Meet Mónica and María, the two sisters behind one of our newest fall brands, Cordera
(previously known as Moníca Cordera). Based and 100% ethically made in Spain, Cordera offers a timeless array of minimalistic designs outfitted in natural yarns and organic fabrics. In using high quality materials and keeping designs simple yet sophisticated, Mónica and María ultimately hope that Cordera's pieces will be worn and loved for years to come. To better introduce and welcome Cordera to New Classics, we had the chance to chat with the sisters behind the brand and ask them about Cordera's beginnings, how the brand has since changed, what sustainability means to them, and what their favourite pieces are from the collection!
Can you tell us about Cordera's beginnings and how the brand has since evolved?
The brand was born in 2008 and founded by Mónica and María Cordera. Since the beginning, we have pictured a brand that is loyal to our values and beliefs. We always have produced and worked in Spain with the same small family-run factories, and since then we continue to experiment and grow naturally and organically. We recently rebranded our company to Cordera and now we are a bigger team sharing the same values and passions.
What does sustainability mean to Cordera?
Sustainability means being conscious of our trace on Earth and taking responsibility for our footprint. It is an important part of our ethos, so we also try to live our lives with this very philosophy. In our business we have introduced sustainable practices in many different aspects and work with the latest technologies to reduce our impact. We continue to educate ourselves and do deep research to find the best fabrics and yarns. Of course, sustainability is a challenge and demands adding extra work, but we think it is definitely worth it.
What are some of the greatest lessons you have learned since launching Cordera?
We have learnt many lessons and are still learning. One of the greatest lessons for us is to let the things grow in their own time and nature, and respect that.
Why is 100% Made In Spain important to Cordera? For us it is very important to keep a local production. Also, “Made in Spain” means ethically made and made with care. There is so much talent in the small family-run factories that work in Spain as they strive to keep their great qualities and they savoir faire alive. 100% Made in Spain is something we and our customers value the most. How do you select what suppliers and factories to work with? We always work with suppliers that share our values and want to build a long-lasting relationship with us. We have been lucky with the suppliers that we have been finding along our way. They are now apart of our team and it is great to see how we all grow and evolve together. We are very grateful for that. What are some of your favourite pieces from Cordera’s fall collection and why? Wow! That’s a hard one! We are really attached to this collection; it is inspired in part by our roots and heritage and we love every piece. But our favourites are the Ecowool Polo Jacket because the yarn is amazing and crafted form the most natural alpaca and wool that doesn't require dying (the colour was created by mixing wools!). We also love the Double Collar Shirt combined with the Curved Leg Pants as they look amazing together! It is such a perfect outfit for the every day.
What does a typical day in the life look like for you?
I think that the best answer to that is, in one word, "intense". We have recently moved to a new office where our team can work altogether. It is a beautiful space in a nice XIX century building with a lot of light and high ceilings that bring a lot of peace to us. We usually have a morning meeting to share thoughts and tasks planning the day. After that, we reply to mails, have calls and meetings with our suppliers and customers, we choose fabrics and yarns, we propose designs and take some time to inspire ourselves. After work, the team loves to spend some free time together and with our loved ones, just hanging out around the city.
In the near future, what are you looking forward to most?
Our goals are to maintain our natural growth while being able to keep our values and essence together, offering great quality pieces to wear forever and with a unique style. This is what we work for.
Who or what are some of the influences you draw on when designing for Cordera?
Since we two sisters take care of the designs, we think that there is a kind of balance between our inspirations. Mónica is more inspired by our roots, heritage and nature and María is more inspired by minimalism, architecture and modern design. Our deepest essence as human beings and art are in our orbit. This makes the perfect mélange between cool minimal designs and easy to wear and comfortable clothes.
Cordera recently rebranded from Monica Cordera – can you let us know the impetus for this change?
Our word is in constant movement and change, which is something we embrace while also maintaining the DNA and essence of our brand. We felt it was time for a beautiful change. During all these years, our team has been growing and maturing, heading on a natural and organic transition to a new path. Behind our brand there are many beautiful minds, and we think that CORDERA is a name that includes all of us and represents us much better. Our family is growing, and we want every soul to participate and be involved. With this change, new lines will be coming, new images, new unique universes...balanced by the same values, same quality, and same human beings behind it all. We will keep our high standards of responsibility and commitment to the environment and we will also work everyday to find the best sustainable materials and offer you modern high-quality collections. CORDERA is about contemporary and minimal designs holding hands with an ethical and sustainable production 100% made in Spain. These changes are something that represents who we are while our essence stays the same, and we will continue growing and improving in our own way. We hope you love them as much as we do.
What are your favourite fabrics to work with and why?
Everybody in the office loves working with natural yarns. Our favourites are wools, definitely as we adore wool's soft, natural touch and its behaviour when you turn the yarn into a garment. This FW21 campaign we have a very special yarn, which is the eco-wool made from alpaca and virgin wool. We also love working with organic linens and seeing how it acts and moves when worn, presenting structure and lightness at the same time.
How do you manage to balance business and family as two sisters who work together?
We have always managed this quite well. Working together is easy and comfortable as we are a duo. But, of course, we have different opinions so we communication is key. We also admire and encourage each other and feel very lucky to have the opportunity to build this project together.
What is the legacy you hope to leave on this world with Cordera?
We hope we can build something special and of value to the fashion industry. We think that a natural spirit and sustainable choices are strong points that Cordera can offer. Of course, there are many things to improve, but we are sure that we are on the right path.