Joseph DeAcetis: Now that Miami Fashion Week is recognized by the CFDA and it is the only resort fashion week in the USA, I wanted to ask you about your role as honorary president: What does that mean?
Antonio Banderas: Well it means that I have an involvement over here with Miami Fashion Weeks Producer Secuneino Velasco who had seen a fantastic opportunity in a city like Miami that is so effervescent and so blossoming with fashion. This city is linked to fashion, but never had the international recognition for doing so. A couple of years age, both he and I had been in London and we met. We started talking about the possibility of launching a fashion week in Miami and at one point he said to me “You can help me with this…You are well known in the United States, especially in Miami; I would love for you to help me with launching this project.” I immediately agreed. It is noteworthy to mention that I have had the longest relationship of a celebrity with a perfume company. Through those twenty years I had the pleasure of meeting such strong people in the fashion industry such as Carolina Herrera, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Paco Rabanne, as well as others. I had to put on a new hat in my life, in the fashion world, and little by little they were pushing me: “Do it… you have to do it” and so finally I made the decision at a very specific time in my life to do it.
JD: What is the role of an honorary president? Were you the personage? The face of Miami Fashion Week?
AB: I did all of the above. For example during fashion week there doesn’t exist a real way to facilitate seminars or debate. Particularly this year we are going to talk about sustainability and environmental conditions. Or the existing problems that we have producing in countries where workers are exploited. We brought on a number of people with expertise in those respective fields. We would like to implement this into Miami Fashion Week in order to teach the students and create awareness about the future of the industry. Who is producing what? How do you manufacture? How do you distribute your product? At the same time establishing relationships between the college in Miami and their academic studies in fashion. We want to make this a more debatable place about fashion and about all of the good and bad things, the greatness and mysteriousness, that surrounds this universe.
JD: In your words can you express how social media, technology, and influencers are changing the game.
AB: The influencers in social media are establishing an influence not only over fashion but over everything.
JD: So do you think it’s for better or worse? Some retailers are saying that e-commerce is killing the retailer and that the e-commerce is better. I just wanted to get your thoughts on that as a consumer, not as a fashion professional.
AB: I think we can find a balance, an equilibrium, because there is still something about the ritual of going to the store that I detect especially in women. There is something ritualistic about buying.
JD: How do you describe a well dressed woman?
AB: A well dressed woman is that woman that is honest with her personality and what she wants to communicate. The character that she wants to represent, and what is the message she wants to direct to women, men, to society in general; the way she is walking on the street, to the office.
JD: What are your three favorite colors and why ?
AB: It would be blue for my mediterranean background. That is a color I love. Green because I believe in hope, and they say that is the color of hope. And red because I am a very passionate person. There is an alternative color that I use a lot for it’s elegance which is black.