The 28-year-old designer Brais Albor, who has just graduated from Central Saint Martins College, presented his first menswear collection in March, during the prestigious London School MA in Fashion Show, which returned to the live format after the stop caused by the pandemic. The collective fashion show was held during the London Fashion Week and it allowed 32 students to show their respective collections. Among them we have Albor, with his mix of sartorial codes, womenswear elements, shapes and suggestions taken from the animal world and a great use of irony (aimed at breaking down the stereotypes traditionally associated with the idea of manhood), to define the identity of a “Powerful and Revolutionary Human”, as he said. This first show earned him entry to the shortlist of finalists for the 2022 edition of ITS – International Talent Support, committed to scouting and supporting emerging fashion talents.
We asked him a few questions in order to get to know better a creative man that is set to make his way in the menswear industry.
Interview with Brais Albor
What are your background and professional experiences?
I did my BA courses in Santiago de Compostela at EASD Mestre Mateo and with this I came to Milan to do my Erasmus course the last year of the BA at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera. This is when I met Milan and I really enjoy the city. I have been doing this Erasmus Course, a Erasmus Internship at Casa D’Arte Fiore, where I have been working for 3 years and a half. Here I was a menswear pattern maker for cinema and theatre and I learned a lot about historical costume, fashion and structures. I tried to work in fashion in Milan but after been rejected a lot of times I decided to study more, so I applied (twice) to Central Saint Martins and I went to London to do my MA in Fashion. I have been one of the student who did the catwalk during LFW to show my collection. The final collection of the MA is the same one that I used to apply to ITS. After the show Marc Goehring (Fashion Director at “032c magazine”, author’s note) meets my collection and after chats with him, he comes over London to support me with his experience and talent styling my collection for the campaign and look book pictures.
“I want to make the wearer feel powerful and strong”
Tell us about the concept of your brand, your first collection and your idea of masculinity.
About my collection: I want to shift non-standard sized bodies from being concealed and buried into the spotlight. I emphasise their bodies in tailored constructions, hugging and elevating their physique. Using sartorial fashion, I want to make the wearer feel powerful and strong. It is almost like the gentleman wearing a suit as strong as a chainsaw whilst being as sweet as poetry on the inside.
My debut collection “Descent of Human, and natural Selection in Relation to Love” is based on the reality of toxic masculinity, the Dandy figure of the 20th century and animal instincts. Combined, they create the uniform of the character I created- the “Powerful and Revolutionary Human”, capable and determined to be a part of the change. Therefore, the casting was very important to me. I wanted to use real humans, with traditional non-runway sizes. They contrast with the garments and break the traditional stereotypes of men in fashion. Essentially, it is a masculine menswear collection created in the most un-masculine way in order to create a new identity. I worked with sustainable textures and materials, by using deadstock fabric. This allowed me to create high-quality garments whilst being environmentally conscious. Additionally, the shoes have been made in collaboration with Atelier Vania, an Italian family business. In the beginning, Atelier Vania made shoes for transgender women, and after this collaboration, they decided to make high heels for everyone. This added heritage to the value of my collection. All of these elements give my characters, the models, the tools to fight for the revolution of love.
“My Spanish blood and hometown culture make me create the garments on that way”
Where is the Spanish influence in your work?
The Spanish influence is probably reflected everywhere. I mean, my Spanish blood and hometown culture make me create the garments on that way, criticizing in a ironic way that we understand as “Macho Iberico”. This toxic traditional stereotype of man which I would break and use it to create something new who represent better my culture and ideas.
Why did you choose to move to Italy?
I’m choosing Italy at the moment as I think it is very similar to the Spanish culture but bigger in terms of fashion. In my opinion, people here enjoy life more than other countries, and the mix between work and enjoy here is perfect. So, my next project is the one to stay here, working for some fashion company to get the experience and try to understand if I am able to produce and launch my own brand in the future. Nowadays I just do custom pieces of my collection and new creations. I would love to launch a new collection but after all the expenses of the MA it is not easy to have the support to create at the moment.
“I criticize in a ironic way that we understand as Macho Iberico”
Your signature piece and favourite textile.
My favourite piece from my collection is the coat I wore during the show. It is made in mohair wool fur that I dyed by hand as was yellow (this was stock from a London based brand) and I get this texture and colour during the process. I really like it for this reason I will wear it during the winter. I even love the trousers of the LOOK 3 (was my first trouser idea and development and from this one the others was born) and the good thing of that collection as I did all the sizes as me or bigger, I can wear the garments. This was made in rat grey wool with contrast pieces made in cream wool trying to imitate the calico which we use in fashion for prototypes.
Opening image: the first Brais Albor men’s collection
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