Gracia Woman was launched in October 2010 with the purpose of creating a collection of luxurious smart-casual country wear women’s clothing based on ethical principles. We talk to founder Raquel Gracia about her influences, career and the little things she can’t live without!
One word that describes you? Passionate
In your own words, what do you do? I design functional and beautiful ladies wear using the best organic, fair trade and hand-made textiles and products I can source in the world. Also, I’m trying to prove to the fashion industry that a pesticide–free, environmental approach is the new luxury.
Who is your greatest influence in your career/life? My family because of their love, patience, trust and support.
Which is your favourite part of your job? Every piece in the collection has a story to tell and I love telling those stories- from cactus silks sourced in the Sahara Desert, worn for millennia by sultans and princesses in the Arabian world, to crafted Japanese mother-of-pearls and rough yet beautiful tweed from Scotland. My customers carry those stories when they wear my clothing. Another part of my job I love is studying methods that would allow me to avoid water usage in the fabrics and finding sustainable plants that with limited resources I can transform into textiles and use in my designs.
Which is the part that you enjoy the least? Anything related to administration and budgets.
What is your greatest achievement? It’s difficult to say… I loved technology and became an engineer. I loved fashion and became a designer- I guess that my biggest achievement was having the courage to open my own company.
What was your Plan B? There is not plan B yet – I’ve still got a lot to do.
What is your most prized possession? A small collection of Charles Dickens works (1st edition) I bought 16 years ago in an antique shop.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given? “Darling, take the bull by its horns”
I could not live without… Trees. My parents had a cottage in the country side that was surrounded by hectares of olive and almond trees. For years, I worked in the fields harvesting the olives that would later become olive oil. I guess this contact with nature is the source of my love for trees.
What is your personal luxury? The “Queen of Egypt (Cleopatra)” body elixir and eau de toilette from Alqvimia.
What steps you take to make your life more positive? I collect seeds from fruits and vegetables I use in salads. I love planting them in little containers… So far, I’ve got about 10 different types of trees that grow indoors and in the garden.
Favourite restaurant? In which city? I am a “simple” vegetarian- I love wagamana in Windsor: they make the best bowl of soup with tofu ever.