"FASHION IS LIKE A BUBBLE"
From thinking that working in fashion was like being in a movie to actually living her dream becoming a designer for Uterqüe.
Image: Carmen Garcia-Mina
What does fashion mean to you?
I think this is the hardest question to answer for me, I think of fashion like a bubble inside the real world, because in the end it has to do with people, and it has to do with the clothes and with our every day life. It is like a separate world, a world where you can aspire to do different things, in the sense that it does not matter if you like fashion or not, there is always something that will surprise you. Inside this bubble you can be whatever you want, the most minimalist can be the funnest, the most creative, the most eccentric, is about getting your potential to the maximum.
What sparked your interest in fashion?
I would not say something exact because I have always been interested, to think that I could make that every day had something special.
Did you always know you wanted to do this?
No, to be honest I didn’t, of course I have always very attracted to everything related to aesthetic, culture and art, but fashion specially because of what I said about the bubble I always saw full of energy, potential and an attitude that I loved. But I always thought it was something unaccessible for me, I always though of it as a movie. In the moment of choosing a career at the end of high school I thought of other options that would have to do with the industry but in a more superficial way like Marketing or Communication, but I was lucky to have people who supported me and that helped me see that if what I really liked and wanted to do was Fashion Design then I had to at least try it.
How has your style evolved since you started?
When it comes to designing it has been perfected and there have been elements added, as you learn more you see that there are more possibilities and things that you stop doing. I would say the basis is the same one because for me the most important thing have always been the colour and the technique, the way an item is made, along with he textures, those three element are still very important and everything else has been changing and evolving a bit as the years go by.
Do you think that your country and culture inspires your designs?
Yes, definitely. I think that in a creative job, when you are developing it, everything that you have lived and everything you have seen, whether you want it or not, are things that stay with you and that the you use and inspire your work; but this happens in any creative job, music, film, anything. Obviously culture is something very present in you everyday life, everything that surrounds you makes you who you aren in the end.
What inspires you at the moment when it comes to designing and creating?
I look a lot at photography, doesn’t matter if it’s from the last century or more modern, I alway really like when photographers capture something in the street that does not have the intention of being special or get people’s attention. Of course, fashion photography as well, I think it’s amazing when something that has already a lot of work behind it like a piece of clothing is getting a different perception from other experts of the industry.
Did you find it hard to graduate and find a place to start?
After I graduated I had to look for a place to do an internship as part as my course and one day I found the pictured from the first campaign that Carmen March did and I loved it. I saw they had a studio in Madrid and I decided to send them my portfolio but for some reason they did not receive it so I to the studio myself to talk to them. I was lucky that one of my old professors from the university was working there and it was him who opened the door so I talked to him and after a month of emailing back and forth I got an interview and I got the internship. After the internship I got a job the and worked with them for almost two years. So I could say that in my case it was not specially difficult because I found it instantly but I did have to be very persistent and annoying and just stop being shy and it ended quite well.
How has your life changed after starting working in a big brand like Uterqüe?
In a personal level is easy because I went from living in Madrid where I grew up to moving to Barcelona so it has giving me a lot of independence and the opportunity of starting a new era of my life. Professionally it has also been a huge change because it is a very strong brand and there is quite a lot of pressure in a place like Uterqüe. I think it has been all an improvement and it all has gone uphill, personally and professionally speaking. I have had the chance of overcoming limits that I had before like things I did not think I was going to be able to do, so I have been able to put more goals for myself.
What would be your dream job? Would you like to have your own brand in the future?
I think right now I am where I am supposed to be and I could say that this is my dream job. Six years ago I would not have even imagined that I would be working in a brand like Uterqüe. However, in the future I guess I could see myself having my own brand, but it would be similar to how I work now, in a small team, and probably with my friends from university; we joke about it, but we know we actually think about it as something that we could do in the future.
What is your favourite part of your job?
My favourite part is definitely the process that comes before I start designing, I think it is a bit typical, but I love the part of researching for pictures, references and textiles and having something so abstract and start getting ideas. Take a certain texture mixed with a certain colour and putting some details and little by little seeing your idea becoming a reality, something that you can hold.
What has been the biggest mistake you have made since you started? What have you learned from it?
I would not say I have made a specific mistake but there is a mistake that I think a lot of people make when we work and it is that we do not know how to be humble. In the end, this is just like any other job, it is something that you learn and perfect with the years and when you start you think you already know everything and that you know a lot more than you actually do. What I have learnt from it is to act different, always be aware of what is going on and always listen to what they tell you and the advice they give you because, in the end, there are a lot of people that know a lot more than you. Fashion is an industry where there are a lot of big egos and it is always better to be more down to earth, be willing to learn and to listen and you will get farther.
What advice would you give to designers starting now?
Work hard, a lot, because this is an industry where there is a lot of competition so get implicated in everything and try to get every project that you get offered and put a bit of yourself in it. In the end, if you think of something as your own you take more care of it, so even if you work for someone else or you are doing a project that maybe does not interest you that much just consider it your own project and take it as something more personal so that it get easier to do. Don’t be shy, you need to get out there to get jobs or talk to people who you can learn from, ask a lot, be curious about things, see how you can learn new things... And, of course, don’t underestimate networking because even if it seems useless we are all human and you never know who can help you. It is not about using people, it is about appreciating what they can offer you, it is impossible to make it by yourself.