We here at So Catchy! have been following the career path of the talented designer and stylist Anel Yaos closely for more than a year now. This promising young Andaluz has continued to make waves in the difficult and competitive world of fashion without straying from his principles. He recently showed his work at Valencia Fashion Week and before the show, we met up with him beforehand at his house in Seville to find out more about the creative process behind his newest collection, 2255 and to get a peek behind the scenes of his promising new show. We sat down with him again this week, in Barcelona this time, to get a better understanding of his experience in Valencia and to find out more about his new life in the Catalan capital.
Anel Yaos @ Valencia Fashion Week
SC!: So, what are you up to now?
AY: Apart from the Styling, Art Direction and Advertising course that I’m doing, I’ve started selling my work through an online platform, Blog a Porter. They’ve been after me for more than a year now, since they saw the original collection in Valencia Fashion Week. I had never thought about selling my work but I’ve been in Barcelona for a few days now and I can see how the expenses add up so I asked myself, why not sell something?
SC!: How has the award from VFW affected the Styling, Art Direction and Advertising classes in Barcelona?
AY: Truthfully, they’ve been great. The Escola Superior de Disseny Felicidad Duce is different than what I’m used to because the professors are actively working in their fields and not just teaching. They tell you their experiences in the world of fashion from another vantage point. For example, Francesca from Tendencias TV, who teaches cool-hunting, always says that you have to leave your comfort zone to find more inspiration and be more creative. She thinks that designers and fashion professionals only go to catwalks when they should go to concerts, to the cinema, go to trade shows, travel, etc. Inspiration can be found everywhere, not only in your area of expertise.
SC!: And your classmates?
AY: Well, they’re all women; there’s really an international feeling here, many of them are from Latin America: Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina, Columbia and Ecuador. There are illustrators, textile designers, publicists and lawyers. Everyone wants to add something to their current careers, to open their minds a bit and to know more about this field.
SC!: What do you expect to get out of the course?
AY: I’d like to have an official degree in styling, to dedicate myself to the field, to have more experience and to know more, without giving up my designs, of course. My collections are always focused on the styling and I get a lot out of the two. I don’t think only about a jacket or an isolated piece, I think of about the earrings that go with it, the hat, the glasses, etc. I’ve already worked in styling but I’d like to be more professional and I think that this course will help me do that.
SC!: What impression did people get from your collection in this recent edition of Valencia Fashion Week?
AY: During the catwalk, I couldn’t see because the monitor we had backstage was broken. There was no reception either so my mobile was useless inside the museum; I couldn’t see anything until I got to the hotel. When I did, I saw that people had different reactions, some were surprised, others laughed and even I was surprised when I saw it. I thought, ‘that’s strange’, it was weird to see what I’d created. Creating it and seeing it are two different things. I almost didn’t recognize my work, not because I thought it was spectacular but because during the creative and production processes, you’re in a kind of bubble and you aren’t completely aware of what you’re creating. And the magazines and blogs that I’ve read seem to say the same: NEO2, Vogue, Tendencias Fashion Mag, Fucking Young, Superior Magazine and so on.
The critiques that I’ve read have been good, they’ve been honest and thoughtful. There have been comments like, “Anel Yaos, either you love him or you hate him”, and it’s true, you like me or you don’t, I don’t want to be loved by everyone. People will remember me though, even if they don’t like my work.
SC!: You can’t deny that your recent collection was a very personal and daring gamble…
AY: I knew from the beginning that with this collection I was going to do what I wanted, and only what I wanted. For the next one I might do something a bit different. I would, however, like to change platforms; I’m looking for a change of pace. I want the world to know my work and what I have to offer, my vision and so forth but I don’t want to go commercial, no one buys commercial work from unknown designers. Once you’ve made a name for yourself you can go commercial.
SC!: Tell us about the collaboration you’ve got going with Eferro.
AY: We’d been talking a lot, we were almost in constant contact. Elena Ferro has a wide range of colours she works with so when the pieces were more or less finished, I called her back. The colours that I’d used were the same as hers, the same fuschia, orange, blue, red, white, black and bronze. In total there were seven different colours and they coincided perfectly with hers. So we talked and I’d ask her for three of this colour and she’d do them with different soles. She made everything new for the show and now she’s going to send me shoes for Andalucía de Moda. I’m very happy with the collaboration and I hope she is too. I’ve spread the word a lot on social media, not only for our collaboration, but also about her. Because I’m thankful and because I’m quite active on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook, and she shares everything. I’ve received a lot of support from her followers. We were even in the two most important newspapers in Valencia.
SC!: Have you thought about working abroad?
AY: Just last year I was contacted by a communication agency in New York and I’m still talking with them to see how we could work together. It looks really interesting and it could be a great opportunity for me.
SC!: Do you think there is more happening in Barcelona than in Seville, with collaborations and such?
AY: In Barcelona there is a lot going on, I’ve been here for 10 days now and I’ve already signed up for two projects. This week is my first editorial in Barcelona, they’ve asked for pieces from the latest collection and the first. It’s for a furniture designer and comes from a photographer contact of mine, Marcos Domingo, working with the stylist, Ángel Cabezuelo. He’s moved to London now but I absolutely love Marcos’ work, and have been following him for a while. When he saw my first collection, he gave me some very good critiques and he’s been helping me out since. Now I’ve got the opportunity to give him my clothes for this editorial.
And last Saturday I went to a photo shoot for La Moda with my flatmate, the designer for Citrique, the eyeglasses maker; they were using clothes from different designers and pairing them with different eyeglasses. On Monday, I’ve got an appointment at 4 PM to do the same with my new collection. I talked with the photographer, showed him my work and he loved it so Monday we’re meeting up.
There are many opportunities here but you’ve got to look for them and move a lot. For me it’s difficult because I’m very shy, it’s difficult for me to put myself out there and present my project and sell it. I’ve got to change, it’s the only way; nobody is going to do it for you.
Translation and layout by Michael Padilla
Catwalk photos: Adriano B de Fucking Young
Backstage & Anel Yaos photos: Jumger Photography