It has been quite an amazing few months for Patricia Bonaldi and her clothing brand, PatBO. In September, Bonaldi made her runway debut at New York's Fashion Week to high praise, and just days later, she and her team opened their US flagship store in SoHo. The new store feels like a destination, where shoppers are immersed in the Brazilian heritage and legacy of craftsmanship the brand is known for. We were honored to have partnered with PatBO's team on curating the shop with some of our pieces, so we were very excited to have a tour of the new location recently. Surrounded by custom wallpaper featuring original PatBO prints, lush tropical greenery, and eye-catching materials like tambour wood and quartzite marble, we also had the chance to chat with founder and creative director Patricia. We discussed her journey as a designer from her hometown to New York City, how PatBO champions the art of local Brazilian craftsmanship, and why she thought Lulu and Georgia would be a great partner to style the new space. Read below for more and to see our favorite shots from our visit.
What led to your start in the world of fashion, and when did you decide was fashion design something you wanted to pursue professionally?
I grew up in a beautiful town in the countryside of Brazil called Uberlândia, where I opened Patricia Bonaldi, a namesake multi-brand store. My clients started requesting custom-made gowns, which quickly turned into an eveningwear collection. That cemented my future as a designer. Over the years, my collections evolved, and in 2001, PatBO was born. Fast-forward to today, and my brand can be found in over 200 stores globally, including the recently opened flagship store in Soho, NY.
Your first brand store was in your hometown of Uberlândia. Could you speak to the influence Brazil and South America has on your designs and vision?
Yes! The first store was in my hometown, which is a rural town in Minas Gerais. My Brazilian heritage inspires each PatBO collection which can be seen with our signature tropical prints and bold designs.
Tell us more about your journey to create PatBO as a brand and what the impact did the move to New York City have?
At its core, PatBO celebrates the art of craftsmanship. The embroidery for which the brand is known is unique to my hometown, and as the brand grew, it was important for me to preserve this art. I began teaching to local artisans and soon after founded a school. Today this school employs hundreds of men and women who imbue each collection with their talent and passion for hand-embroidery and bold print design.
The move to NYC signified the launch of our international business. In 2011, I hired an expert sales and marketing team to grow the business beyond Brazil and tell the brand story to a broader audience. It was a natural decision to have our flagship store be where our expansion began and have the local team's full support almost five years later. It is a dream come true to welcome clients into a space in the US where they can experience the world of PatBO in person for the first time.
What was the inspiration for the NYC flagship? And do you have a shared vision for all of the PatBO spaces?
The store is designed to become a true destination where customers can feel first-hand the Brazilian heritage on which the brand was founded. Tropical foliage can be seen throughout the two-level store as samba music plays. Custom wallpaper featuring an original hand-drawn print exudes tropicalism and covers the walls of a seating area and coffee bar. These same elements can also be seen in my stores in Brazil. It is important that when my customers walk into PatBO, they feel the brand cohesively, no matter if they are in Sao Paulo or at 65 Greene St.
The store is gorgeous, by the way! When working with your interior designer, how did you strike a balance between function and aesthetics?
For me, having the right balance of style and function is very important. I believe this in my own personal style, so it was natural to translate this into the store's design. When we came across Lulu and Georgia, whose design philosophy felt the same, it was a perfect match. For example, a beautifully designed bookshelf serves as a visual display for our featured accessories, while a sleek console table is a statement piece but also functional and used for storage.
Walk us through the creative process when designing this space in SoHo. What were the most critical elements you had to have included?
First and foremost, the store had to celebrate all that is PatBO. Custom wallpaper featuring one of my original prints can be found on the first floor. Plus, materials from tambour wood walls to precious quartzite marble fill the space, all accented with beautiful pieces that bring style and sophistication, which is why Lulu and Georgia was such a perfect fit.
We loved partnering with you and your team on curating your shop with
Lulu and Georgia pieces. Is there one piece you still find yourself fawning over? It is hard to answer because I love them all, and we have customers asking our team daily about each piece. But if I must choose—the beautiful console table that is a focal point in our fitting rooms and these gorgeous rattan chairs with the most amazing design and structure. Love!
What about your at-home design? How would you describe your aesthetic in your own space?
You will find timeless mementos throughout my home from some of my favorite vacation destinations that I use to decorate. These pieces represent a time, a place, and a beautiful memory that immediately takes me back to that experience. I always feel that shades of greens and blues are serene, and I have chosen these colors for my accent walls, rug, and couch. These colors are offset with natural textures like linen wallpaper and rattan chairs. My brand is defined by beautiful tropical prints, which I have incorporated within pillows and my powder room wallpaper. Creating this oasis at home is so important to me as it allows my mind to be free of distraction, and I design my best in this calming space.
You're a New Yorker now; how do you like to spend your free time when not designing beautiful pieces?I love to travel.
Discovering new cultures, places, and people inspires me and my designs.
What's next for you and PatBO?
There is so much happening with the brand right now, and it is a very exciting time! Stay tuned to see what's next...Photography provided by PatBO