The Ports 1961 Creative Director talks joyful simplicity and finding her way back to LondonShop Ports 1961
Founded in its namesake year, international fashion house Ports 1961 has become one of the London fashion scene's most unassuming stars. Credit goes to Slovenian-Croatian Creative Director Nataša Čagalj, who took the reins in 2014. Relocating from Milan to Clerkenwell - a stone's throw away from Central Saint Martins where she studied under the late Louise Wilson - Čagalj has built on the label's original ethos; elevating modest basics to create timeless, pragmatic staples that are a joy to wear. As the label unveils 'Made In' for AW18, a capsule of pieces celebrating fabrication and craftsmanship with graphic motifs and artisanal details, Čagalj talks us through her design process, London base and views on the current fashion landscape…Shop Ports 1961
How would you describe the Ports 1961 aesthetic? Modern, understated, confident, joyful, functional, adaptable.
How has the brand evolved since you've been at the helm?It was very neutral, which provided the perfect base to layer with textures and prints, exploring more with fabrics to add a certain richness.Shop Ports 1961
Is this in line with your original vision? Yes, in a way. The vision is something that I feel rather than a literal definition and I piece the collections together based on whether it feels right.
"Ports 1961 is ageless, it's timeless, it's international."
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You studied at Central Saint Martins, what did this teach you? Apart from the technicality and the dynamics of the industry, CSM taught me about humility and integrity as a designer, and learning to trust my own instincts.
Why did you move Ports 1961 to London's Clerkenwell? London is an international, cosmopolitan city with so much happening all the time. There is a rawness and spontaneity to London's creativity - a lot of talent here is unfiltered.
Is there a Ports 1961 woman? Ports 1961 is ageless, it's timeless, it's international. It's adaptable to the person wearing it and we prefer not to dictate. The woman makes it her own.
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"I am constantly observing, analysing and researching everything around me."
What's the starting point for a new collection? For me, it always starts with the fabric. I play with it, I stretch it and I start seeing what it could become. This continues to evolve and instinctively grows into a collection.
Who or what are your main sources of inspiration? My family, my surroundings, my team. The daily dialogue - both verbal and visual. I am constantly observing, analysing and researching everything around me.
How would you describe the current fashion landscape and Ports 1961's place within it? Fashion has changed a lot in the last few years. I believe there is a place for everyone. What counts today is how you position yourself and how you speak to your customer.
Our customer is a confident and international woman who appreciates quality and requires functionality and understated style. Ports 1961 is a constant in this woman's wardrobe.Shop Ports 1961