As part of my initiative to showcase the diversity of local brands, I invite you to discover Antonio Ortega.
—By Andrew McNally
Photo: Damien Siqueiros
Antonio Ortega by Antonio Ortega, Couturier.
What is the story behind your brand and how would you describe it? The desire to found my brand began while I was working in a couture house in 2002. I had the idea to launch my own Maison, and finally, it was founded in 2003. Antonio Ortega is known as an optimistic, sensual and anti-conformist brand. It refuses standards, mediocrity and gives self-confidence.
What is your creative process? My creative process is structured, but within that structure, it is quite scattered. I get my inspiration from books, music or nature. The manifestation of the theme takes shape through in-depth research. For example, for the last two collections, I was inspired by nomads. So the in-depth research was on nomadic tribes, their ways of living and surviving. I transposed this idea to current events. Are we still nomadic? All this lead to the conceptualization of the idea and new cuts. I then infuse a seductive touch, oppose materials and colours in a lyrical way; like a warm colour palette against a cold colour palette.
What has inspired your latest collection? The collection is inspired by religious imagery. There has always been a religious influence in my previous collections, but I decided to take a fresh look at this concept and explore this philosophy with a new approach. The main inspiration comes from the colours, symbolism and popular religious icons of the Catholic religion.
What is your signature piece? A cut that drapes the body to make it attractive in movement, a rigid cut redesigned in a fluid manner. Otherwise, tailored jackets reinterpreted in more fluid and unstructured ways.
Who is the Antonio Ortega woman? A genuine, self-confident, non-conformist woman.
Photo: Philippe Papadopoulos
What is your fondest fashion memory? My very first collection that I presented in 2014. It was a triggering moment for the pursuit of my dream that I wanted to achieve at that time. This prompted even more dreams and passions.
How are you coping with COVID? I am not passive but active and this allows me to take the time to analyse what I do and what is happening around me. I consider how I could make a difference in what is going to happen. Right now, I am being patient and thriving on creativity because I live from it and it is what I am.
On a different note… which book is on your nightstand at the moment? A compilation of quotes by Buddha. Every morning I randomly open the book and read my quote of the day.
Which song are you listening to over and over? “Mad About You” by Belinda Carlisle.
Photo: Antonio Ortega
Which television series are you binge-watching? “Attack on Titan”.
What is your favourite recipe of the moment? Breaded chicken that I personally tenderize with a mallet. You should try it. It is very therapeutic!
Which movie inspires you? “Pillow Book” directed by Peter Greenaway.
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