«“Being victorious without danger is a triumph without glory” is the best advice I can give to my students»
Interview with Rafael García, Director of Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design ESNE
“We can always surpass ourselves. Those who never give up are the ones that are always right. More than learning, we should think. More than thinking, we should imagine. More than imagining, we should create. More than creating, we should RECREATE”.
With a Spanish Philology degree at Nanterre- Paris X University (France, 2004) and after obtaining a Postgraduated degree in Journalism and Fashion at Francisco Vitoria University in Madrid (2005), he has focused his professional career into the Fashion sector. He has been Press Officer in Spain for several renowned international firms such as Kenzo, Sonia Rykiel, Cacharel or Paul&Joe. He is Currently the Director of the Fashion Master: Applied Technology and Digital Business at ESNE.
According to your opinion, what is the perception of Spanish fashion abroad?
Currently, Spanish Fashion abroad is not as brilliant as it could be because it lives in the shadow of two big spectres. Our glorious past thanks to outstanding designers such as Balenciaga or Pertegaz, and the current success of FastFashion, not always fairly evaluated. In addition, in several occasions, the name of the country is not always related with the firms’ or the designers’. The quality of our fashion is valuated but lacks impact due to the absence of support in economical and industrial level.
How has Spanish fashion design evolved since ESNE was funded until now?
ESNE has been training fashion designers for a decade. In the beginning the creativity was mainly focused in our culture, but with the passage of the years, we have learnt to internationalize and be fresher in terms to open our horizons. In addition, the fashion sector has been professionalized thanks to the inclusion of new fashion designers in the market. Their design vision is wider, and now they don’t only keep in mind esthetic values, but also technical resolutions, commitment with the environment, commercial repercussion, their brand image etc. This helps them achieving real success like El Ganso, Dolores Promesas or Ecoalf, among others cases.
ESNE is a University Centre, which is highly regarded for providing integrated training in the areas of design, innovation and technology, contributing to the invigoration and advancement of the Creative and Digital Industry.
To date, 1200 students have received specialized official training in our classrooms for more than a decade. ESNE also carries out intensive research and technology transfer through its R & D & I and its links to cutting edge companies in each design field.
Our passion for creativity, combined with new technology, is also demonstrated in our specialised state-of-the art facilities, making ESNE a leading University Centre in the training of the designers of the future.
What does it mean for ESNE their participation in the DS Brussels Fashion Days-Spanish Edition?
It is an honor and a pleasure to participate in the DS Brussels Fashion Days- Spanish Edition as ambassadors for Spanish young talents abroad since this initiative matches perfectly with the School’s international projection.
During the DS Brussels Fashion Days- Spanish Edition several students from the last academic year at the school will show their designs. What is the procedure and average preparation time for this kind of events?
The students develop their collections during a whole year. Based on a specific topic, the students conceptualize, design and make their collections. It is a 360º process, it is not only about coming up with a combination of clothing articles, but also about materializing it to understand and embrace the technical exercise, which is as important as the creative.
ESNE also takes part in other big fashion events such as the MBFWM. In which other ways does ESNE contribute to the students’ employability?
ESNE walks with their students on the achievement of professional exercises like the Fashion Shows in the MBFWM or FIMI, International Fair of Children’s Fashion. In addition, they work hand to hand everyday with companies like JOMA where they develop real exercises. We do this so companies can hunt talent before they are joining the employment market. During the last year, numerous students focus their dissertation on creating a real company, so we don’t only educate designers, but also successful entrepreneurs like Isabel Núñez or Lucía de Miguel on wedding fashion.
One of the strengths of the school is its wide internship agreement offers in big companies of the creative sector. Why is this so important for the professional development of the students?
The University can only be understood if it is related to the Industry. We educate future professionals who must understand the reality that is going to surround them after school, in order to optimize their results. The students and their results must get visibility not only because of the perspective of future, also because of the motivation of working on a real project. It is always about going further.
ESNE is a comprehensive design school. Apart from fashion design, which other relevant career opportunities does the school offer?
During more than ten years, ESNE has consolidated itself as a pioneer model University center in different fields such as Design, Innovation and Technology. It has become the biggest Campus oriented to Design, placed in the Centre of Madrid and is the meeting point for more than 1.200 young students looking for an opportunity to develop their creative and entrepreneur talent. In that sense, every academic year, more than two hundred young fashion designers, graphic designers, interior decorators, product designers and videogames developers, graduate after four years of official education in our university school.
What is the school’s key of success? And how are you planning on keep growing?
There are no secrets that we can´t share. Great results come after hard work, lot of dedication, a constant listening of the needs of the sector, and academic exigence and excellence that has been shaped out along the last years. ESNE keeps growing and with their masters’ academic offer which links Fashion and Technology and courses that will increase the possibilities of fashion specialization.
Can you give some advice to young people who wants to enter the fashion world?
My favorite quote that I always tell my students is: “Being victorious without danger is a triumph without glory”. They must never forget their goals and they need to understand that the way is long and harsh because of the competitivity level in the Fashion sector. But the challenge of being successful is about overcoming difficult times, not giving up and focus on a goal with a great strategy.