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DOMINNICO has just presented at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Madrid its SS21 under the name Omega. It is the first time that the brand presents collection in digital format after 4 years doing it in IFEMA.
We talk with Domingo, creative director of DOMINNICO (@dominnico), about Omega, his career and his current vision of the fashion industry in the midst of a pandemic.
Highxtar(H) – Omega has just been presented, how is the Fashion Week hangover going?
Dominnico(D)- Very happy! We have appeared in VOGUE Runway and internationally we have noticed a boom. Doja Cat has asked us for clothes, we are awaiting the publication of Khloe Kardashian and we also have an editorial with Sita Abellán, which during these weeks we will be uploading the posts. We have already published some pictures with the jeweled helmet with pearls that Mateu Gargallo has made.
H – Despite the pandemic, are you happy with the results?
D – Yes, if I’m honest, yes. The pandemic has not been a break but it has given me the opportunity to reflect much better what we wanted to convey or do with Omega.
I think the reception in Spain will be slower, because the image we had associated with the brand was different. Re-educating the consumer has been the most interesting but also the most complicated part of this year.
I understand that our product, or at least part of it, even though we have managed to bring it out at an affordable price as far as we can, still has a high price. But I hope that people who follow the brand understand that we are a small and young company and that our costs are different from those of the big firms. But yes, I am very happy and I think it is still going forward. What I am left with is that we have launched Omega, the E-commerce and we are on the way we wanted to go.
H – What has Omega been for Dominnico? Is it your best collection so far?
D – I don’t know if it is or not the best but it is the one that has marked a before and after in my career. Omega has been like coming out of that shell of “okey” something designed for celebrities to a collection that now goes to the street. And what I am very happy about is the result we have obtained by making something really our own.
H – So, it was really positive for you to present the collection digitally.
D – We were at a time when we were quite clear about what Dominnico was, but we had to take balance of whether it was really valid that Mercedes-Benz in person or if we could opt for something digital. Sincerely, I feel very proud that the budget that has been invested in this project has been invested among super professional colleagues. We managed to bring together 55 professionals in one day, on a movie set, with 2,000 kg of artificial snow, with a bus station brought I don’t know how… but everything was there. Somehow the community we created and the values we already had and didn’t know how to express them here have materialized and we have said “hello, we are here, anyone is welcome to join the brand”.
H – Are you considering leaving Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week or do you want to do it in a hybrid way in the future?
D – With Omega we have been part of the calendar, but we have been off the catwalk. Let’s say that we have liked to do it this way and that, possibly, we will continue with this mood in the future.
When I started with Dominnico it is true that my dream was to be part of the Madrid catwalk, but after all I see that sometimes you try to belong and it seems that if you are not there you are not good, or it is not valid but … there are a thousand options. Now, for me it is not an option to disavow Madrid catwalk, it will always be like being part of it, because it is where I was born. The truth is that the way we have raised it with Omega it’s good for us now. Either a hybrid format or within the framework but outside of MBFWM, I think it is what most identifies with Dominnico right now.
H – The last two collections you have done, both Omega and UHURA are more galactic. However, the previous ones were more Spanish folclore. What has been the turning point?
D – Spanish Folclore most was in Idolatría, which was our first Senior proposal. In Idolatria we gave a blow to all the Spanish topics. There were also a thousand crazy references such as Bon Jovi, according to the world of entertainment with holographic and other …. But it is true that in the last two collections we wanted to purify all those lines and focus on the nexus of the entire brand, that futuristic air but taken to a specific space-time.
Before we played with a thousand volumes, a thousand silhouettes that were perhaps more fanciful, more of the world of the night; but from UHURA we wanted to go towards a closer environment, more street and at the same time we saw ourselves represented in some way with some of the pieces.
Omega arises in a cute and futuristic environment, in a space where the characters do not know where they are, who they are and each one is like a super alien but at the same time you feel identified with any of them.
H – You have changed the logo, for good?
D – The reinvention of the logo is part of this collection, but the brand logo remains the same. I don’t rule out that there will be next drops or next variations, because with Unai La Fuente we are always trying new things.
For me this logo was come back to my childhood, to that otaku moment that I never had, but that I always lived. It was that moment to delve into adolescence and give it that dark yet colorful way that can coexist perfectly and that in the end gave birth to OMEGA.
H – You have made jewelry with Mateo Gargallo and bags with Suritt, how has it been working with them in this collection?
D – For me it is very important to be able to represent in everything I can -object, image, visual, accessory, etc- that story as rich as possible. So not only I play with my talent but I feel that each of the collaborations makes the project take shape even more.
When I got to know Mateu’s work, I didn’t want to close myself only to create that kind of pieces, but I also delved into his own imaginary, which was the UPCYCLING, to take pieces and build them again, but also to talk about Dominic.
With the Alicante brand Suritt there was already a previous collaboration, but this time they gave me a free hand to create from scratch. So it was interesting for me to be able to recreate the iconic moment of the baguette 2000 bag. I wanted to create a piece that would be a closet staple, not like something that is very cute, but in the end you don’t wear it.
