When it comes to being innovative with fashion, many assume we are referring to new designs and styles of clothing. PYRATES, a high-end performance streetwear brand, has gone above and beyond competitor brands by creating PYRATEX®, a smart fabric innovated to ensure comfort and well-being. We were privileged to speak with Regina Polanco, founder and CEO of PYRATES and their smart fabrics who told us a little about herself, what lead to the creation of her smart fabrics brand and what her hopes are for the future of PYRATES. Regina’s enriched fabrics reduce the use of synthetic fibers in clothing and ensure sustainability and durability. PYRATES functional and natural fibers have been proven to include health and well-being enhancing properties. So, if you’re in the market for comfortable, stylish and good-for-your body clothing, check out pyratessmartfabrics.com.
Cliché: First off, we LOVE your brand and all of your innovative pieces. What inspired you to create PYRATES? How does your brand reflect who you are?
Regina Polanco: Thank you for the opportunity to share the amazing world of PYRATES smart fabrics with your readers. We are happy to hear you love our brand! I created PYRATES because I wanted to take textiles to the next level, creating fabrics with a little something extra.
Can you tell us more about yourself? How did you get into fashion and design? What are some of your favorite hobbies? We want to get a good idea of the face behind PYRATES!
I’m 26 years old and just as other Millennials, I love to travel! I have lived in and been to many countries, which opened my eyes to the challenges and ideas of my generation. In 2009, when I was a boarder in Switzerland surrounded by dynamic, ambitious, young people in an international environment, I realized something very peculiar: they all loved to travel and all wore sportswear! The garments t into their active lifestyle yet, although very comfortable, their tracksuits were not so flatteringly basic. This made me want to supply my peers with the cozy yet stylish clothing they needed and was lacking in the industry at the time.
I’m a Law and Politics graduate, so I developed the brand’s first designs with the help of a designer. I knew sportswear is at the core of today and tomorrow’s fashion, yet felt that something more innovative was missing. In parallel with the creation of the brand’s first designs, I was reading a lot about the negative effects of today’s technology on our bodies, such as Wi-Fi waves or the cellphones we cannot seem to put down, which is when I came up with the idea of smart fabrics.
What can you tell us about the innovative bers and smart fabrics/ material in each of your products? How much work goes into research, testing, design and creation for one product? Each individual piece seems innovative, well thought out and honestly really cool!
We have a range of fabrics, each having its own special properties: PYRATEX® Health, made from a fiber of natural botanic origin (which we are currently patenting the textile use of), brings body relaxation and boosts the immune system. There is also PYRATEX® Cosmetic, made with seaweed, which is all about skin care; PYRATEX® Power, with micro tencel, the perfect sweat management fabric, and finally, PYRATEX® Freshness, made with bamboo fiber, a temperature management & antibacterial fabric. And they’re all natural!
It all started in 2014; it’s already been 4 years! During the first two, I carried out the R&D phase by myself. When I finally found a weaver who accepted to try to make a yarn and fabrics with the innovative fiber I had developed, I made an exclusivity agreement with him to become our producer. After that, I worked with a designer and launched the brand PYRATES, a performance streetwear brand with clothing made with our smart fabrics, later hiring a business mind to assist me during the project’s commercial phase.
Do you only sell athletic wear? Do you think that with your materials (like PYRATEX®) you could expand to make all kinds of clothing – not just activewear?
PYRATES as a fashion brand only creates athleisure collections, but one brand is not enough to fulfill our desire to further innovation and change the industry, which is why we also commercialize PYRATEX® fabrics to other brands who share our mission but develop other types of clothing.
Who specifically is your target audience? How is your brand something that everyday people need?
It is all those who feel saturated by the speed at which the fashion industry operates nowadays and the amount of waste it generates, those who expect more a name from the brands they purchase from.
The search for personal and environmental well-being, sustainability, corporate social responsibility and innovation are characteristic consumption patterns of generation Y, which is why, in a more general way, it is the audience we target, although these patterns could apply to any one person from any age group. Everyday people need our brand because our garments take care of the wearer’s body, and who does not need self-care?
How do you think PYRATES is changing the world of fashion?
We are very conscious of the way the fashion industry is evolving, driven by its consumers’ worries and needs: tomorrow’s garments will be functional with additional health and cosmetic bene ts, and we want to be pioneers in this textile revolution!
You mentioned that PYRATES ts a Californian style/taste. Can you tell us more about that and the style of your designs as a whole? Can you also tell us a little more about how you compare your smart fashion clothing to the evolution of food/sleep?
Our garments have an effortlessly cool and polished style, as well as a fashionable functionality, tting right into Californian taste. As health-conscious Californians, we are using fashion as a means to better our bodies.
Our collections do not follow a bi-seasonal system. We have a permanent collection to which we add capsules, always maintaining a pure, minimal aesthetic with clean cuts which highlight the fabrics’ properties and beauty in each garment.
We sleep, eat and get dressed every day. Scientific advancement has allowed us to improve the quality of our sleep, and we have become more educated on the importance of a healthy diet, now living in a time of super-foods with infinite health properties. Yet we noticed that fashion hadn’t yet caught up to this health-conscious and wellness revolution.
What can you tell us about the future of PYRATES and your goals for the brand as a whole? We heard you are expanding to the U.S. this summer. Can you tell us more about that – location, distributor, etc.?
Our PYRATEX® fabrics could be used in the $33 trillion global fashion industry, but potentially in healthcare as well, due to the exceptional certified benefits they carry. The whole mission of PYRATES is to improve health and well-being through textile, making fashion a solution to the health and environmental challenges of our time.
We will soon start to sell our menswear & womenswear collections in a multi-brand store in New York, can’t reveal the name though! We are also currently looking for a distributor in the West Coast, so if you’re interested, feel free to contact us!
Is there anything else you would like readers to know about your brand?
One of the current projects we are working on is a collaboration with our PYRATEX® distributor Queen of Raw caps, which prevent hair loss and skin irritation. Stay tuned!
What is your favorite piece from the entire collection and why?
Our oversized Cygnus jacket is my favorite piece. It warmly embraces the body and brings out the beauty and softness of our free-flowing antioxidant and immune system-boosting PYRATEX® Health fabric, all while maintaining our cozy yet classically stylish and cool aesthetic.