One on One Interview with Porto Designer Ana Klerkx
We love Porto and we know that you do too! Because of this, we thought that hearing a bit from and about the creative behind the brand, Ana Klerkx would serve to inspire and entertain.
Porto has been around since 2008. Designed in San Francisco with fabrics from Europe, the brand creates clothing that incorporates comfortable fabrics accessible for graceful women on the go. Casual and elevated work-wear sport deliberate twists and pleats that highlight a woman's natural, gorgeous features; They exhilarate and impress. Pieces not only look great but also travel well and are machine washable. Hang to dry to keep your pieces prim and polished for your next business conquest, day to night event, or anything in between.
Ana was born in California and knew she wanted to design since childhood. Trained in Italy, but with a mind full of inspiration from all over the world, saw the value of cultivating her creativity internationally. The luxury brand is found in high-end boutiques all over the USA
If you've been in our shop, you’ve heard us raving about it and probably own a few pieces of your own!
Our interview with Ana from Porto and our thought are featured below:
1) When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in fashion?
I have always loved sewing and creating things out of fabric. Creating any 3D item out of textiles brings me joy. (Right now we are trying to make masks for healthcare workers in our area even though we had to close our office we are discussing with the staff through zoom.)
I definitely remember a specific day though when I was 14 and decided I wanted to design fashion clothing as a career.
We love this! Thanks for doing your part during this awful pandemic and we appreciate designers that pay it forward.
2) What designers inspired you early on in your career?
Comme des Garcon. Yoshi Yamamoto. Ann Demeulemeester
All the rule breakers.
We hear it all the time from our customers. They’ve never seen anything quite like your individual approach and they are all immediately enamored.
3) Do you design for yourself or do you have a muse in mind?
Both, but honestly I am really inspired by some of the customers I hear from and the amazing things they are doing.
We’ve engaged with some of your devoted followers and they can’t speak highly enough of how incredible your clothing makes them feel as well.
4) What is your favorite part of being a designer?
Working with a wonderful team of people and watching our ideas come to life. There is a lot of stress in manufacturing, but that part is magical.
So happy to hear that you’ve got an impeccable team beside you. We know that in order to create optimally, a great team is indispensable.
5) Favorite fashion blogs and magazines to get lost in?
Hmm, I don't find much time for fashion blogs - any good ones you'd recommend?
Our own, of course! While still in beta, we curate our content based on value. Not to mention that we also love hearing not only from designers but our customers too. Stay tuned for more where we try to mesh fashion and styling, a dash of psychology and tons of fun advice.
6) Favorite 6 pieces in your closet right now?
Our Dylan wide leg pants and Touluse cropped jacket also love our floaty Cadence mesh petticoat skirt.
This and other fave’s are active on our site with new additions coming up daily!
7) Favorite city for inspiration?
New York and Tokyo.
Your philosophy: “Made in San Francisco, Designed to travel the world.” Really resonates with us and many of the clever women from around the world inspired by your collections.
8) How do you deal with feedback and find a balance between your own creative signature and the demands of new trends?
I really try to listen carefully to buyers and agents. Most of them are such resourceful, creative people that are great at thinking outside the box.
Trying to sift out which new trends will appeal to our fashion savvy clientele is a bit of a detective job I truly enjoy each season.
We hope we’ve played our part in relaying the reverence our customers hold for the brand. We keep seeing great things from you and are impressed by the constant innovative designs we see with each new release.
Ana and Husband Bart Klerkx from Inizio inspire each other constantly. Bart’s participated in our interview as well, stay turned for that in a future post! In the meantime, we’ve asked them a bit about their story together as a preface.
How did you meet?
I met Bart at the airport in Florence in 1994. We were both trying to figure out how to catch our connections in Paris with delayed flight right before Christmas.
Bart is from the Netherlands and I didn't meet many foreign men living in Italy ( mainly lots of women). We were both working in the apparel industry and discovered we had a client in common who actually hadn't paid either one of us. Ha ha - so I guess I realized right away we were destined to be together!
Do you "talk shop" together often? Share ideas?
Constantly! We try to avoid it at the dinner table with our daughter around.
She finds it highly annoying, but then again she often proposes some of the most genius solutions.
Tips for success in balancing work and family life?
That's a tough one! Still working on it.
Fine her site below: