Some things are intuitive. One can sense them, even if unable to provide a clear or immediate explanation. That’s what happens the moment you set foot at Olmac. Right there and then, you feel that something has to do with Isabel Miranda’s fresh and dynamic youth. For the moment she is a sort of dauphin in the company her paternal grandparents founded in the days following the 1974 April Revolution. However, her resume could easily mislead us.
ome say her calling was something outside the textile industry. Her career had gravitated around the Health sector, but it’s general knowledge that appearances are deceptive and not always portray the essence of reality.
In fact, she did work in the field, but her passion for fashion changed her life compass.
“I have always liked style and trends. Fashion has always been a passion”, she explains, even though her academic choices initially took her in another direction.
Maybe it was because her sister (Catarina, four years older than her) was about to conclude a degree in Medicine, or even, who knows, because it enabled her to stay close to the factory where she had been wandering around since she was little, together with her parents and grandparents that today she accompanies in the company’s management.
After completing high school – at Instituto Nun’Álvares Pereira, known as the ‘School of Caldinhas’ – the option for the Health field, with a degree of Laboratorial Sciences and Public Health, at CESPU, seemed like the right choice. Yet fashion never got out of her head. She was already halfway through the course when she sat down with her parents to let them know that her instinct was telling her otherwise. “It was all very peaceful, it was a very easy-going conversation”, she recalls. “I understood that it wasn’t what I wanted for my future, that I had to change in order to be happy”, and they arranged a first work experience at Olmac.
Which didn’t last until today only because, in the meantime, she decided to explore the textile industry by undertaking mini-internships in the knitting, embroideries, moulds and dye work areas. As if it wasn’t enough, she even took a Styling and Image Consulting course “to add knowledge to the already acquired know-how”.
A mere two years later, in 2012, she launched her own t-shirt brand, which she entirely conceived and designed. “I had wanted to establish my own project since the very beginning. I had everything at my disposal, even my parents’ help and crucial support. It was meant to be”, she adds.
DeBlanc was born, but the problem was that it went all too well – “it reached a 30 thousand euro sales during the first year” –, and decisions had to be made: “I couldn’t just drop the main project. I was already in the company for two years and at first DeBlanc was meant to be a side project that eventually escalated to excessive proportions and had to be put aside”.
Today, Isabel dedicates her heart and soul to Olmac. “I started from scratch like anybody else. I’m a saleswoman, I have a few customers under my direct responsibility, I attend fairs and represent the company”. The plan is to gradually accrue the responsibilities of her father, Orlando Miranda, at the head of the company.
For now, all eyes are set on private label, but she also runs two experienced in-house brands. Olmac, which is consistently a huge success in fairs like Ispo, in Germany, “just by showing what we can do”; and DeBlanc, which “is on standby, but who knows if one day it will rise again”.
It’s suffice to see the spark in Isabel Miranda’s eyes when she speaks about DeBlanc’s “basic collection of prints and appealing packaging” to understand that fashion has always been her passion.
Just like when you set foot at Olmac. There is a modern look, a pure style, loose and welcoming, which immediately lingers and is soon felt. Even lacking any sort of explanation. It’s just intuition.
Family Shares a house with her boyfriend João Macedo (photographer), “for now no kids, but one never knows…” Education A Laboratorial Sciences and Public Health (CESPU) degree was the choice after high school, “but halfway through it I reckoned I wasn’t cut out for the Health sector” House A two-bedroom flat in Famalicão’s city centre Car BMW 1 Series Laptop Windows Surface Mobile Phone iPhone 6 S Hobbies Nothing that excites her too much, but her trips to the gym, to the cinema and abroad are her preferences. “Now I love to walk and play with my nephew” (Manuel, 2 years old) Holidays Usually accompanies her family to beach destinations (“we switch places almost every year”). Last year she went to Mexico and New York Golden Rule “Enjoy the present, always certain that the future will be even better”