Interview with Antonio Miro’s Creative Director Albert Villagrasa | Purely Mediterranean
After winning the prize for the Best collection at Barcelona´s Fashion week, Albert Villagrasa shared his thoughts with us over being the creative director of Antonio Miró, a well know Catalan luxury lifestyle brand. We had the pleasure to exclusively interview him in the Barcelona flagship store, surrounded by his newest collection especially displayed for us on mannequins for our review. “El Mar,” the newest collection of the brand inspired by Spanish “Iluministic” paintings is an ode to the Mediterranean lifestyle. Albert, the designer, explains to us in this interview his creative path, the inspiration for the new collection and concept behind the successful Barcelona Antonio Miro lifestyle store.
- Please introduce yourself, define in a few words who you are and who you want to be.
I´m Albert Villagrasa, the creative director of Antonio Miro. More than describing things about my personality, I think what is more important for me is that the people around me classify me as a “good soul.” That´s everything I want to be and my main goal in life: to be a good person and to have nice and good intentions in everything I do. I want people to see me as a person on which they can rely on. When our time comes, all that remains is how people felt about us
- How did you become a designer? What motivated you to take the final step towards a career in the fashion industry?
Where I grew up becoming a Fashion designer wasn´t a choice many people made, which lead me to study fashion photography. When I started developing my career as a fashion photographer I realized it wasn´t so much the photography, but the clothes that kept me motivated. That made me decide to start my career as a fashion designer.
- What inspires you the most of living, working and producing in Barcelona for a prestigious local brand?
The fact that every garment of Antonio Miro is entirely made in the city is a plus for our brand; that help us to have more control of the patterns, the fabrics, the production and the quality of the final product. Our support to the local and artisan market really motivates me to keep creating for such a well-known local brand.
- In your past collections, you expressed your sensibility towards social media and how it is shaping reality. How do you think this affects you as a creative soul?
Social media affects us in many ways, we´re now continually thinking of the image we´re projecting. Young people don´t have the budget yet to afford luxury, they prefer to spend their money traveling, and taking cool pictures on Instagram, they like luxury, but more lifestyle luxury. I´m lucky enough to be part of the few Catalan brands that are still well known for their quality and our clients, no matter the age, are looking for temporal long-lasting garments that will grow up with them.
- Do you think your creations have a significant impact on the spectator and in the person that wears them?
I create my collections in order to impact the spectator, to me that “wow” factor is determinant, I like to present something new and different every season. I like to preserve the values of the brand, but I love to create new feelings every season.
- Which was the collection that represented you the most as a creator? And why?
As a creator, the collection that represents me the most is “Origens,” a collection that pushed my techniques and style to boundaries I never been, also, because it was my first attempt in printing some of my luxury style design into the Brand. In that way, it was challenging. The one that represents us the most as a brand is my most recent collection “El Mar” a fresh collection that is the perfect balance of new trends with old fashion and quality luxury.
- In your opinion which are the best assets of the Barcelona fashion scene, and which ones you will like to improve?
The fashion world needs a lot of improvement, not only the Barcelona fashion scene but internationally. What I would definitely change is to be open to the new and upcoming generation of designers. We all have been students, and new in our works, I think the new brands need to gain more visibility and organizations like fashion weeks and fashion prices should try to show more the work of the new creators in the market.
About El MAR, the Spring Summer 2019 collection
- How was the creative process of your new collection? How did you come up with the idea of getting inspired by Sorolla, such a Spanish art master?
As the designer of a brand the ideas don´t only come from me, we discuss as a team that we wanted to create a fresh and joyful collection. So, as a creator, I decided to take Sorolla as my inspiration. I always loved his color palette and his “iluminismo.” The creative process was really easy, as it was a fresh and clean collection.
- The Mediterranean is totally present in your new collection; do you think it has a direct impact also on your life?
The Mediterranean lifestyle is what I grew up with, I use to go to the beach with my family and spend long journeys on the beach enjoying the summer. To have the Mediterranean now next to me doesn´t impact me as much as the fact of growing up with it.
- How do you think the men and woman wearing your new collection feel?
Comfortable with themselves and with what they´re wearing, confident and with style. Knowing that what they bought is an inversion and that will last over time.
About the flagship of Antonio Miró
- You changed the “fashion store” concept in the past years, what do you think made you as a brand to take the risk and to change the idea of the store?
I think what made us change the concept of the store was the awareness of the time we´re living. Fashion is just a small part of life, we want to build the Antonio Miro lifestyle, a brand that is known for its style and quality over anything. In the same space, we offer a big range of products, from fashion to eyewear, home décor and shoes.
- How is the process of having a store that also offers cultural events? Do you think these other events and lifestyle products affect the fashion you create?
No, fashion affects them, as the creative director I give the instructions and I lead the production with every workshop. I select the color palettes, volumes and final look of every product and then the experts develop a prototype that I supervise. In the end, everything with the Antonio Miro label is checked by our atelier. It has an impact in our fashion shows, as we´re one of the few brands in Barcelona that can show a total look offering only the products they design and elaborate.
- As a designer, what inspires you to keep designing for this well know Catalan brand?
What I love the most is to preserve the quality, to continue to design under the directives of my master Antonio Miro. It´s really easy for me, as I don´t know how to do it in another way. I like to design well-made clothes with the finest materials, that´s what inspires me the most and what makes me the happiest of working for Antonio Miro.
- What is your biggest inspiration nowadays?
My life, what I see, what catches my eye. I have always been like this. I don´t seek inspiration, I believe in the impression that something produces in me and then in my way to express what I feel and see.
- Are you supporting environmental ideas in fashion, such a 0 waste policy, Km 0 or slow fashion?
Our main goal is quality, which is why we work with local products only, producing everything here and working with the 0km policy. Everything we use and everything we design comes from less than a kilometer away. As a brand, we strongly believe in ethical fashion.
- The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is The Essence of a Joyful Living. How do you think Joy and well-being affect your creative process?
To me, the wellbeing and happiness affect every aspect of your life. I always have been a realistic but positive person. I know what I want and what I do as a designer, but I´m aware of the reality that surrounds me. You have to dignify your work, I believe that no matter what you do to earn your life you must do it with dignity. At the end of everything, I design luxury clothes when on the other side of the world there are kids starving. I try to do my best and to stay positive in front of a tough reality, and I´m grateful every day for the opportunities I have in life that helped me to develop myself as a creative soul.
- Our motto is “you can be, do and have anything you want,” what are your thoughts on this quote by Abraham Hicks?
I love this quote. I found it really inspiring. However, some people have to fight more than others to achieve what they want. In Europe and North America is easy to desire everything you want, and to actually have it, but is not the same reality for everywhere else in the world. I applaud the people that don’t matter where they come they fight to materialize their dreams.