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Antonio Banderas Speaks Miami Fashion Week – Forbes
Miami Fashion Week is now in it’s 6th year and is hoping to gain additional notoriety on a global level as well as establishing Miami as an international fashion destination. From the beginning, Miami Fashion Week possessed a keen sense of it’s need to expand and as such it’s programmers did the best that they could to make incremental improvements over the years. This year, to bring greater attention, Hollywood screen legend Mr. Antonio Banderas was appointed by Miami Fashion Week as it’s honorary president. Mr. Banderas, along with the Miami Fashion Institute of Miami Dade College as well as the fashion community, are ready to take on the current issues addressing the market. I had the chance to sit down with the Zoro star to discuss his new position on the fashion stage for the rising latino style and it’s established community, as well as what it means to be an Honorary President, and how he describes a well dressed woman.
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: Can I have your three favorite colors?
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.
JD: Has the latino community given Miami Fashion Week it’s own voice?
AB: This year particularly we have a strong focus on highlighting the creativity that stems from the latino culture. Two from Spain, the rest are from Nicaragua, Argentina. From Miami; from many different countries. We have people this year, for example Shantall Lacayo. She is a girl from Nicaragua who I think is going to explode in the next three to five years. Angel Sanchez coming from New York is a man that is already established. Rene Ruiz from Miami is very well respected. Many people are asking and knocking at the door to come over here because they know of the importance of a city as international and aspirational for all the cities in South America. For Bogota, for Buenos Aires, Santiago, Chile, Lima. Everyone looks at Miami as a model for their own lives.
JD: Can you talk to us about what trends you noticed at Miami Fashion Week
AB: There was no one style or trend that took Miami Fashion Week. It was very open and diverse.
JD: In your own words describe how fashion affects your business as an actor.
AB: You know in two ways, it goes back and forth. Would we be wearing t-shirts in the way that James Dean or Marlon Brando wore them in film? If you wear something that is special and defining to you, can you make a trend behind that? Definitely yes.
JD: What are you working on currently?
AB: I just finished a film with American director Dan Fogelman, with Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde. It is a very interesting movie. It tells the story through many years of a kid in Spain who travels on his holidays to America and he witnesses an accident in New York in which a woman who is pregnant is killed by a bus on the street. Eventually, this kid the girl who was in utero with said woman. How it is told is extraordinary and I loved it. I loved the movie from day one, so we just did the work in Sevilla and the work in New York was done a little bit before. I am very excited to see the finished product as it is in editing right now. It caught my attention from the beginning.
JD: What was your biggest risk as an actor?
AB: The biggest risk is not being liked; if they don’t like your work they’ll kick you out!
JD: What is your greatest achievement in your acting career?
AB: Probably Hollywood. To perform more than forty movies in such a competitive universe, especially for someone like me who couldn’t speak English at the age of thirty. That was quite a challenge.
JD: If fashion was a song, what do you think it would be?
AB: For whatever reason I don’t see a song, I see a big-band. I see a big crowd dancing to that big band.