Caftan queen Clara Lago, the London transplant turned Miami native, is Wynwood’s newest style caster. And after traveling the world and dressing A-list celebrities and nationally acclaimed influencers - including Natasha Oakley, Helen Owen, and Jamie Mansfield – Lago is deciding to post up in Miami where it all began to open her very first flagship location.
We sat down with Lago, to hear the story of how she created this internationally acclaimed womenswear line, launched a flagship store in Wynwood, and what she has planned for the future.
Clara, tell us about pioneering Pitusa! CLARA LAGO: It started eight years ago. I went to Peru for the first time in 2010 and different roads led me to different producers, markets, and different inspirations. And then, that following summer in 2011, was when I came out with our signature piece which is the Abaya, the dress that most people have. So, it really then flourished into a beachwear line and we suddenly grew it.
What initially sparked you to create a womenswear brand? CL: Coming from London, but living in Miami, I generally struggled with what to wear on a day to day, just because it’s so hot here. I never felt like wearing jeans, it was always too hot for jeans. I initially started thinking of shorts and leggings, and the concept behind that which was really not to have anything elasticated or with zips or anything tight around the midriff. And then it developed into the summer caftan. I felt there was a void in the market for comfortable summer wear. It was something that was hard to really get your hands on. That’s really what inspired me to keep going with it, that feeling I had that there was a need in the market.
It was mentioned you named your line after your childhood nickname, meaning funny little girl in Spanish. Can you elaborate more? CL: My father calls me “Pitusa” and when I was thinking of names, I just thought that was an appropriate name because yes, it translates into funny little girl. It was a fun fitting name for the brand.
With outposts all over the world, from Ibiza to Mykonos, to Harvey Nichols and Harrods, tell us about opening your first flagship store in Miami. CL: It made sense to open our first flagship in Miami, not just because we’re based in Miami, but also Miami is one of those top Euro destinations, even though it’s not in Europe. It’s where the jetsetters go. It’s Miami, Mykonos, Ibiza, Bali, Beirut. Those tentative top places that that market gravitates towards. We have tourists all year round in Miami. So it just made sense.
Ani Sierra of ONE Commercial, helped you find the perfect location for your new store. Why Wynwood? CL: Initially, when I first thought of the idea, I considered South Beach. But then as Wynwood developed over the last couple of years, Wynwood made sense. A lot of tourists now go to Wynwood. It’s the artistic hub of Miami.
What can we expect to see with your 2019 Resort collection? CL: The fabrics are still brightly colored, but they’re not as transparent. So it is more of attire that can be worn daytime, nighttime, not strictly for the beach. But it still has the Pitusa fun flair to it. But it’s definitely more accessible for day to day where.
A Miami native, what are your favorite go-to spots? CL: Of course Wynwood! I think it’s absolutely incredible. I’ve been here now for 11 or 12 years, so it’s absolutely amazing to see a city develop so quickly in a relatively short space of time. I remember Wynwood when there was nothing there, it was just Joey’s and a few art galleries and lots of homeless. And now it’s just amazing to be there and it’s buzzing. There are so many cool little shops and artisan type restaurants. I always recommend people visiting Miami to go visit Wynwood.
For our fashionistas, what Pitusa pieces do you suggest they indulge in this fall? CL: For the beach, I would probably say our Abaya is an easy go to. It fits almost all women. It’s colorful and bright. A true Pitusa piece. I think it’s definitely our most popular for the beach. And for a daywear outfit, I love our currently new India pieces. There’s a dress called the Clara dress. It’s really nice for that Miami heat because it’s not heavy at all and it’s not transparent.
What are your plans for the future of Pitusa? CL: I like to take things one day at a time, or at least one year at a time. Now with this store opening, this may be the start of many, many stores to come. We will just strategically choose the destinations to be very much in line with the Pitusa holiday destination spots.
The flagship will always be Miami. It’s the home to Pitusa. Miami’s always sunny!