What were you thinking when you applied to Fashion Design studies?
Let’s give this a try!
Where, or how did your passion for fashion start? Because it’s difficult to believe you used to work in the heavy industry or as a plumber…
I really don’t know why it’s so difficult for you to believe that a plumber, or a heavy industry workman, as I was, can also have an interest in fashion design. Fashion, from an aesthetic and visual point of view, has always interested me.
Judging by your works and your personal life, you don’t look like a person who is afraid to take risky decisions.
That’s completely true.
Does life put each person in his own place?
Everyone can choose the place he wants to be. What’s most important is to be able to do so.
In some interviews you’ve been talking about how lucky you were, being at the right time in the right place for people to notice you… How much of this “luck” was really hard work?
Work is everything.
Your designs are flawless, warm, and show an exquisite taste. What’ so special for you about textures?
Fashion people often talk about color. I’m not so interested in color per se. In male tailoring textures are much more important, and being able to work with them is one of the key to bring it down to contemporary fashion.
And why are you so passionate about leather too?
Leather and fur open up a never-ending range of texture possibilities for you to work with. The texture element is crucial for getting my attention.
Leather use, probably for economical reasons, is not so frequent, especially among youngsters. Should it keep this exclusive profile, or should it get more popular?
New consumers obviously come from different groups and social classes, and each one of them has their own thought about leather, a vision that can also contemplate contradictions. Some people from a certain group may consider rejecting high leatherwear for the heritage feeling implied, opting for “humbler” leathers, like mouton, while other groups will precisely resort to leather for its exclusive and elitist aspect. The reasons responsible for choices in fashion are complex and related to many factors, like the economical commitments of fashion magazines, the frequent whitewashing campaigns of famous people and, naturally, the industry’s economical moves.
Classical tailoring is also something that is evident in your designs, with the elegance that emanates from them. Is the saying clothes make the man still true?
Being elegant is not something that depends on classical tailoring, it doesn’t even depend on the clothes you wear.
What is the craziest thing you put on before walking in the street?
A leather vest with two crocodile tails up front and a crocodile stomach on my back.
What does the future have in store for Roberto Etxeberria?
I will keep working to make my brand more international.
There’s this tradition at La Monda magazine: for each interview, you are given the first part of a sentence, and it’s up to you how to complete it. So… “Artistic expression as a way of defending…”
Interview: Ane Guerra