Created by two cousins, hailing from France and Italy respectively, Numero 74 is a truly remarkable Spanish lifestyle and fashion brand. The brand’s bohemian-inspired range of linen, home décor items, kids’ and women’s clothes are handmade ethically in Thailand by a women’s community of artisans, using ancestral techniques and respecting local traditions. Founder, Tara, (otherwise known as ‘Poupy’) fell in love with Thailand while holidaying there, and after a chance encounter with tuk-tuk driver Manop, became inspired by the local women’s impressive savoir-faire. Specialising in children’s bedroom decoration - from beautiful bed canopies and garlands to tipis, cushions and soft toys - Numero 74 offers timeless, artisanal pieces. At Smallable, we’re wowed not only by Numero 74’s clothes and decorative pieces, but also their game-changing bedding line. Using ultra-soft cotton and a distinct colour palette of muted hues and rich, jewel tones, the brand creates effortless items add a touch of wonder to our everyday, and inspire us and our kids to play freely and dream sweetly.
INTERVIEW WITH TARA (ALSO KNOWN AS 'POUPY')
FOUNDER OF NUMERO 74
Dawn has broken, the sun is shining and a gentle breeze is blowing. We are walking along a little dirt track about to venture into the fascinating world of Numero 74. From a distance, we can hear a Bon Iver song playing. This idyllic spot in the heart of the Spanish island, Ibiza, is where the brand's European headquarters are based.
Tara (who goes by 'Poupy'), the founder and the spirit behind Numero 74, resembles a princess from a classic fairytale: dark, long locks, an unwavering smile and a turquoise gaze. In between cups of tea and bouts of laughter, Poupy tells us how the Numero 74 adventure began and speaks enthusiastically about her humanitarian project in Thailand.
How was Numero 74 born?It all started in 2009. I had stopped working a few months before and my cousin's wife, who had just given birth to twins, asked me to decorate their nursery. So I bought some vintage beds, knitted some blankets and made some cushions. After that, she suggested selling my pieces. After my son was born, I started selling children’s birthday products online. Then, I launched Numero 74!
Who is behind Numero 74?There’s quite a gang of us [laughs]! A lot of women. Manop and I manage production. We have a team in Europe made up of several people who take care of admin and sales. We also have a production team in Thailand, made up of around 60, plus 400 craftswomen who work in our workshops. We’re a real family! I don't differentiate between my family and work; everyone is essential for the balance of the company.
Where did the name of your brand come from?When we decided to create the company, we added my age to Nancy's, my cousin's wife, and that came to 74!
I think we grow up so that we can make our childhood dreams come true, and I believe that that is the purpose of life. Once I realised that, I tried to connect as much as possible with my childhood dreams. The aim, through Numero 74, is to provide a means to make our dreams come true, as they are all compatible or complementary.
What is your philosophy?
To follow our philosophy, we have created a foundation to support social projects that focus on children. We recently bought some land, where we can welcome Thai children and young people to the countryside, and teach them to live in harmony and connect with nature.
What does your everyday routine look like?Every day is totally different and I don't really have a fixed home, [laughs] but I mainly work between Thailand and Ibiza. I wake up between 5 and 6 am, I start work when all is calm around me and I answer emails that come in from Thailand, because of the time difference. At 9 am, I feel like I have done a lot without having used much energy. I then have breakfast and sometimes do a bit of yoga. I go to see the girls or, if I’m in Thailand, I take a walk around the workshops to look at any technical or logistical issues. I am lucky enough to be able to be where I want when I want, and this freedom is really important to me. Apart from that, there are no rules, no schedule. Sometimes I even go to the beach for a couple of hours, then continue working in the evening. I spend most of winter in Thailand, then in the summer I’m mostly here in Ibiza. But with the project coming up, I think I will be one month here, one month there.
Could you describe your creative process when you are designing a new collection?We do just one collection per year and most of the time it's a bit of a muddle. I design it with Nadia. In this period, I often go off on my own for a while, and after a few days my imagination starts to bloom and a lot of ideas come into my head.
What are your sources of inspiration?Often it's an idea or a film, as I don’t live in the city, I don't read magazines and I don't do a lot of shopping. My ideas essentially come from childhood memories, or from seeing my friends' children. Sometimes the idea comes from a product for adults, which I imagine being adapted for children, and vice versa.
When the prototype stage has started, I generally have it all planned out in my head, so the collection is almost finished.