I moved from Seattle to Bogota a year ago. And in the quest to get adapted and become acquainted with my new city, I started looking for the things that I have always loved and pursued, like music, books, technology, coffee shops, concerts, and fashion. Through my endless scrolling on Instagram, I came across Pineapples Don’t Have Sleeves.
I was struck by the color, the animation, the prints, the feminist messages of the pieces, and their entertaining memes on their Social Media channels.
TBH, I am not your Sex-and-the-City-Emily-in-Paris fashionista type; I just like shopping for clothes and shoes and jewelry — mainly earrings, ear cuffs, and hoops, anyway!
In my desire to learn more about the creator of the brand and the brand itself, I decided to reach out to the Pineapples team and ask them if they could do an IG live, but they instead offered me a space in the Girl Talks section by submitting a Q&A to the creator behind the brand.
One of the things that caught my attention about the brand is its website. It’s not just an E-commerce site with an endless catalog of clothes and shoes (throwing shade at Zara, here), but it’s a community of creators where Pineapples’ fans can just hang out and read about pop culture and have fun.
When Johanna and her team were creating the site, she said that “[they] wanted women that buy clothes to feel that they’re just not buying a piece of clothing, that they’re becoming part of a world.” And as a shopper, I can definitely attest that I have become part of the Pineapples’ world.
Here’s what Johanna Nodier shared with me via email. I hope her answers are helpful insights to continue inspiring you, the women she dresses, to be bold, fun, and confident.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself
- What’s your favorite memory growing up?
Let’s take a trip to Memory Lane! My favorite memory would be when I was around eight years old, and I would stay late hand sewing beadings into my mom’s jeans and ask her to wear them. I always love to say that my first client was my mom.
- Where have you lived?
I have lived a little bit everywhere: Canada, Spain, France, Netherlands, Italy. I love traveling, and I’m very curious to see different cultures. I studied at Istituto Marangoni in Milan and ended up graduating from Paris. I also worked in Spain and so on.
So, that's exactly how I want people to see Pineapples, as a global brand that, no matter where you're from, we want to make fashion more fun for you.
- Who’s your fave feminist icon?
Definitely my mom. I was raised to be very independent and have the best example. I grew up seeing her fighting for what she wanted, and I had lived my life wanting to follow that example. As a global icon, Jane Fonda is probably my favorite feminist. What she has done for the environment, women’s rights, and how she managed to talk about sexuality in the 60s is incredible. I even have a collection called Barbarella inspired by one of her movies.
- Who are Pineapples?
We’re five different women who understand the issues we all go through when we buy clothes and the importance of community. Since we started this brand, our motto has been to create a place where women understand each other and feel comfortable; Pineapples is whatever you need it to be as long as you agree that fashion should be sustainable and fun.
2. PDHS was conceived as part of your graduation collection; tell us about the brand's process from a collection to a clothing/lifestyle brand?
My graduation collection was what Pineapples later became: Fun, colorful, and strongly inspired by pop culture and art. Most importantly, the name, we couldn’t imagine another name that would fit so perfectly. So, when the DNA was clear, we knew we wanted a brand with a sense of community and closeness.
3. As a shopper, I've noticed that your eCommerce page is more than an online store; it's a lifestyle space with content relevant to the feminist-adventurous-boss-type of woman; what elements helped you conceive the idea of the site?
When we created our website, my main focus was to make it so much more than a typical e-commerce brand. I hate when brands try to sell you all the time instead of creating a sense of belonging. We want women that buy our clothes to feel that they’re just not buying a piece of clothing; they’re becoming part of a world — and if you want to know what that world thinks, listens or how it looks like, our website is an open door.
4. As a slow fashion brand, how does PDHS keep its clothes trendy?
I always tell people to see trends as suggestions. We obviously see what’s happening in the world, what people wear, or the pop culture news, but our DNA is so strong that it dictates what we do. We also take time to hear what our customers have to say and how we and our product can be better.
5. Feminism is one of the main features of your designs; I feel that your designs challenge the patriarchy – in a very patriarchal country. What are some of the reactions from society to these pieces?
It wasn’t great at the beginning — I can tell you that. I remember how people would say that men didn’t like our clothes or that they would suggest [to their partners] not to buy them, and I would always think that that’s precisely the reason why we’re doing it.
The easiest way to be miserable is to dress for other people.
My view is if you love something, wear it. The biggest pride of my life has been seeing women confident wearing my clothes because they know they’re killing it.
6. What advice would you give to fashion entrepreneurs wanting to launch a brand similar to yours?
Just work hard, the fashion world takes a lot of time, but it doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Find your style, take time to conceptualize, and find your aesthetic. Forget about what people say; people know when something is genuine and will realize it and start buying at some point.