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Delfina Balda (delfinabalda.com)
Who she is: Buenos Aires transplant Delfina Balda trained as a sommelier in her native country and obtained a master’s in psychoanalysis at the University of Buenos Aires and Centro Dos. Two years ago, she switched gears and followed her gut to Brooklyn, where she started designing and crafting bohemian women’s clothing ($120–$495) last August out of a studio attached to her Williamsburg apartment. “I’m not contaminated by academia,” explains Balda, who has no formal design degree. “It keeps me fresh and allows my own voice [to come through].” Although the bulk of her garments are better suited for a beach vacation than hitting the city pavement, Balda cites New York’s fashion-forward denizens as inspiration, creating mood boards with street-style snaps of people she spots on the sidewalk. “I’m reminded that I can do whatever I want here, more than anywhere in the world,” she says.
About the line: The majority of Balda’s collection is made locally except for a few select pieces and jewelry ($75–$200), which is created in Peru—the main source of inspiration for the spring line. Vibrant nature prints reflect the Amazon, which she often visits. “I’m not afraid of color,” declares Balda. “What is so intense about the Amazon is the organic, exotic plants growing wildly.” You won’t find body-con dresses here: Printed pants ($190–$290), shorts ($200), linen skirts ($230) and one-size-fits-all tunics ($120–$369) in cotton and silk chiffon are voluminous while retaining a feminine cut. Necklaces ($75–$200) are crafted by a small group of artists in Lima, using handpicked materials from the soil, including orange peel, olive pits and açaí seeds. The unique baubles preserve the aroma of the fruit, giving them a natural fragrance.
Where to buy: American Two Shot (135 Grand St between Crosby and Lafayette Sts; 212-925-3403, americantwoshot.com) and Smith + Butler (225 Smith St at Butler St, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn; 718-855-4295, smithbutler.com). Use code “TIMEOUT” while shopping at delfinabalda.com for 20 percent off all purchases through May 29.
Follow Elizabeth Denton on Twitter: @elizabethann1