Lula Aldunate, Creative Director of New York-based children’s label Lulaland radiates an uncommon warmth and radiance that is reflected in the mosaic of colour and pattern her beautiful designs are known and loved for. A conversation with her often leaves you feeling like you have been old friends forever, and maybe even renews your hope in humanity. The multi-talented designer, stylist, and entrepreneur sat down to give us a glimpse into her sparkling world and Lulaland.
JS: Tell me your life story (just kidding!). You’re from Buenos Aires—tell me about when you decided to come to the US. How did that come about, where did you land, did you have any cultural shock, language barrier, etc?
LA: I came to New York ten years ago, because I fell in love with the energy of the city, when coming for vacations a few times before, and I was in a place in my life where I needed the environment to create and always had the fantasy of living here, coming from South America and by yourself, with no job or connections, was a challenge, but I love a challenge!!
I had a cousin living upstate and stayed with her family the first months, then I decided I wanted to stay longer and did everything I could to find the right way to do it, find a job or a visa… and I did!! It was part of my path as everything fell in place! I applied for the O1 Visa and got it, since then a lot happened and changed and I still love New York & Brooklyn even more!
I always fell I belong to global places, where there is a mix of cultures, inspiration and freedom
I spoke English as I learnt it at school, but for years (and it still happens although not very often anymore) I discover new words and ways to say things!
JS: What do you miss most about your home town? Can you share your favourite Buenos Aires haunts?
LA: I am lucky I can go visit once a year at least, recently I spent 2 months there, and it was great to really reconnect with the spirit of the city.
I miss my family and my friends, the hours spent talking and laughing, the easy connections you make with the people, I feel in New York we are all in a rush, kind of trying to “survive” so every minute counts and spending time with people and talk over coffee, really talk…this is not the main priority, I miss that from my culture.
I love going to the Malba (the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires), the Centro Cultural Konex, the neighborhood of Belgrano R (full of old English houses and huge trees!) and one of my favorite places outside the city is La Plantacion (in Pilar).
JS: What is the best thing about being a New Yorker? And the worst?
LA: The best is the feeling of being able to do anything you want, the exposure you to the whole world in one place—your mind opens, your eyes open, your heart gets bigger when you see everything and everyone in one city, living together, creating together, being who they are, it’s marvellous!
The worst I feel is what I mentioned before, the disconnection.
JS: If you could remind your younger self of a spiritual truth that you have learned in your life, what would that be?
LA: It could sound cliché, but listen to your heart—whatever it says is your truth. Also, that who you are as a person has value, and to trust in whatever happens because there is always a reason and even if you might not see it at the moment, with time it all gets clear and you can see the path that led you to where you are at the moment, and all is well.
JS: Did you always want to be a fashion designer? What were you into as a kid?
LA: Not really, doing what I do now was not in my plans at all! Although I’ve been always in touch with fabrics and wools, textures and colours. My grandmothers were knitters and tailors, my mom also was always into textiles, though I never thought of having a career related to that, never liked the “fashion world” much, socially speaking, love fashion but not the people in fashion, haha. In general, of course! There are a lot of beautiful people in the industry too!
One thing led to another and from interior styling to creating products to opening a children’s store, lulaland as a fashion brand was born!
When I was little I wanted to be a teacher, my mom was a teacher then, and once I got a little older I remember being very clear that I wanted to live in a world of colours and work with paint and pencils—to create.
JS: What are the top three things on your bucket list?
LA: I’ve been lucky I have done a lot of what I desired in my life, not because I had an easy life, but because I like making things happen, manifesting my heart wishes!
That being said, I’ve never been to London and I would love to go—although I traveled around the world and lived in Europe two times! I want to create a garden and grow flowers and food… and I haven’t met the love of my life yet.
JS: Carl Jung said that synchronicity is everywhere if you only notice it. Thoughts?
LA: 100% believe in SynchroDESTINY! we are alive because of it, and it would be so amazing if we were more connected to this idea that I believe we come to this world with! if we were more conscious about it, and appreciate it more, we could see and enjoy the MAGIC of life!
This is a very extensive topic I love exchanging ideas about, I could listen and talk for hours (over a coffee!!! =)
Visit Lulaland website here.
Last wee we spoke to Julia Rozenfeld, Photographer, Mum and Boutique owner. Click to view Chit Chat Tuesday with Julia Rozenfeld.
Photography courtesy of Lula Aldunate – Lulaland, all rights reserved.
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