The Spanish film industry has a new rising star, and indeed, as is becoming the norm in recent times, it’s a woman: Alauda Ruiz de Azúa. According to Pedro Almodóvar, 'Lullaby' (original title: 'Cinco lobitos') is “the best debut in years”.
To the rescue of elegance
In his debut on the runway, Redondo Brand has reached a milestone reserved for the chosen few: the award for best collection at the 75th edition of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid (MBFWM). This favourite designer among celebrities, nostalgic for the classic elegance exuded by women from bygone decades, has found the way to bring back chic with the perfect dose of sensuality and ingenuity.
A collection inspired by Nan Kempner, the socialite Diana Vreeland classified as the only chic woman in America, has been enough for Jorge Redondo (Cáceres, 1993) to confirm his talent using needle and thread. Although the now designer began his fashion career writing runway chronicles, he soon felt the calling of creativity. His skill has been legitimised by the award for best collection at the 75th edition of the MBFWM and by dozens of celebrities —many repeat customers— who wear his designs on the red carpet. Redondo Brand’s creations have been touched by that vintage charm diffused with empowerment and, according to Jorge himself, their success lies in returning to classic elegance without forgetting about feeling sexy.
When did you know you wanted to be a designer and how did you start to develop your talent?
From a young age I knew that I wanted to work in design. I studied the Technical Art baccalaureate and then started Architecture. At the same time, at the age of 16, I started writing a blog chronicling the red carpet. At that time, it was something really new and, about a year later, I was offered a job at a trend portal. That’s how I got into the world of fashion journalism, covering international runways. I was really moved by the fashion shows and presentations, and I realised that I wanted to be the one to create and convey that feeling to the audience. So, between 2013 and 2020, I worked on both writing and designing.
In 2013, you started designing accessories with your brand Tita, what made you take the leap with fashion collections?
I started designing accessories because my intention was to have a completely digital project and accessories are easy to sell online. But what truly inspired me was creating a full style. Furthermore, my friends started attending weddings, and as a fashion journalist, they asked me where they could find dresses. I realised there wasn’t much on offer at an affordable price, and from that market opportunity and my need to express total looks came the idea for Redondo Brand.
“I was really moved by fashion shows, and I realised that I wanted to be the one to create and convey that feeling to the audience”
As well as couture, you design cocktail dresses at accessible prices, how do you manage to maintain them?
We have two business lines, one is made to measure using luxury fabrics and a higher price tag, and the other is a more commercial approach. I always knew that that had to be the premise of the brand. One of my main tasks every season is to find affordable fabrics, but with a high-end finish. That, together with chain production, allows us to maintain fair sales prices.
What has winning the award for best collection at the MBFWM meant to you?
For me, after dressing celebrities for important red carpet events, the fashion show represented a consolidation of the brand and its values. It’s meant closing the circle. Receiving the award is a recognition of our work and the way we conceive a collection, and it’s had a bigger impact than expected because it has burst onto a very balanced fashion week.
Nan Kempner was the inspiration behind the fashion show at MBFWM, are your collections nostalgic?
I feel really inspired by women and always return to them, to elegant profiles that I believe are being forgotten. Now trends invite us to be alternative, and although I find it fun to a certain degree, I’m kind of sad that new generations of actresses and singers are missing out on that classic elegance. Perhaps my more traditional style is what attracts me to classic silhouettes.
As well as American socialites, what inspires your talent and creative universe?
When I’d cover the Paris or Milan runways, I loved the fashion shows, but equally enjoyed seeing the guests. Each of them wore the collection following their own style. Seeing real women is really inspiring, they give me strength and make me think: “Wow! There are such marvellous people out there.” That’s my creative universe.
You have a crowd of celebrities who are confessed fans of your brand, what makes them fall in love with Redondo Brand?
They tell me that we’re a brand that fits what they’re looking for without losing our identity, always highlighting their feminine side. For me, it’s important to preserve elegance, for them to feel that they look good with a hint of sexiness. That’s what they like and what turns them into repeat customers. Of course, they also value good patterns and quality dressmaking, or the fact that we suggest something bolder if they have an evening gala or something more classic for a wedding, but in keeping with our vision and their personality.
“I feel really inspired by women and always return to them, to elegant profiles that I believe are being forgotten”
You’ve declared that you love couture, what does this handcrafted technique mean to you?
For me, it’s everything. Each designer has their own vision, it can be more alternative or more classic, but in the studio, dressmaking is the same: to achieve good finishes you need to sew a certain way. That is the unifying theme of all brands. I believe in the studio; classic styles work really well and allow us to introduce new technologies and materials. It’s something that reminds me a lot of architecture, of structures, and it really interests me.
The studio also allows for slower and more conscious production, do you look towards sustainability?
Sewing is really slow, a handcrafted process where someone makes the entire dress by hand. We also choose to produce locally and without surpluses, which is something that is in high demand in all sectors. If we make a dress, we only order fabric for that dress, for example.
Which will be Redondo Brand’s next steps?
To take in this boom and try to serve all the customers that make requests. The studio is really busy and, sadly, we have to refuse some orders. Our goal is to focus closely on the customer, remain inspired for upcoming fashion shows, and keep working along those lines.