10 Questions with Ernesto Naranjo
When did you decide to get into fashion?
I was never thinking about doing fashion design. It was a hobby. I never expected to be doing it as a career. I first wanted to pursue a career in architecture because it is more a "classic" career. But when I was 17, I told my mother I want to try fashion design. My mother was first worried where you can study fashion and thought it was just about doing beautiful things and not a career. But I said to her I wanted to try it and think it can be something good for me. So I went to Madrid to study fashion design. However, I didn't like it there as it was very theoretical. So I did a fashion foundation course at Central Saint Martins (CSM) in London and loved it. The course opened my mind a lot and applied for a Masters and got accepted for both Womenswear and Prints.
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
I get a lot of my inspiration from my background. Although many of my experiences are quite cliché, at the same time I feel that that's me. I will ask my mother or grandmother for old pictures of our village and myself. I then mix my old memories with my new life here in London. Although many artists like to take inspiration from external objects such as the sun or a building, I like to take inspiration from my own social and cultural experiences because that is part of me.
How is the life of a fashion designer?
Fashion design is very tough but every industry is like that. People feel like people in fashion are always having fun and at parties. But it is not. It is working from 9 to 10. But that's the best way to become better. It is mentally tiring though because you always have the pressure to be better and better. People always expect a fashion designer to be a star.
What is the biggest obstacle in fashion?
I feel like the circle of fashion is very closed and not open to new people. For example, look at how a creative director at a well known brand moves so easily from one brand to the next. It is very difficult for young, new people to get into that circle.
How would you describe your designs in one word?
This is a difficult one. I try to show my identity. But when I say I am from Spain, people automatically think of parties, beaches, etc. But I want to translate that Spain is not only that. People have this cliché image of us. I hate that. I would like to change that and show that Spain is more than that.
What is your favorite self-designed piece?
My favorite piece was one that I made based on my roots. I used pictures from the 1930s from my village partying doing tradition things such as the flamenco. I tried to distort all those images. I wanted to create a new view of Spanish people.
How was the experience of interning with John Galliano?
John Galliano is really amazing and friendly. I expected him to be the classic type of theatrical person how he was in haute couture, but I found later that he was completely different. He was really down to earth and relaxed.
I also connected really well with him. He has a similar background to me; he was also born the south of Spain and was brought up religiously. As there were just 4 interns, I became really close with him.
What was a notable moment from your time with Galliano?
For the Spring Summer Collection 2015, I got to work on the embroidery of a wedding dress (see below). It was really beautiful because the dress showed the symbiosis between Margiela and John Galliano. I got to work on putting together the entire jewellery piece on the front of the dress which serves as religious symbol of the Virgin Mary and her child.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I am currently doing my MA. I am doing my MA because I think I will find my personal view of fashion and find what I want to do in the future. I hope i find it. I think I will be really happy if I'm working with a brand I really like. But I would love to find my own concept.
What is your favorite brand?
I loved Margiela. Becuase it was like a family. Margiela is also really creative but at the same time has a really commercial line. So it has both worlds.