“I don’t think of myself entirely as a fashion designer” – Daniel Ramos Obregon.
DANIEL RAMOS OBREGON – THE INTERVIEW
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DESIGNING FOR?
I’ve been designing since I started my BA in Communication Design in 2006. I took a little over a year off between my BA and my MA to work as a producer for a magazine back in Colombia.
WHAT MADE YOU GET INTO FASHION?
The fashion industry is very seductive and attractive and it can easily lure people into wanting to be part of it. My process of getting into fashion has been quite slow. I did my first collection for my BA degree project which was a series of ornamental body pieces for men, the project was proposed as a communication design project, looking at how objects and gestures can develop a language of their own in order to communicate a specific idea. Throughout the process of that project it became clear to me how strong my interest for the human body and psyche was, as well as my need to become more of a ‘hands-on’ technical designer rather than a computer-based digital designer. This led me to do an MA Fashion Artefact at The London College of Fashion.
HOW DOES THE FASHION SCENE IN COLOMBIA COMPARE TO ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD?
Colombia has always had a huge textile industry. I think fashion wise the fashion industry is still developing and redefining itself constantly, although it’s gone through an exponential growth within the last 5 to 10 years.
I feel in Colombia, we’re constantly looking for the balance between our extremely rich and diverse cultural baggage and the strong international influence from other western countries, specifically from the U.S. Colombia has now signed a free commerce treaty where big high street companies are coming into the country making it much harder for independent local businesses to succeed.
HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT DESIGNING YOUR COLLECTION?
My work always starts from an extensive research. From social science research to visual references, films and photography – it isn’t until I feel somewhat comfortable with what I have to say before I start experimenting with materials, developing my ideas into designs and resolving these technically.
For my latest collection I wanted to keep studying the idea of the ‘self’ and appropriation of such throughout our bodies by looking at both our physical and psychological identity and everything that constitutes us as a whole being. I found a concept called ‘Outrospection’ introduced by philosopher and academic Roman Krznaric, which I appropriated by relating it to astral projections. My collection works as a metaphor for fragments of the ‘self’ being projected inwards out of the body as a way of self-expression and representation.
WHO IS THE DANIEL RAMOS OBREGON’S MUSE?
I don’t have any particular muses. I find it hard to keep a monogamous relationship to one source of inspiration! However, I can say that I was strongly influenced by Markus Schinwald’s and Rebecca Horn’s body of work re: the development of my latest collection.
WHO SHOULD WE BE LOOKING OUT FOR?
Consciousness! Instead of pointing out individuals, we should start thinking of what will be the next big fashion movement. I feel there are many creatives and designers around the world that are starting to question what the fashion industry is about and its impact into our lives. I strongly support the slow fashion concept as an economical, social and environmental sustainable movement.
DESCRIBE YOUR OWN PERSONAL STYLE?
My style is really laid back and relaxed. I guess it has somewhat of a monochromic base with a strong hint of colour, like some –extremely– bright socks or a t-shirt.
WHOSE DESIGN AESTHETIC DO YOU ADMIRE?
Within fashion I’d say Givenchy, Maison Martin Margiela, Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh, Jil Sander, Céline and ACNE among (many) others. Also there are so many peers and young designers coming from different backgrounds and disciplines like me whom I truly admire and bounce from aesthetically.
IF YOU COULD DESIGN A LOOK FOR ANYONE (ALIVE NOW OR DEAD) WHO WOULD IT BE?
At this precise moment of my career, I would rather be designing for whomever at one of the luxury companies I previously mentioned.
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
A bit of Ólafur Arnalds, Moderat’s Gita and the new Bomba Estéreo album.
IF YOU COULD HOP ON A PLANE TO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WHERE WOULD YOU GO?
I’ve wanted to go to Bolivia and India for a very long while now, but I would be happy to go anywhere really.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CITY?
It changes so much with time. I was obsessed with Tokyo throughout most of my adolescence, then it changed to San Francisco, then to Stockholm when I went abroad while doing my BA. I had one of the best experiences of my life so far in Stockholm. Now London has influenced my career and my personal life so much that it has grown on me in such a particular way, I would be mad not to say London, although it can be a ‘pain in the ass’ city sometimes.
WHAT DO YOU MISS WHEN YOU’RE NOT AT HOME?
Homemade food from Colombia and street food! Ajiaco, Frijolada, Empanadas, Arepas, Arequipe, and proper natural fruit juices… you name it!
IF YOU HAD ONE WISH, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
To free Genie from his lamp!
WHAT THE ONE THING ABOUT FASHION YOU THINK THE GENERAL PUBLIC WOULD BE SHOCKED TO KNOW?
That I don’t think of myself entirely as a fashion designer. I am with no doubt a designer that wants to immerse himself in the fashion industry and feed from it to grow as a professional, but my background isn’t only in fashion, so I wouldn’t like to be narrowed down into that one and only label.
APART FROM CREATING A NEW COLLECTION, WHAT IS YOUR NEXT PRIORITY FOR YOUR LABEL?
My priority would be to create a label. So far, I’ve been working as an independent artist and designer for which I do have some sort of branding under my name, but at this moment, my priority is to keep looking for jobs and try to find my way in the industry. I want to grow as much as I can professionally, to then fully immerse myself into developing my own Label or Studio.
WHAT WOULD DANIEL RAMOS OBREGON LIKE TO PUSH?
The limits between fashion and other disciplines.
Photography: Jorge Perez Ortiz
Model: Lukasz Przytarski