Interview with Aina E. Perlas
Hello Aina, pleased to have you on Earth & Mama Co. Tell us a bit about yourself. Where does this interest on photography come from?
Hello Irene, my pleasure! As usual, thank you for your trust.
Well, since I was a little girl I’ve always had a camera in hand, in one way or another, and this has served me to express myself and observe the world around me. What captivates me about photography is its magical possibility of capturing that unique instant that comes up in front of your eyes. If you’re lucky enough to be right there to freeze it forever, you feel the luckiest person.
Another reason why I take pictures is because a photograph that you take today will be a memory next year, but in a hundred years it’ll be a piece of history that will tell a story that we will no longer be able to see, or it may make us come closer to people that are no longer with us, stories that no one remembers.
In this mini editorial you have brought together two worlds that you’re passionate about, photography and skateboarding. How and when did you start skating?
Although I’m from Barcelona, I was lucky to grow up in a pedestrian street where kids would play outside all day long. I liked to have my knees full of scratches and get dirty when playing. One of the boys had a skate and I tried it on, but I was told that ‘it was not for girls’, and I believed it. When I was a teenager, I dreamt about daring myself, but I still believed in that stupid idea that skating was not for girls, and I did not have referents to whom I could relate to. It wasn’t until I was 27 that I started thinking that maybe all those who had told me that skating was not for me were wrong, and that was it for me. I got asking a friend who skated for years to help me out choose my first board and started going skating together. The rest is history. And when I look back, I get a bit upset for having believed that it wasn’t for me, but then I think: lucky for me I did not listen to them.
Do you feel that nowadays the skateboarding arena is changing for women? Who are your referents?
Indeed! Even since I started 4 years ago, there is a difference. I feel there’s been a cool domino effect. Girls that see other girls skating, to whom they relate to, and bring themselves to do it. Girls and women like me, who wanted to skate for years but did not dare do it and they now identify with other women, and actually go for it. Girls, younger than ten, who eat up the skate parks. It’s so beautiful and empowering!
I’m happy to say that it was hard to choose who to mention because there are so many, but I would say Sarah Muerle, Rianne Evans, Nicole Hause, Lizzie Armanto and Norah Vasconcellos.
What would you say to all those women who’ve always wanted to skate but never dared to?
Stop overthinking and go out and skate! Many times when I speak with other girls about skateboarding they tell me: ‘I wouldn’t be good at it’ or ‘I’d probably fall off, I don’t dare’, and probably someone who’s actually reading this right now may think the same. But I tell them, just try it and if you have fun, stick to it. Even though you fall, or feel ashamed because you feel like a duck on a board, go on! Because it only gets better, and I personally have learned so many things beyond just an Ollie: I’ve learned to fight against my own fears, to destroy preconceptions, to figure out that achieving something takes time, dedication and effort, but when you do, the gratitude you feel is priceless. I’ve gained self-confidence and found a new way of seeing the world.
Do it now because later on you’ll think, why haven’t I done it before?
Besides these two passions, I know that you love sewing and that you design and sew pieces of clothing and complements yourself. Do you use ethical brands that advocate for a more sustainable fashion?
Actually, yes. It has been my breakthrough during lockdown and I cannot be happier! I had to do something when skating was not allowed…
Ever since my last move I try to have less clothes, and, if possible, buy second-hand pieces if I cannot do them myself, or buy them in the end, but I tend to think it twice before buying something new and try to choose a quality piece, and make sure I’m really going to use it. In short, have less but better!
Of course I believe Earth & Mama perfectly captures the way I buy clothes, and I must admit that it’s very hard not buy all of it! Another brand I love, for example, is Armed Angels. It’s a brand from Cologne, where I live now.
What do you like most about Earth & Mama Co.? What is you favorite color and garment combination?
Tough decision, but I think that what I like most are the leggings! My favorite combo when skating is the yellow top and the pink leggings.
Thank you so much for this editorial. It’s been a pleasure working with you.
Thank you! And how cool is that you have decided to get on a skate. That’s what I’m talking about when I say that skateboarding is so much more than a sport. It brings people together.
More about Aina's work here.