Looking back, we can see how over the years globalisation has transformed cultural identities, consumption patterns and employment. Today’s citizens buy and sell things over the internet, connect with people from all over the world and adopt blurred, global identities rather than the strong national identities of the past.
In the face of this global and homogenising trend, the local is asserting its position and importance as a guarantee of authenticity and uniqueness. Local agents are taking advantage of the space of flows and organising themselves around self-management processes, virtual networking and pop-up stores, increasing their scope to levels that were previously impossible. At JobisJob we are going to analyze this trend for the transformation of the local into a global phenomenon and, in order to better understand it, we will be interviewing Alexandra Cánovas and Martaé Martinez from Las CulpaSS (The Guilt), a growing fashion brand that is leading the way with its products “sewn with rage and care” for the world.
- Your style is far removed from the rules that govern the big brands, how did this idea come about?
Companies create advertising and promote lifestyles, and so we have a social responsibility with regard to the negative repercussions that these messages can produce in society; even more so in fashion, where the distorted female image that is reproduced is clearly related to eating disorders and insecurity among millions of women.
Las CulpaSS is based on this reality, and on the relationship that exists between the stereotyped image of women in the media and the prevailing male chauvinism in society, and takes on the responsibility as a company not to reproduce the oppressive gender roles that perpetuate these inequalities. When consumers receive these values, the project takes on an additional benefit, given that the originating idea of the project -that of social change- is held in extremely high regard.
- There is a story created for each collection from the first minute, could you give us an example?
We work on themes that we care about and which at the same time motivate us, always from a feminist perspective. We have created collections which have revolved around the visibility of menstruation, others have denounced our excessive obsession with the body and how damaging this is for society, especially for women. We also did one where we reclaimed women’s place on the streets and demonstrated our rejection of sexist microaggressions.
We believe that choosing these themes is consistent with who we are and how we evolve; at each stage there is something that we want to learn and find out about, but it always emerges naturally and spontaneously.
- Given that your style is so personal, it can’t have been easy to break through yet, nevertheless, you have managed to reach the USA, Brazil, and important European countries such as France and Germany. How did you achieve that?
We rely on our many ‘responsible’ friends who support the project and try to push the brand in their countries of origin or residence.
- What role do you think the local plays in the globalised world of today?
Even though we think it is very important to promote local business and other types of economies, we know that it is still a small-scale trend. Nevertheless, it is one which is growing every day thanks to the raised awareness of the people, who are gradually becoming more responsible consumers.
- Experimental clothing or limited collection? What defines you the best?
When we started in 2010, we did more experimental clothes, which were more artistically or handicraft-oriented. Nowadays, although we continue to work with handicraft methods, we know that many of our clothes are more common and consumer-based. Despite this, we still create limited editions, which we believe bring added value to the product.
As with our clothes and accessories, the pieces of jewellery that we have made are based on the recycling and reuse of materials and different elements that we incorporate into the collections. Now we have achieved a less conceptual product of silver-plated that follows the line of our tops. – You have adopted low fashion production methods, what does this involve? Slow fashion is the opposite of what brands such as Inditex, Primark and H&M do. Slow fashion is about making quality, timeless and durable clothes with their own identity such that the consumer doesn’t get tired of because they go out of fashion or they break in a short space of time.
- Could you tell us about the process of creation and production at Las CulpaSS? Who does it involve?
The process of production and creation takes place in our workshop and depends on the demand. We maintain a constant dialogue with our clients and this serves as a guide. The creation work we do ourselves from our showroom. Meanwhile, for the production we use the same space and small regionally-based workshops that lend us a hand when we have a lot to produce. As for sales, this takes place in small stores and through participation in street markets and festivals. We have to say thanks to the internet and how easy it makes it to create new relationships and connections.
Here there is a 360º picture of the showroom! Click and drag around!
What projects do you have lined up for the future?
We want to establish ourselves as a brand, become more professional, continue doing what we like and, of course, meet the expectations of our hooligans*.
Bring lots of enthusiasm and never give up. No matter how tired you are, it takes a long time to achieve very little.