JAIME ÁLVAREZ / MANS CONCEPT MENSWEAR
By Marc Lüloh. I met Jaime at the apartment he rented for 080 Fashion Week in Barcelona last January. He welcomed me and my friend Asier Goñi and invited us to stay with him and his friends. Accepting his invitation made me live an unforgettable experience. We spent every day together, opening up to each other, sharing reflections and feelings. I met part of his family too, who came to support him. They all treated me as if I was one more of them. His talent and potential is unquestionable. Little wonder, he won the National Generalitat of Catalonia Emerging Design Award in his first collection, presented that Fall Winter 2018 season. But what I admire the most about him is his beautiful soul.
Coming from La Luisiana, a small village in Sevilla, how did your interest about fashion start?
Jaime Álvarez. I started when I was 2. I used to draw on heaps and heaps of paper. Fashion came later on, when I was seven or eight. I used to stare at my mum when she was getting dressed or when she was watching fashion stuff on TV. That is when everything started and when I was 15, 16 and 17 years old I moved to Sevilla to buy fashion magazines, as in my hometown they would not sell this kind of magazines.
In your first collection, presented at 080 Barcelona Fashion Week last AW19 season, you won the Award. What do you consider that has made you earn this prize?
The reward was a consequence of a very hard and constant work. It might sound arrogant, but that collection deserved the prize. Not only because of me, but also because of the collection itself. I picked a wide variety of first quality fabrics: cold wool, etc. Everything selected by me. The brand focuses on the fabrics, since we look for high quality, long lasting, comfortable pieces, rather than a transcendent design. All the hard work behind it could be noticed in the show.
What do you like most about being a designer? And what don't you?
What I like the most about being a designer is making a collection and a show. Those stressing moments, the adrenaline throughout the months, I cannot explain that with words. I am very lucky to be working on something I love. Also, meeting amazing people, there are not many of them, but every now and then you meet incredible human beings that make you exchange feedback about reflections. That goes for you, Marc!
The worst part of being a designer in fashion is toxic people, going to events where they stare at you the worst way. Definitely, I can’t deal with arrogance and egos.
You create Menswear. How do you present masculinity through your brand to society? What does masculinity mean for you?
This subject is a bit complicated and we don't like to define what masculinity is. We introduce masculinity in a softer way, a bit feminine, but always talking about men’s clothes. They might feel like killing us, but in the brand we make he difference between Menswear and Womenswear.
Your SS19 collection is inspired in the freedom Germany felt after the repression lived up until the fall of The Wall. What makes you feel free? What repression do you live or see in your life?
Nowadays, I feel pretty free. Not 100%, but I think that no one is fully free, because of families, work or partners. In my case, I felt free when I moved to Madrid at the age of 17. Then I started living my truth, my real life. Believe it or not, in a Sevillian little town you are concerned about what they would say. I love my town and my roots because if you deny them you are nobody, but I think that if I was still living there, I wouldn't be who I am today, and I wouldn't have had the chance to meet other people and cultures.
What would be the first thing you would change of the world if you could? And of the fashion industry?
Oh my, I wouldn't know where to start, but instead of changing, the first thing I would definitely eradicate is bullying among children. It is something I have got in mind. In Fashion, I would change the way of placing or getting rid of some designers, there are many bad interests around and they don't give many chances to real talented people. However, they give everything to mediocre designers. On the other side, I would also eradicate egos and arrogance.
Who do you most admire and why?
The people I admire the most are my parents, Antonio and Marisol. They are a clear good example, not only in a personal way, but also in a professional way, because of their perseverance and hard work. They started to work at the age of 8 and now they are what they are because of that effort. And by then, you would have the same chances than today. They are definitely my reference.
In the industry of fashion, there is only one person I admire and love: David Delfín. Besides being a friend, he was a reference, even though a lot of people wanted to destroy him, he showed that he has been the best designer in Spain. Nowadays, the Spanish fashion calendar doesn't make any sense without him.
You can count on the support of your family. That is so beautiful. Which are the most important values in your family?
To be honest, I’ve got the best family in the world and when I talk about family, I mean my mum, my dad and my brother. My parents always have taught my brother and me that if you are well educated and apply yourself to chase your goals, you can go anywhere and get whatever you want.
What are your biggest goals to achieve in your career? And in your life in general?
In Fashion, my goals would be being able to live off of what I do, having a shop and being able to organise fashion shows on international catwalks. On a personal basis, having children and making my dream come true, creating a platform against bullying among children. Those like me who have suffered from it know that it really stays within you forever, and in my case, I will do everything that is possible to eradicate it.
One last question. We support messages that can provoke positive impacts on people’s lives. What message would you like to share with the readers? And who would you recommend?
“Listen to other people's opinions, but do what you feel like doing”.
I would recommend a lot of people. But I'd mention a teacher I specially remember, Luis Berrendero. Nowadays he works at Carmen March's. He was the one who made me love tailoring and who pushed me to do everything I do. I would love to know more about Miuccia Prada. She is the person I have more curiosity to listen about.
Words by Marc Lüloh
Jaime Álvarez Interview. Exclusive 5' ELEVEN'' Online.
To see more, visit mansconceptmenswear.com