Give us some insight into your creative process in general.
I think my work pretty much speaks to the bewildering way we, as people, keep evolving and transforming- very much like fashion does. I think that is why that subject matter has always appealed to me. It’s not about the now for me- it’s about the before and after aspect.
Where does an idea start and how does it take flight?
I think I am a journalist at heart. I like observing people and I enjoy how different each one of us is from one another. How many worlds we all live in, yet we manage to make one big cultural symphony of it. This is what inspires my ideas and my work.
Who came up with the idea of Fashion Almanac? You or Nordstrom?
I don’t like to take credit for any idea, but I’ve always been fascinated by old farmers’ almanacs. From the Poor Richard’s Almanack to all sorts of old wives tales and commonsense lore, this kind of Americana is exotic for a Cuban immigrant like me. I always wanted to make a “fashion farmer’s almanac,” so this was the perfect excuse!
I love the curious facts about each season. How did you come up with these?
I came up with these by listening to Isabel and to our assistants, our young interns, their moms and dads, my neighbors… in short, I’m a really good listener and everyone seems to have a fashion opinion and advice. In my world, my job is just to document it all.
What’s the key to finding success as an artist in today’s age? How do you manage to marry your art with the need for commercial viability?
I was lucky enough to meet Andy Warhol when I was about 16 or 17. He quickly taught me that to be an artist is to have complete freedom to do what you believe in. Really, to do whatever strikes your fancy… and that has never changed for me. You must do what you love, even when no one else is loving it. In fact, that’s when it counts most… and you have to be sincere, because people can see right through it. That is why there is no short cut to success. There is no lying allowed for an artist!
What’s next for you?
Whatever gets left at my doorstep with love!