In Issue 02 BAD, we interviewed three Central Saint Martins fashion design graduates on their thoughts of menswear's current landscape. First up, Mateo Velasquez tells us more about his Columbia inspired collection.
Hello Mateo, tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I'm a Menswear designer, with 'Menswear' being more of a fashion category and eluding gender specification, born in Colombia, raised in Spain and based in London and Milan, therefore with a strong attraction to culture movements.
What’s your inspiration behind your collection?
For SS18 I looked back at Columbia in the 70's and 80's, as documented by Danny Lyon, the beginnings of Narco-culture combined with Colombian craftsmanship and the vibrancy of South America.
Why did you choose the path of fashion design?
It was something that grew organically as I started to move into Art and Design in school, it wasn't something I had planned, London had a great influence in me when it comes to Fashion movements and it inspired me to get involved on it.
There's a lot of noise about the worth and cost of art schools. Coming from one of the most prestigious fashion school in uk, what are your thoughts on art education?
The problem of Art Schools is not only the tuition fees, apart from paying £9000 a year to go to school, you will be expected to produce projects and collections at very high standards, which come to very high costs that most students can't afford, they discuss this will encourage creativity, but for me is a limitation on what you can and can't do.
There should be more support to Art students to encourage creativity, not only from the government but also from the industry. People expect great designers to come out of CSM but not many will give them the platform, the voice or the resources.
What do you think of menswear currently?
There has been a lot of hype in the London's Menswear scene in the past years, and it's great, there's a lot of talent and exciting new times and social changes coming from it. Not so much encouragement from the other fashion cities, I think everyone should follow on the steps of London, giving opportunities to young Menswear designers to change the world.
What do you think about colour in menswear? Is it lacking?
I'm very passionate about colour in Menswear, but I think it's not necessary to push it further, there will be colourful collections, and there will be classic collections, as there are costumers. Perhaps the lack of it it's because the lack of demand, but you can't make people like or dislike colours, it's something that comes from you.
What are your future projects?
I'm currently working for a textiles company in Milan, would like to discover the fashion system in Italy and see what it can offer to young designers as me, see where it can take me and if I can challenge me and vice versa.
Who’s your favourite designer?
Jeremy Scott was the first designer I discovered when I was 13, and I still admire him, it's bold, it says something, and it's fun to look at, it's everything I want fashion to be, a brave statement that doesn't take the system too seriously.
What’s one bad habit that keeps you from being even more successful?
All creatives are experts on procrastination. But I think it's normal, it's part of the process, you have to accept it and know that you will work and do your best work when it comes within from you, when you feel the most inspired and then, you will put all the hours in.
Read our full Central Saint Martins graduates editorial in Dear Boy Issue 02 BAD.
Designer MATEO VELASQUEZ
Photographer JUN H
Grooming RAFFAELE ROMAGONOLI
Model KAI CROSSMAN AT SUPA