ANGEL SCHLESSER: I think very much about my clients, and on this I base my work.
For: Mª Mercedes Álvarez
His study - workshop of Madrid is located in the Arapiles quarter. A wide, place sober and functional, crammed with hangers with all kinds clothes. It receives me with sports outfit and aspect rested after the holidays, calm despite being on the edge of the Footbridge Cibeles, where one more period has presented collection.
Of German great-grandparents – hence his surname - born in Cantabria and licensed in Right, Ángel Schlesser is praised soon by the world of the design, and already in 1984 it realizes his first masculine fashionable collection. From 1988, it presents his proposals in the Footbridge Cibeles of Madrid, in which it takes part of continued form, with some intervals in which it parades of independent form.
His plan of action includes many aspects: I design for uniforms of the Olympic Games of Barcelona in 1992, bath collections masculine and feminine, perfumes, jewels, dressed fiancée's, complements, wardrobe for personages of the movies, etc. It has taken part also in the Christmas lighting of the streets of Madrid and in projects of ecological character and of solidarity.
It has got numerous recognition for his work: the T of Gold that grants the magazine Telva to the Best New Designer in 1991, the Award to the Creativity granted by the Footbridge Cibeles in 1997 and 1998, the Award Style of the magazine elle to the Best National Designer in 2005, and the same year 2009 they have granted the Award T de Telva to the Best Designer, for naming only some awards.
You were going for lawyer: what did he impel to devote himself to anything so different?
In that moment I did Right because sincerely he did not realize very well what to do. I finished the career and it continued without realizing it well, I began to prepare oppositions and to work not very convinced and came to Madrid from Santander. Here, in the full eighties, I discovered a very changeable world, in which he was waking up the whole universe of the fashion. Almost all my friends were devoting themselves to this and I liked. And I decided to devote myself to it also.
From the beginning he is seen in Cibeles. After so many years: what has changed in the footbridge of Madrid? What has won, what has lost?
I believe that freshness has got lost, this improvisation of the beginnings that was something very attractive. Now there is great more ripeness, but he still has left great for improving, not only to the Footbridge Cibeles, but to Spanish Fashion in general.
It began with masculine wardrobe and it has done feminine collections, fiancées, I bathe, design of jewels, complements and fragrances. Of all the open lines: which of them has offered him more professional projection? What project has he left for realizing that it does illusion to him?
Everything what I have initiated has been an opportunity question, not only of desire. For all this type of designs about the clothes, which is our central activity, you have to find the perfect patner to develop it. What I would like designing, and I believe that I will do it in some moment, it is movable.
But with his name the doors of the opportunities will be opened to him...
Not always it is so easy. It means a bet, not only for my part but on the part of another company in believing in a project of mine. And, the truth is that right now and as the economic panorama is, many projects are not attacked.
And how does it avert the crisis? Has it affected him?
Surely it has affected me, and in the proportion of the whole world. I avert it fitting my expenses to my income, narrowing the belt finally. It is the only form.
In 1996 it opens his first shop in Madrid, to which they continue others in Bilbao, Valencia, Santander, Oviedo, Valladolid, Barcelona, Palma, Seville, Granada, Almeria. And it keeps on opening shops...
Yes, it is true, we finish in opening shop in Corunna, but now I believe that we will have an impasse of one year at least. Out of Spain my efforts are centring in the United States in these moments.
What do you consider who is the elegance? Is it an educational question?
The elegance is an attitude in the external thing and a character in the internal thing, it has many factors, it is not anything that you could learn or show off: it is something innate and natural, that there are lucky ones that it has and others not. Nevertheless, the good taste can be educated, the correction can be learned, but nevertheless I believe that it is something that has to do more with the interior of the person that with merely external.
It usually say that the money does not do the person elegant, but of that time: why is the good fashion so expensive?
I insist that the elegance has not anything in common with what you put yourself above not with the luxury. I belong to those who say that the money does not do a more elegant person. To go elegantly is not to dress with expensive clothes, but to be adapted to the circumstances and to your personality.
Does not one look today any more in the world of the fashion for the design without soul, the device and the provocation?
I have never claimed that, but the normal thing, when you teach your clothes in the footbridge, it is to attract attention on these designs and that the people do not get bored, that anything sits. It seems licit to me that is a little a spectacle. Another thing is the industrialization and the distribution and commercialization of this fashion, something that worries me because I, for example, cannot progress everything what I wanted. An American mark can have a few spectacular sales in a period, but in the Spanish fashion we still have not obtained it.
His fashion is neither slovenly nor strident nor impossible to commercialize or to shine: is it there where there is the victory of the mark Schlesser?
Very well, although in my designs my personal taste is reflected, I think very much about my clients, about for what they ask me, and on this factor I base my work.
What is the leit motiv of his last collection?
I never have a leit motiv, sometimes when I finish a collection yes I see that there is a source of more or less clear inspiration, but my work is based more on the continued effort, it is a fruit of a natural evolution. My last collection has inspiration of the eighties, the garment keeps on being important but with regard to other collections I introduce in this one the suit pants, which is a tendency.
About what type of woman does he think on having attacked a new collection?
I like designing for very different women, who have a big personality. I have no muse nor think about anybody in particular.
It has just presented collection in Cibeles. How are there the days before to the presentation of a collection? What overwhelms him?
It overwhelms me that the things are not on time. And it always happens: at the last hour you walk solving things! Anyway I believe that I have managed to take the things with more calmness. I work more hours of the habitual thing, since I take the supervision of my team straight. And the fact is that a thing is the collection and other one the parade to present it: it depends that how it is done, you transmit a thing or other one.
What pledges does he detest?
I do not detest any especially, do not close, although there are periods that there extracted a type of pledges more than others. For example, a pledge as the culottes for me is a strange pledge, but in my last collection propose someone... Neither I like very much the purple color, but I take four years extracting pledges of purple color...
Is that because it continues the tendencies?
I design what I like, but the tendencies influence me obviously.
When it sees the people for the street: what does he think in how is it dressed?
The truth is that I do not notice very much, I do not analyze the people, if not, I would go crazy. Only occasionally yes some interesting "flash" of the street comes to me.
How does it relax of the work?
As soon as I close the door I disconnect! I relax like many people: going out with friends to have dinner and to chat, some weekend in the beach. Every Sunday I like being reading at home...