H – The iconic baguette! Undoubtedly a must in any closet.
D – By the way, Kylie asked us for all the bag models. I’m waiting for her to be with them.
H – What’s it like to have Kylie Jenner ask you for a few pieces, how does it feel?
D – It’s very cool because in a way they are speakers, aren’t they, they are great communicators. Beyond the fact that in other aspects they have delved too much into issues that I don’t share, like this beauty that we have to understand as necessary, it’s still very cool to have them as spokespersons. It is also very important to have made a product that is street and at the same time speaks of fashion; that a girl who consumes a Birkin or a LV of 5000 or 10000 euros stops to see a Spanish niche product of these characteristics and that speaks of that VIBE that she has also lived in her adolescence is very gratifying. In the end that is the purest of all this, beyond followers or canons of beauty.
H – Does media success go hand in hand with economic success, and do you think things could be changed within the industry to make it better?
D – For me this is the most important question I’ve been asked in all this time. My perception as a creative is that, as you say, no, success can almost never be supported at an economic level. Media or network repercussion does not translate into economic success at all.
It is super important to somehow make people aware that the first and totally respectable thing, but at the same time it has to be 100% real, is that in social networks we only show what we want. So far so good. But not all support for creatives should go only through posting something on networks. I think the most important thing is that if you really like a brand, if you really value that work, my advice is that you somehow strive to get to it, whether with a lot or little money. Apart from knowing the quality and knowing where the product comes from and how it’s made.
That somehow it is understood that behind projects there are people and well, in our case we are a super small team and we fight a lot to get ahead. It is not as sweet as it looks, it is a constant pick and shovel.
H – Do you think it is the fault of the collective conscience as consumers or that there is no fashion industrial infrastructure to support or invest?
D – Somehow we have been taught that things are worth very little, in terms of salaries, people, everything… So, in the end, there are platforms like Shein or Inditex, which make you understand that the value of a product is negligible. I understand that they are also pieces that go in series and in very large quantities, but we can’t reach those standards because it’s not human. It’s all like a wheel, you know? If we pay too little for a garment, people will be working in very bad conditions. Add to that the fact that labor precariousness is there and that’s it, people can’t afford to invest in fashion.
I don’t think it’s necessarily because there is no powerful infrastructure, because ACME or other platforms are promoting or trying to promote Spanish culture.
H – What do you value most about Spanish fashion?
D – I would keep the part where colleagues somehow adore, praise and create jobs and continue to believe in people who are super pro in different disciplines of craftsmanship, look at Maria Ke Fisherman or Mané Mané. In the end I think that craftsmanship is often what gets lost when we want to make projects more and more mechanical. I think it is very cool to rescue different points of craftsmanship and give them a value today.
H – Do you think that now, due to all this that has happened with the pandemic, we are moving more towards slow fashion?
D – I think that, not only because of Covid, we have to re-educate ourselves and really think about what we want and how we want the world around us in general. It is a matter of age, education, the environment itself and then the curiosity of each one when it comes to establish themselves with brands. The reality we are living also makes us think about what I need or what I can afford or not, or what I want for the long term.
H – Where do you frame yourself within the industry?
D – If I had to define myself as a creative, I would say that I feel I am a multidisciplinary artist. I believe that I am not satisfied with just a certain audience or niche. Yes, I believe in signature fashion and we will continue to build it. I believe in sustainability, in an ethical fashion in which I think we already emphasize with the upcycling theme; I also believe in digitalization and progress, according to other moves that in the end I incorporate in my work, the interaction with the new generations, etc.
This project has to go to something bigger, but I don’t feel that it will leave its origin aside. I am not afraid of the moment of growing or of being able to do something more reproducible, but always bearing in mind where we come from and what our values are.
H – In these four years of career, what has been the greatest achievement of Dominico as a brand and also of you as a person heading your own brand?
D – Let’s say not being afraid to reinvent and adapt, both as a brand and as a person. Sometimes we think that just because we have a certain track record, be it short or long term, there is no reason to change. However, being in continuous change is what has made Dominnico strong.
Throughout the past year, not only on a creative level, but as a person, I have tried to discover how I can deconstruct myself. This has helped me to know even more what I want, how I want it. Of course not only what I want to transmit but how I want to transmit it, which is also very important.
H – And now to say goodbye, can you tell us something about the next release?
D – At the end of the year a pretty ambitious collaboration. Let’s say there will be something cool, we are plotting something…. I can only say that it’s a special drop, something without necessarily being a regular collection, which will come sooner than expected.
Be that as it may, I think we’re going to continue to create our own material. I think that from now on we have to launch something when we feel like it, be it 2 or 3 collections, smaller or bigger. Whatever it is, but it has to be when we feel ready, not when the system is pressuring us in some way, which maybe neither economically nor creatively is what we are being asked to do.
Backstage Photos: Jaime Perpinyá