Do you think it’s necessary for people working in fashion to work across multiple different platforms and mediums?
That seems to be the case for a lot of people I know. I studied graphic design, but I’ve been working as a professional photographer for fifteen years. I just picked up a camera one day. I never learned photography in school, it was just one of those strange things that happen in life. I’ve also done creative direction for the magazine. In some of the projects that I’ve worked on, there were elements of set design, casting and music. We have interviewed people for the magazine, so I’ve done some writing too. Sometimes I think that I’m not particularly great at any of these things, but I’m good enough that I can do different things at once. Being able to work in different areas and on different platforms is a real asset. You always see designers who are also great at photography. Karl Lagerfeld, for example, had so many interests and talents. You can be a great writer and you can be a great something else as well: it makes a person more interesting.
What do you consider a great article?
If it’s an interview with someone, I think it’s always nice when you get past the facade of who that person is. Most of the world’s interesting people have given many interviews; by the time you get to them it could be their hundredth time, they’re used to giving some of the same answers and hearing some of the same questions. I like to feel that it’s not that repetitive. When we do interviews, I often ask our writers to maybe ask what their favourite song was when they were fourteen or something like that, just to get something started on a different note. When it comes to articles that are more like essays, I’m interested in any subject as long as it’s well written and it feels like the person who wrote it is passionate and engaged. I know it’s a bit cheesy when people say I have a passion for fashion, it’s the worst thing you could say, but it’s important to be passionate about things you love.
So, now I have to ask. What was your favourite song when you were 14?
When I was a teenager in the early ’90s I was really into Hole. I was unhappy in high school, so I used to play Hole very loud in my CD player on my way to school to give me the energy to face the day ahead. That’s the reason why I still love Courtney Love even though people say horrible things about her and maybe some are true, I don’t know, but I will always love her, and I love the album Live Through This.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I really loved architecture when I was very young. There are many great buildings in Barcelona, where I grew up, and I loved to visit them. I romanticised the idea of studying architecture without realising just how complicated and difficult it actually is. Once I realised that you needed to be very good at maths and physics, I knew that I would never be able to do it.
Was that disappointing or were you glad to move onto fashion?
It was very disappointing, it’s not nice to know that you cannot be great at something you love. But it doesn’t matter, I still love architecture. You can still love something even if you’re not doing it yourself.
What excites you at the moment?
All of the different movements that have occurred in culture for the past five years are fascinating in many different respects, we’re really watching the world transform before our eyes. We’ve all heard stories about the sexual revolution of the ’70s and how amazing that was, and now we’re going through a similar time in which the world is changing super-fast, not only because of the internet, but also in terms of how society operates and how we relate to women and minorities. It’s so great that these conversations are finally taking place, but the state of the world at the moment is also a bit scary. Look at what’s happening in the UK and in the US: it’s all quite frightening. In Europe, we’re seeing far-right governments in every country. I’m still inspired though: I think that change is always good, at least I want to believe it is.
I’m also very inspired by old magazines. If I go to another city and I know there’s a second-hand bookstore selling fashion magazines and books, you’ll find me there. I’m always online buying old issues of Vogue or fashion catalogues. I’m also inspired by my friends. I’m lucky that some of my closest ones also work in fashion, some of them even make independent fashion publications themselves. There’s a nice feeling of support among us. It feels like we’re in it together and there’s no sense of competitiveness.
What interests you most about the fashion industry right now?
Not much to be honest. I feel that fashion, like the whole world, is going through this Black Mirror phase where everything feels very strange and we’re still trying to understand what’s happening. What I’m interested in is what’s going to happen next, I’m really curious. The old system and structures of fashion as we know them, like fashion weeks and the old magazines, are going to have to change. Fashion week makes no sense. You cannot have people travelling for two to three months of the year, just going from show to show in different parts of the world. It’s insane. I don’t know what it will be, but there needs to be some sort of change eventually.
In the era of Instagram, what do you think the role of the fashion image-maker is today and what makes a great fashion image?
I’m a bit older so saying that we live in an Instagram-era sounds scary, I didn’t grow up with it. Sure, I’m on Instagram myself, as is the magazine, and I check it regularly; but I don’t allow it to affect how I decide on what I do and don’t like. What I think makes a great image is something that touches you personally. What that is changes from person to person, and I don’t think there’s just one recipe that makes for a great image, but a great fashion image will have something about it that is emotional or personal to you. That’s what makes anything great, whether it’s a book or a movie. I don’t care if the image is technically amazing or if a movie is shot by some famous director. Art is all about being touched by something.