Interview with Maria Romero


Can you tell us about your process/work? 

This is my first textile work I have done on my own; it’s been a roller coaster.

Everything starts with something that I want to study, to go deep into, something that will keep me awake at night thinking, something that I relate with and will turn into almost an obsession to explore and understand.

This first collection is called “ Spatial Relationships”. It is a color study done in an explorative way, I looked into every relationship (any kind) I have had along my life, I explored them with one color and then different shades of the same color to show the interactions and juxtapositions of these relationships and the effect they have on who/how I am now.  It became so exciting because I was able to generate the illusion of transparency via the design.

Last year I went with my team to Oaxaca, their light, their colors, their flora, their people, it was perfect.

They have a great textile history and an amazing craftsmanship, and I knew that was the place where this collection had to be made. I was lucky to find people willing to work with me and not only that, they were eager to take risks and try things they never did before. We learned a lot from each other, this is what is important for me. I have worked in the textile and fashion industry for many years and I missed so much the human relationship in the work environment.


Do you feel creativity plays a role in the work that you do? (And ifso) Where do you feel your creativity derives from? 

Yes it does, a very important one, I started my own design studio because while working inside the industry I was lacking of the exploration of my creativity and that’s one of the pillars of my work.

It’s important for me as a designer to be conscious of my creativity, to be awake to it, even if some of my ideas or concepts come from and unconscious state.

Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new or somehow valuable is formed; sometimes it may result on an intangible item such as an idea.

I like to explore those ideas until I exhaust them, to take as much as I can from them and me, to create a world that makes sense for who I am, what I believe, and the world I live in.

It is a crucial time for designers nowadays, creativity today implies more than being inspired and generate something new, we don’t need new things. We need to take what we have, what we know how to do and make it better, to change the concept of objects, why a piece of textile has to be a throw? Why can’t it be a shawl or a rug also? That’s where my creativity lives at the moment – how can I create a “responsible object”. Sustainability is not the only answer, we need to change our perception of what objects are. They serve a purpose but I truly believe that objects can serve multiple purposes. We just need to forget what we learned.

Today, design is the tool to create new ways of living.


How do you engage and attribute the strength of femininity in your life?

Both my parents raised me to be a brave woman, to not have fear, that’s how I grew up from a little girl to a 32 year old that I am today, even if sometimes I forget it.

I don’t like the female vs. male or vice versa, I like to think about myself as a human and see the rest of people the same way. Anything that generates a division, a classification just divides us more and more.

I look for the opposite I want community.


Do you have a mantra or ritual that carries throughout your daily life?

Not really, I only try to remind myself everyday that I am alive, sometimes I forget. It is easy to get into automatic mode and go, I hate when I forget it and take my body for granted.


What are some important lessons or learnings you would like to share with those reading this?

Just try to be awake and make sense.


What do you view as extraordinary?

Anything that generates a change, when something breaks out of the ordinary you can achieve extraordinary.

Breakups, disagreements, revolutions, thinking, questioning, curiosity … all this things put us out from our comfort zone. It is when we move away from where we feel safe that we are able to evolve, to create and to generate a change.

Extraordinary is when you dare to take the uncommon path.


What are you working on right now? 

I am working on a very exciting new venture, TINTORERIA, an initiative of Maria Romero Studio to reduce mass consumption and create awareness.

I partnered with local restaurants and community gardens to save a certain kind of food or plant waste every month, at Tintoreria we use this waste as dyestuff to operate as a community dye house, where people can come and drop those garments that they don’t wear anymore or are bored of, and we turn them into a new shade so they can give a second chance to their wardrobe instead of throwing them away.

Tintoreria is a team of two, José an artisan weaver from Ecuador and myself.

José and I met on a Friday afternoon on a NYC subway platform, when I was on my way back to my studio. It was one of those days when nothing seemed to work. I saw him from afar, he was mounting his loom and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was at that moment. I approached him; he was excited by my excitement to meet him.  At that moment, I forgot how much I hate the NYC subways, I could only see José’s hands moving along with his feet while he wove me a bracelet. We talked for a long time, and today… WE ARE TINTORERIA.

We launched September 23rd & 24th during Bushwick Open studios, for the first dropping off days.

Tintoreria offers a free natural dyeing service for the Broklyn & NYC community.

Sustainability isn’t about money.  Tintoreria is a donation-based service. That means you pay what you want, and everyone and every garment is treated the same.


Maria Romero Textiles








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