NARA Collective
We are creators who protect creators. We amplify your message through a cohesive visual experience. We recognize art as a catalyst for change. And understand that our power is in the collective.
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NARATIVE

interviews to discover and connect with multidisciplinary artists

Mateo Velasquez = Menswear + Gender-fluidity

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Tell us a bit about yourself: where you are you from and where do you live now?
I was born in Colombia and grew up in Spain.  I'm currently based in London but I'm re-locating to Milan soon. I travelled and lived a bit everywhere, so I would call myself a citizen of the world.  

What school are you going to and what are you studying? 
I just graduated from Central Saint Martin's where I studied Menswear Design. 

What was your favorite class and why?
We don't have classes as per se, we work on projects. Personally, I quite enjoy any project related with fabric design and experimentation. 

What are you currently creating?
I have lots of ideas for what I will be designing next. I'm currently researching '70s punk and comparing it with the gender-fluid generation; as a revolution and the social changes that go along with it. 

Who is your favorite artist/musician and why?
It's got to be Lana del Rey, I feel a special connection to her music. I love the persona she's created and it's a special link to many aspects and moments in my life. 

What's the most valuable advice you've received?
"Believe in yourself" says my mum. It's hard as you expose yourself and your hard work to the world, to find acceptance. But this should come within and from you first. 

Have you had a teacher that has had a profound influence on you? How so?
Lous Loizou, my pattern cutter teacher at Saint Martin's. For so many reasons: for believing in my vision and for pushing me to do more. 

Is there a subject that you feel is missing from the education curriculum?
In most fashion courses they don't teach much about business and focus mainly on the creative side. This is good and bad; because at the end you're thrown into the real world with not much clarity on 'what's next.'

What is something that you've learned from experience outside of school that has shaped you?
I've done plenty of internships and highly recommend the same.  This has shaped my taste levels, made me think more realistically and taught me about commerciality and business organization. 

What has been the biggest challenge in school?
Getting over yourself and moving on.

What are your thoughts on sustainability?  Is this taught in school?
Sustainability is the future, we need to stop thinking about ourselves and care more for the planet. However, although it is preached at school, it is not taught or given much information about.

What would be your dream project?
Perhaps a collaboration with Jeremy Scott.  He was the first designer I ever found out about and whose career and vision I still appreciate and admire.

This artist is based in London, UK.  
For more info: mateovelasquez.com

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Ashley Edes