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#WeekdayAttitude

Iara Courbrant

Co-Founder of Officine D.I.

Wine is essential in all our meetings...

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What are you up to?

I’m currently living in my hometown, Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’m working full-time as a marketing and visual designer for a fashion brand called A.Y. Not Dead. It’s a 9-6 job but a pretty flexible one. I also am a co-founder of a multi-disciplinary brand called Officine D.I. with my best friend, Dafne.
We make swimsuits and other things. Right now it’s Spring, but we are rushing to finish everything for this Summer.

When did you start?

We started it in October 2016. Actually, we decided at the end of October that we wanted to make our own swimsuits and sell them, and Summer in Argentina starts around the end of November so we realized we needed to have everything ready (taking pictures and promoting the brand) super soon.

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Why swimsuits?

It was super casual. We were drinking wine and Dafne just out of nowhere said: “Oh, I really want to have my own swimsuit brand.”. It was really funny because I always thought of that too so we decided to do it together. I never imagine having a business with other people but I feel good doing this with her since she was and still is my bestest friend. It was the best thing ever. Our disciplines complement each other really well.

FIRST THING FIRST!

What was the first thing that you did?

I’m a fashion designer and I know about the process of designing a piece of clothing. The first thing I suggested for us to do was to find 10 swimsuits that each of us really would love to own, something really new and unique. We met and showed each other what we found. We mixed and matched what we found and throwing in more thoughts about each design. We ended up with 6 new swimsuits, designed exclusively by us. Even Though I’m the fashion designer in this partnership, we always discuss everything before coming to a conclusion together. The brand is really the combination of our identities. It’s really fun.

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What was the process after that?

Then we started looking for the fabric and people who would make the swimsuits. This was the difficult part because we were already at the end of the year and all the garment makers were already fully booked. They didn’t want to take any more jobs. We managed to convince someone to do it but for a higher price, especially because we were only making a small batch. It was a pretty bad experience. They missed the deadline they gave us. We were supposed to get the swimsuits by the end of November but ended up getting them a month after.

What's special about Officine D.I.?

We really pay attention to the details of our product. Each of the 6 designs have their own unique packaging to go with. We even put in the little engraved logo tag on them (this was actually really difficult to get it made well). We also made tote bags to go with all orders.

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How did people find you?

Most of the sales we made were online. We ship worldwide but the shipping cost does add up so we ended up with customers from Argentina mostly. We also put our products in 3 physical shops in Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and also Uruguay since a lot of people go there for vacation. We did two afternoon cocktail openings to introduce ourselves to friends, potential clients, and bloggers. Our brand definitely survives on word of mouth.

What's for the future?

So actually for the summer collection, apart from the swimsuits, we also sell beach towels. A few months ago, we launched our first t-shirt design made with organic cotton. It has our logo in the front and it’s unisex.
Although we started from swimsuits, our goal is to sell whatever we like/want to wear. We want it to become a multi-disciplinary brand. We are planning on launching a pajamas line soon.

What's your day-to-day schedule?

So since my full-time job schedule is flexible, I’m always multi-tasking and trying to fit all the work in whenever I have time. I’m running around all day for my full-time job, going to shops and picking out clothes for the mannequins. I check my phone whenever I have time throughout the day to reply to my co-founder and suppliers for Officine D.I.

After 6pm, I meet with Dafne for drinks/meeting. The most important thing for us is to enjoy working on our brand and to do it because we like it to do it. Always alcohol in the meeting!

So since my full-time job schedule is flexible, I’m always multi-tasking and trying to fit all the work in whenever I have time. I’m running around all day for my full-time job, going to shops and pick out clothes for the manikins. I check my phone whenever I have time throughout the day to reply to my co-founder and suppliers for Officine D.I.

After 6 pm, I meet with Dafne for drinks/meeting. The most important thing for us is to enjoy working on our brand and to do it because we like it to do it. Always alcohol in the meeting!

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Lifestyle?

How do you take care of yourself?

I don’t exercise enough, but I walk a lot to compensate with that. I’m also a very active person so I’m always on my feet. I don’t have a special diet and I don’t restrict myself to what I eat. I do, however, try to eat well most of the time, you know, keep it balanced.

Beauty Secret?

I’m just starting now with taking care of myself. I don’t wear any makeup at all, and my only routine is to wash my face before I go to sleep. I don’t really use sunscreen but I use the moisturizer that contains some sunscreen in it.
Another thing I like to do is to make my own face mask with what I have at home. I mix oatmeal, honey, milk, water, and some Indian Healing clay powder together and use that as my face mask.

Where do you shop?

Thanks! So I’m lucky enough to work for a clothing brand that I like and they give me clothes! I design my own pieces sometimes when I feel like it.

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