You can be sure that in the halls of fashion, the number of people who haven’t heard of Leandro Cano is shrinking everyday. As such, he hardly needs any presentation besides his name: Leandro Cano is the hottest new Spanish designer on the international stage right now.
He’s been interviewed on numerous occasions and he has already been asked almost every question in the book. That said, we weren’t going to give up the chance to get a few minutes alone with Leandro at the Vejer Weekend Fashion where we sat down with him and other artists and entrepreneurs from various fields. Surrounded by an attentive group, he talked about how to go about getting grants, how he got where he is today and what goes into making one of his pieces. He told us anecdotes about his first shows and what it was like being an unknown until Marc Jacobs presented him with the Designers For Tomorrow award in 2012 and everyone started to take notice.
So Catchy! Where Fashion Begins was there because we wanted to see the designer behind the delicate finishes, the detailed clothes, and the wonderful fabrics as well as why his pieces are able to transmit so much emotion. We wanted a peek at what makes his creations so attractive, the coherence of his style, and his mastery of space and volume. Leandro Cano isn’t starting out and he really needs no presentation but, if you’d like to get to know him a bit more, here’s what he had to say. We hope you like it, and him, as much as we do.
SO CATCHY!: You’re relatively new, you graduated three years ago, but you’ve already become a star in the world of fashion, an icon. What have these last few years been like?
LEANDRO CANO: I’m still working as I always have, with the same people, but it’s growing and the projects are bigger and different.
Nowadays I’m able to live off of my work but it took me time to get there and it wasn’t always easy, I’ve basically had to mortgage everything in my life. Until I decided to work in fashion, I lived pretty well; I had to sell almost everything I own. But now, thankfully, I am able to make a living.
SC!: We’re curious to know, and our readers will be too, if you haven’t released your more commercial collection yet and your previous three collections have been business cards of sorts, how does Leandro Cano make a living from fashion?
LC: We’re making collections for other brands and teaching, mainly. I’ve been working fashion students on their projects for institutions like ESDIR in La Rioja, ESCO in Granada, the Master’s in Entrepreneurial Communication and Fashion in Seville, Felicidad Duche in Barcelona. We’ve also finished collaboration with Revlon and another brand that I can’t name at the moment.
SC!: There seems to be a lot of whispering about your first prêt-à-porter collection, Luque by Leandro Cano. We can’t wait to see it…
LC: I can’t tell you much about it, really, because it’s in the works. We want to have it out by the beginning of January.
SC!: Could you define it in a few words?
LC!: Leather, knit and embroidery. It will be a collection that is reasonably priced and will sell, mainly, outside of Spain.
SC!: I don’t want to get you into trouble but, are there any new designers that you admire?
LC: I’m still an emerging designer! I like Ernesto Naranjo a lot because everything he does is so different. I also love Amai Rodríguez, Isabel Mastache…
SC!: A fashion magazine that you like.
LC: I don’t use the Internet a lot to look at fashion because I don’t want to be negatively influenced. I read some magazines every once in awhile. IT Fashion, I guess.
SC!: Where do you make your pieces?
LC: I live in Madrid but I produce everything in Andalusia.
SC!: And why is that?
LC: Because I’m an Andaluz and I love to give money back to my people, and because I think they do it better here than anywhere else. The knitting is done in my town, Alcalá la Real (Jaén) and the leather in Ubrique (Cádiz).
SC!: Knit and leather, your favorite materials.
LC: Yes, they’re the foundation of my work. They’re both so difficult to work with that it becomes a challenge and I love that.
SC!: Could you give any advice to up and coming designers who, like you in the past, have to fight for their own place in the world of fashion?
LC: Effort, effort and more effort. People tell me that I’m creative but really, I’m just a hardworking and tireless.
SC!: What’s a day in your life like?
LC: I wake up and it’s off to work, either preparing my classes, looking for fabric or talking with suppliers. I also sketch, which I love doing but have almost no time for, eat lunch at two, without a siesta or anything, it’s back to work. Some days I work until 5 in the morning. I love my job (laughs).
SC!: Why do you think people like your work?
LC: Honestly, I think that it speaks to them.
SC!: We’re running out of time here so we’d like to ask you a few quick questions, just say the first thing that comes to mind.
SC!: Favorite color:
LC: To wear, black.
SC!: A place to lose yourself:
LC: Seville… Seville at night, with that wonderful architecture…
SC!: Would you live in Seville again?
LC: I’ll die in Seville but I won’t live there again.
SC!: Do you like animals?
LC: Yes, I’ve got two dogs, actually they’re my partner’s dogs, and they’re called Bruno and Elmo.
SC!: Your favorite food:
LC: Huevos con patatas.
SC!: Where do you see yourself in five years?
LC: Living abroad, but I don’t know where.
Photos courtesy of Leandro Cano, Raúl Rosillo and Anabel Cuervas for So Catchy!
Translated by Michael Padilla
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