Claudia Ochoa can be Sweet and Sexy but her Lingerie Es Muy Seductora
Claudia Ochoa knows how to make a woman feel beautiful. Not just on a special anniversary or Valentine’s Day for a boyfriend or husband. Ochoa’s lingerie line, CLO Intimo, offers up exquisite hand designed lingerie that’s all about the woman, all of the time. Read our interview with the Colombian designer and find out how she can make any woman feel sexier.
When did you start CLO Intimo?
We started with our first collection that was presented at a lingerie trade show in NYC in August of 2003.
You are from Medellin and studied design in Medellin at Corporacion Colegiatura Colombiana but worked in NYC the last ten years. What was it like learning in such different places? Does one influence your design philosophy more than the other?
I’ve certainly had a great education by working in the business in New York for the last 10 years. I have a lot of retail customers in the city that visit my studio and they always give me good feedback and ideas. I design for a sophisticated and stylish American customer, but take elements from South America in color and style--things I grew up with. I really design pieces that I would like to wear and I do.
How has your Hispanic heritage influenced your life and career?
It just happens to be who I am. I can be sweet, sexy and nice, but also extremely angry and aggressive when things are wrong. I guess they call it passion. I come from a beautiful country that unfortunately has gone through some very difficult times, and I was a teenager during some of the worst of it. I’ve seen people shot right in front of me and have been robbed at gun point. After that, I have a strong sense of right and wrong and no one can tell me what I can’t do.
Obviously, it helps me in my business since I manufacture in my home town of Medellin and there is a certain interest among Americans when you say you’re a South American designer.
What inspires you to create new pieces?
I have lots of designs in my head that I bring out when the time is right. I see what people are wearing and I try to assimilate everything I can and come up with different twists on a theme.
Besides beautiful lingerie, what is your advice to women who want to feel sexy?
You need to feel comfortable with who you are, and present yourself in a way that makes you feel great--in contrast to dressing for others: boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands. And don’t overdo it. I see too many girls with tight mini skirts, high heels, low cut blouses and all at once…just trying too hard.
If you could do anything else in the world, what would it be?
Maybe architecture, there are some creative similarities that I like.
What is your personal favorite lingerie?
Well, I only wear mine, but if I had to buy lingerie, I love Eres. Their French sensibility and exquisite simplicity is just amazing and their construction is perfection. The fabrics are the best in the world. No one does it better than the French.
The CLO champagne soirees seem like a lot of fun. What is your favorite thing about throwing these event/ sales?
I love that girls come to try things on, and I hear their opinions and they always go away happy. It is so much fun for me. It’s kind of a trunk show but in my own impromptu store. We do a similar event twice a year in Manhattan Beach, CA at a beautiful store called Lulu’s-- one of our best. It’s just so much fun helping the girls try things on, making sure they get the right fit. It’s really the best part of what I do. I guess it’s kind of like a musician that loves to perform. There’s a lot to do up to that event: write the songs, record, rehearse, but it’s the live interaction that is the most fun.
Which fashion designer—past or present—do you most admire?
Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen, Olivier Theysken
What can we expect to see from you next?
I just started integrating underwire bras into the collection. Until now it’s been all soft cups. Next would be things that you can wear over my lingerie tops, like wraps or blouses, but still with a lingerie feel. I wear the camisoles and chemise out all the time, with a cardigan or see through tops that I’ve made for myself. Then I’m thinking of a bathing suit styled for each group, even though it’s a completely different market the designs are similar.
Find out more about Claudia and CLO Intimo—and order lingerie!—at the official website.