Making trousers that look as good as they feel.
As a designer, Maria Rathsach has dedicated her working life to creating garments that fit well and look good—whatever body shape they are tailored to. Read on to hear her thoughts on what makes good design great, and the meaning she finds in her work at Our Units.
“Great design means different things to different people, but to me it’s something that is useful or beautiful. It makes people feel good, safe and connected to each other—whether it's architecture, objects or garments, good design is essential to a good life. It must meet basic needs, be functional and easy on the eye,” says Maria Rathsach, who has dedicated her career to shaping purposeful garments that not only look good, but also feel good and do good.
Maria loves to see how the trousers she creates for Plain Units and Five Units help men and women feel comfortable in their own skin. But she is adamant that sheer will alone does not create bestselling designs that remain relevant for years to come; it requires intuition, creativity, experience and determination.
“When I studied at the School of Applied Arts, I was driven by making garments people wanted to wear,” she explains. Before the advent of the Internet, Maria’s approach to designing clothes was more hands on than it is today, where technology has replaced many of the traditional analogue processes used to design garments: “I was fascinated by combining materials, shapes and colours by hand. I'm incredibly happy I have that experience as it's given me a great understanding of materials, in particular. As a maker, it's very satisfying to be able to create great design.”
With that in mind, it’s no coincidence that Maria has chosen to work at Our Units. “My job here is unlike anywhere else I have worked,” she asserts. “At Our Units we work a little differently, considering people's needs rather than fleeting trends. For me, trends are about shifts in culture rather than newness. Our philosophy is to make trousers people love to wear and this provides a strong foundation from which I create. Here, our words and intentions become real-life actions.”
Maria believes a good pair of trousers is one that works with anything, while leaving you feeling comfortable and stylish. “I've always found it difficult to find good trousers. I'm tall and don’t have standard measurements—and I'm also selective in terms of quality and detailing. Going into a shop to buy a pair of well-fitting trousers is like finding a needle in a haystack. Dressing should be easy and trousers are no exception,” she explains. “When I put on my clothes in the morning I want to feel good in them and not give them too much thought.” Translating this into shorts, trousers and jeans for men and women, it is hardly surprising that her own wardrobe is filled with her Five Units creations.