ANTONIO BANDERAS has shed light on what he’s doing at Central Saint Martins, where he has enrolled on a bespoke short-course programme to learn the art of crafting menswear.
“What am I doing here? Knowledge. I’m here to gain knowledge, basically,” the actor-turned-student told the fashion school’s1Granary publication. “I got to a point where I’ve done 92 movies – I am not going to stop – I’m going to continue doing movies and producing, and I want to direct more – but there were other things in my life that I was interested in.”
It may come as news to some that this is not Banderas’s first foray into the world of fashion. After starting a perfume business with Puig in the early Nineties (which, by the way, is currently sold in 93 countries), he recently started to explore what scent and smell mean to him emotionally to further the collaboration, and it is that which brought him to the door of design.
“The world of perfume is very close to fashion: at Puig we have many people that are in the fashion world, and for them perfumes are an accessory. My team there realised that I didn’t just like going around to promote the perfume, so they started exploring other aspects of me that were not public,” he explained. “They gave me the opportunity to get in the studio with clothes and models. And I did two expositions, and I started smelling closer and closer the importance of what we wear, of colour, the importance of shapes to send a message, to say something. Last year my personal life took a turn, and I decided to take some steps ahead. As something that had been cooking in my brain for a while, I decided to put a company together called Antonio Banderas Designs, which encompasses the perfumes that have been there for 19 years, but I also jumped into the world of glasses.”
While he hopes to work on menswear and learn new ways in which to grow his repertoire (he will be based out of CSM intermittently while still pursuing his producing, acting and charity work), there is one thing, however, that will link one of his most famous Hollywood roles to his studies.
“There is one garment that I love that was lost in menswear a long time ago, and I would like to experiment with it: the cape,” he revealed. “Capes in the winter, in places like this… I think they have incredible possibilities. They’re very comfortable. And especially nowadays every place has heating, and it’s not like in the old days when inside was almost as cold as outside, so people had to be properly layered. Now, in winter time, you could just wrap yourself up in a cape, it’s so easy! Clack! You can experiment with colours, textures, you can do a number of things. And it is in a way so logical, coming from Zorro!”