Victor Barragán is a Fashion Voyeur

New York-based Fashion Designer Victor Barragán spear-heads a new genre of creativity that lies limitless between the bounds of Fashion and Art. At 25, Victor has proved, over six collections, that New York is ready to finally be an epicenter of “what’s next” in Fashion: a system-less open-box full of organically artistic collaborations, with notions of gender-fluidity and diversity as just a tip of the iceberg starting point.

A version of this exclusive interview first appeared in the pages of the 15th issue of ODDA Magazine.

What was the first piece you ever made that you were proud of, and what gave you the idea to make it?
I think I was 16 when I made a vest with handmade stitching. I didn’t know you can do it just tracing the pieces on the floor of the garment. It took me forever to do it by hand but I was really excited to finish something with my hands.

DiCaprio crying MS- DOS” t-shirt

Your initial success came from your infamous “DiCaprio crying MS- DOS” t-shirt, followed by a great range of Pop-Art graphic designs for your original online-based brand, YtinifninfinitY. Where did you, from that point, gain the temerity and skills to drop out from studying Architectural Design in Mexico City, move to New York, make the right connections, and show in NYFW within a year?
It was really quick. I didn’t know anyone and the language barrier was really hard at the beginning. Many people showed interest in my work and the direction of what I was doing in social media at the time. I was really naive about what I was doing. I just want to express myself and I found the way by creating a conversation between garments and art direction of my ideas on each collection.

Would you give us some background on your childhood and family life in Mexico City, and perhaps its influence on you?
I come from a humble working class. My dad owns a taquería in Mexico City and my mom truly invests her time in the family business and her kids. I grew up with the minimum but the necessary of succeed, food was always on the table and my parents taught me, “If you want to start making money, you gonna earn it yourself. We are not handling anything to you for free as our parents didn’t do it for us.”

“I’M A VOYEUR, I ENJOY OBSERVING A LOT AND DON’T SPEAK TOO MUCH UNTIL I FEEL COMFORTABLE TO EXPRESS MY IDEAS” – VICTOR BARRAGÁN

BARRAGÁN SS19 TERRACOTA

After what became a stagnant system of focusing on London’s graduate elite for youth-driven forward-fashion, you have been riding on a new wave of New York Designers finally directing Fashion’s eye to New York for fresh talent. Tokyo took notice when they asked you and fellow young New York designers to exhibit at their hpgrp Gallery. How did you and your counterparts change the way we look at Fashion, and why now in New York?
I think, from my experience, the fashion business is for a worldwide elite that can afford tuition housing, materials, etc. Each designer expresses the way how they perceive the world around themselves in terms on inspirations and art direction. I think New York City is a big filter. If you are talented enough to figure it out how to end your collection or you are loaded enough to play the fashion designer card in social media, in any of these two cases, you can find talent around. We are at the center of fashion, the opportunities are out there and the competition is real.

Victor Barragán – SS17

Although your product is excellent and innovative, your presentations cement Barragán as one of the coolest young brands. Describe your relationship with product vs. presentation.
I like to entertain people when they consume the brand. I don’t like to close my inspirations or limit myself on the way we play with the name out there. Barragán has so much irony and humor on the way we present the ideas. We can be serious, super eclectic or we can be playful and slightly slutty. Honestly, we do what we want and that feels really nice but we are getting in order lately because at the end of the day this is a business and we want people take us seriously.

What is it about your presentations that are unlike those of your counterparts?
We had really crazy shows in the past, just an example FW16 when everyone got drunk… both the audience and the models. SS17 when we scratched the whole floor at The Standard. FW18 models doing fake cocaine and cleaning a trashy living room. FW17 models harassing and imitating the public.

Out of all of your methods of presenting in New York, Tokyo, and Paris, which were your favorites and what were the motifs behind them? Any regrets?
I have no regrets about anything. My favorite was Tokyo because I truly felt free with the direction of the show and wardrobe of the performance.

What are the underlying themes behind Barragán as a brand?
Barragán sometimes works as a duality of different ideas. We create a conversation with the different inspirations each season like materials, casting, soundtrack, etc. We like to play it by ear, following the evolution of each collection. Although we give hints about our heritage, we don’t want to rely too much on that. Tacky Mexican Iconography, outside the context where belongs, could be really appealing for first-world audience. But we don’t want to give you an overpriced souvenir of our country you can get it in person and support the local market.

Barragán SS19

Describe your relationship with Fashion vs. Art. Which are you more knowledgeable about and which of the two worlds are you more connected to?
I’m a voyeur, I enjoy observing a lot and don’t speak too much until I feel comfortable to express my ideas to put it out there. Art is inspiring for my personal life and work I like to know everything, see everything and try everything that I can. I found freedom in the art world, with inspirational hints I apply and measure them on my work when I start designing garments or creating moodboards, all this ideas floating around start getting focus with the process on each collection.

Would you agree new designers are embracing themselves as artists more than they had before because Art has no rules, guidelines, or limits, is pure and system-less, as opposed to the tradition of working in Fashion?
Yes, I think the line between art and fashion is disappearing with the time and new generations understand that already, at the end of the day everything could be saleable as a piece of art.

Who, if any, were or are some of your mentors?
I haven’t had the pleasure of having a mentor, I wish in the future have some advice to turn my last name into a business.

The post Victor Barragán is a Fashion Voyeur appeared first on GPS Radar.

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