8am: An early start for Patricia, who lives in the town of Vigo, in the North of Spain. “If I’ve been able to get out of bed, I have some breakfast at home, usually rye bread toasts with garlic, olive oil and salt and a ginger and lemon infusion.”
9am: After carpooling the office and gulping down a coffee to start the morning wide-awake, Patricia starts her day at the Bimba & Lola headquarters. She is one of three designers in the knitwear and jersey department: “I’m responsible for our proximity produced knits, so I basically work with Italian yarns and liaise directly with our suppliers for the development of our designs,” she explains. A usual morning can be spent doing fittings for production with the knitwear team, or in meetings discussing new ideas for the collection.
11am: A bit of hand-sketching and yarn selection. Even if she studied it at school, most of Patricia’s knowledge about knitwear is self-taught: she does a lot of hand-knitting at home. “At the beginning of my career I worked in other design categories, but I felt unmotivated, so when there was a vacancy in knitwear I knew I had to get it,” she remembers. “That was the best decision ever. The thing about knitwear is that you’re never really done learning, so it’s a constant research process!” She tells us about the design process : “After the yarn selection I usually work on swatch development, which involves trying different thicknesses, tensions, proportions and colour combinations. The next step would be sketching the designs and working on the first prototypes with both knitwear technicians and pattern makers.”
1pm: Patricia sometimes takes a trip to the factories. “Our offices are very close to Portugal so I go quite often to visit suppliers factories, specially to develop swatches. This is where the magic really happens, and my favourite part of the work.”
4pm: Research time! Patricia has a double life: she is also the woman behind ultra famous Instagram account @maggieontherocks. A long-time fan of saving and scrapbooking magazine cuttings, moodboarding comes naturally to her. Named after the song by French band Microfilm, the account is two years old, having previously existed as a Tumblr (it’s now a website).
Patricia now has nearly 130 000 fans of her inspirational pictures. Is is important for her to have a defined aesthetic? “It’s one of the most important things. As a designer working for different brands I’m constantly influenced by many different opinions and tastes, this is a way to remind myself of what I like, what’s really me.” For her, online moodboarding is the most immediate way to find inspiration – “you just have to check your phone, it’s so easy and approachable!” She is constantly flattered by her huge following, and even a bit surprised: “My account is merely a representation of my personal taste, so it means a lot getting such good feedback.”
6pm: Patricia leaves the office to run errands, go for a drink with friends or do Pilates. A self-confessed “knit-nerd”, she often spends weekends at her knitting machine, which she finds very therapeutic. She also loves to travel, either for work or for love – her boyfriend currently lives in Utrecht, and they recently took a trip to Antwerp together to check out the Martin Margiela at Hermès exhibition at the MoMu. Patricia enjoys the balance between the chilled lifestyle of her area, with its beautiful beaches, and her frequent trips abroad. “I’m lucky I get to travel a lot for pleasure – I’m a city girl at heart!”