furniture collector with whom we are developing a highly conceptual and creative project,

On the other hand, many people working in pottery and wood workshops are begging us to put out a line specially conceived for this kind of artisanal work. We are really looking forward to it!

In the future we’d love to expand our product range to get to more professionals with a wider variety to choose from.

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