Fashion is my tool to expose concerns and stand up visually
Alvaro Mars is designer of his eponymous and a non-binary brand that plays gender roles and nonconformity having as values: impact, irony, and controversy. In an interview with Fibre2Fashion, the designer talks about the inspiration behind his eclectic collections and shares his thoughts on gender-fluid fashion.
Fibre2Fashion: What attracted you towards the fashion industry? Please share your journey so far.
Since I was a child, I have been very sensitive in terms of plastic arts and aesthetic stimuli. I believe that fashion is what I was meant to be. Since I have consciousness, it has been my place where I can shelter from the reality.
I did not have a background that favoured creativity, art or fashion, even then my imaginary was full of symbols, references and influences that have constructed me as a designer.
I realised that translating my essence into tangible creations was the sense of my nonsense.
I do believe that I have a bold and particular aesthetic, and as a creative I have my own codes that I apply so visually you know that the piece is made by me.
Since I founded my own label, I have been able to experience a really complete journey in the industry.
From my perspective, the most challenging part of it comes with the business and the nonstop atmosphere that surrounds the fashion world. Also, the phases of creative blockade can be quite challenging and frustrating. It is important to keep on believing in your dream and stay true to yourself/brand, as cliche as it sounds.
It feels great when you translate to the mannequin what you want to express and when you have the voice to express your concerns. Since I entered the industry there have been a lot of high moments for me and my brand. Everything has happened so fast that I have not been able to digest all of it. Also, I have been able to work with amazing creatives with awesome points of view.
One of my biggest dreams was to enter in the British panorama and be able to show at LFW (because it is the fashion week that I think that I fit the most) and at 21 years of age I did it.
F2F: What is the inspiration behind your artistic collection and how would you define the experience of your first collection launch?
My inspiration comes from art (History, Literature, architecture, etc.) and my heritage mainly. My biggest inspiration is my grandmother and all the values that she embodies. As my main inspirational source, I have created a character ‘Lolita’ that embodies all the references that I have had since I was a child.
My inspiration comes from a sociological point of view. I have had a lot of women influence in my life. I have taken the essence from the women around me and that has led me to become the creative that I am today. When creating I think about my origins, about the Mediterranean, about my culture, about Almodovar’s work, about freedom, about having a social message.
I truly feel very grateful that I was given the opportunity to showcase my work several times; the first time that I launched my first complete collection was 2019 in the MBFW Russia where I was awarded with the global talents award that has led me to build an emerging brand and has defined the starting point of my career as a creative. I will remember that first time forever, that sensation felt really right. It felt like a dream come true.
F2F: What is your take on an era of gender fluid fashion?
I do not believe on choosing between genders because it does not have anything to do with the current times that we are living and my creative process.
Fashion is my tool to expose concerns and stand up visually. I work with muses, regardless of the gender or condition of the person. I want my garments to be free from prejudice and to be able to dress a person who dares beyond the established. Challenging gender roles is one of the values that the brand champions, and it is my grain of sand to support all kinds of people regardless of their nature and to end all those norms that have been imposed on us.
I would say that gender fluid fashion is the future; not a distant future, we are experiencing it nowadays. Fashion is a pretty pure reflection of the world and goes hand in hand with the social movements. We are living hard times globally and fashion is a way of expressing our concerns and speaking out.
F2F: Who are your main target audience?
Ever since I started, I have been very avant-garde oriented and the market that I thought that I would fit the most was the English panorama. I would say that the target that I am looking for is very fashion forward and very into craftsmanship. Also, everyone that feels the attitude and embodies the Lolita essence and grace is my dream of dressing.
F2F: How much of your collection is made from sustainable fibres?
Since I started with my own label, I realised how important is sustainability for the industry. It is a value that I have applied and that I am applying to my identity as a brand and as a designer. It would be very hypocritical to have a message/philosophy of making the world a better place without it. From the leather/fur materials that I love working with that are 100 per cent recycled to the low waist of textiles in general.
Our last collection was composed with some garments that were made from sustainable fibres. I did enjoy the process. It is an interesting field that I want to explore in order to apply it more and become more conscious.
F2F: What is expected to be the biggest fashion trend in the next couple of years?
Since the world is in crisis and has become a chaotic space, we can expect a huge variety of different trends and styles. One thing is for sure—everything is going to be bold and authentic.
After a period of tension, change, hopeless feelings and oppression, fashion is like a ray of sun; everything is going to scream revolution and freedom, everything is going to be a mix of exuberant, bold, and big aesthetics with a conceptual and unique outcome. Everyone gets dressed but most importantly everyone consumes fashion, now more than ever is an element of distinction or belonging.
Fashion is cyclical. I would say that everything is going to be eclectic and rich in terms of cultural references.
F2F: What advice would you give to the budding fashion entrepreneurs?
Maybe it can sound very cliché, but the best advise that I could give is patience, constancy and never forgetting your reason of becoming part of the industry. Of course, it is tough and is something that is constantly changing, but it is important to not give up your dreams; I LOVE DOING WHAT I AM MEANT TO DO, I LOVE BEING WHAT I AM MEANT TO BE.
In terms of building a brand, it is important to build a strong basis of organisation and brand identity. What are you offering? What is your essence? How are you going to contribute to the industry? Also, communication is key nowadays. The public has to be interested and have feeling of hunger wanting more and more.