Leandro Cano: Spanish Craft 2.0
“I feel a restlessness when I look at the world. It seems incredible that humans can travel the world in less than 24 hours, or that we can dress the same in Hong Kong and Madrid and at the same time people still die of hunger in the world, or there are still countries at war. Every day I become more convinced that human beings are destroying the world. We messed up, we depleted resources that were given to us for free. Let us not think of humans as so different and superior to the rest of nature. We are born, we grow, we wither and we die... like everything alive in the world. I do not have money to provide great help, nor influence to pressure powerful people. But I can offer you a slightly more beautiful world.”
Earlier this year, at Paris Fashion Week, Spanish designer Leandro Cano introduced a collection of eight spectacular bodies in collaboration with eight artisans from Spain using different techniques in each one of them. For Cano, craftsmanship is the purest representation of wisdom, loneliness, ‘savoir-faire’ and knowledge. That is why, with this collection, he wanted to give visibility and place these master craftsmen in the front row, many of whom have accompanied him since the beginning of his career. It is a clear statement of intent and a call to the world of the impetuous need for conservation and dissemination of part of what Leandro considers Spanish Heritage.
As for Leandro Cano’s business model, the designer confirms feeling at “peace with himself” when it comes to creating two collections: an artistic collection and a commercial one. Both collections connect and support the other. Welcomed by people around the world, Leandro Cano’s new collections are events not to miss. Like most designers, Cano uses fashion as a means of expression. However, through his designs, he treats garments as authentic works of art. Considered one of the top creative talents at the moment, Leandro Cano has represented Spain in the International Woolmark Prize 2016/17 at Milan with his "Carmen" collection, which won the Who’s On Next Vogue 2017.
What do identity and heritage mean to you?
The richest heritage that my parents could give me is my identity. I grew up in a small village of Andalucía, in the countryside. Traditions were in my daily life. Aesthetic of my childhood such as women’s houses and beauty were a big part of me. I remember, for example, the women of my town, sewing together in summer and listening to old songs on an old radio. I remember every single scene of my childhood and I try to bring that into my work.
What’s the story behind your SS20 collection “Tararara”?
“Tararara” is a regression to childhood, all the prints are set in Granada, next to the Alhambra. The children ran through the streets, from house to house, laughing and singing. “Tararara” is a representation of the purity of the soul, what better than children can embody that notion?
Why choose to create two collections?
I express myself through art. This is my real universe, but unfortunately, it’s not commercial. I decided to show my universe in an art collection and then using somewhat the same inspiration, make a commercial collection.
What is the common thread between the two collections?
My collections are linked with my colourful prints. I created the prints for the commercial collection using something, some ideas I had when creating the art collection and the memories it evoked.
How do you select specific craftsmen to collaborate with you on your collections?
After designing on paper, I choose the techniques. I start to think about how I can get the volume, the shape or the texture. At this particular moment I choose the craftsmen who I am going to work with and more times than not, the end product is what I had in mind.
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By Alexa Bouhelier-Ruelle
Model photos by Aleyah Solomon
Fashion presentation photos by Juan Jerez