Interview: Javier Garcia
By Martin Waitt, June 27th, 2012
“I really love architecture. Walking down the street and looking at the lines of the building is really inspiring.”
A talk with Javier Garcia will quickly tell you why inspiration means so much to this Creative Director-Fashion Designer, who currently lives in one of the most innovative, artistic and visually arresting cities in the world – New York, New York. “When I’m walking around looking at architecture,” Garcia confides, “It’s actually the best time to think about things. Ideas come to my mind and I imagine different takes that I would like to see on the persons I’m designing for.” And these ideas have born what is today Verlaine, a luxury women’s wear clothing brand, founded in 2009 and an homage, naturally, to Garcia’s passion for design and construction. Verlaine, at it’s finest, is exquisite – a combination of soft draping and architectural shapes with an aesthetic taken from both new and classic perspectives of craft and form. For Garcia, creating such a sophisticated and distinctive collection is all in a day’s work it seems, and inspiration is the name of the game.
Growing up in a small village outside of Madrid, Garcia spent most of his childhood practically surrounded by artists. His grandfather was a tailor and his parents owned a nightclub where he was introduced to an eclectic mix of people, including musicians, artists and fashion icons. “There were no records back then, only live music. Everything was live. There were always bands playing with the guys sitting on one side of the room and the girls on the other. It was like the movies,” he reminisces.
From Madrid, Garcia’s career in finance took him to other major metropolitan cities such as Paris and London, and eventually to New York City, where by sheer happenstance, he ran into an old friend who introduced him to a designer. “Four months after we met each other,” Garcia tells me, “We were introducing our first collection at Fashion Week.”
Now four years later, Garcia is launching a second category called V by Verlaine, a collection of casually elegant tees, tunics, skirts and dresses in a soft, luxurious lightweight jersey. The designs of V by Verlaine continue to explore the relationship between fabric, form and the female body, and they are a continual testament to Garcia’s range as a director and as a designer. The Fall 2012 collection features elegant silhouettes in a moody monochrome palette where seemingly every detail –from the color to the cut– is expertly constructed. The new collection marks a striking departure from the old, and it is this kind of continual renewal that keeps Verlaine pertinent, fascinating and fresh. Speaking of keeping things fresh, I ask if there will be a men’s line in the future, and Garcia is quick to answer, “Yes. I’ve no doubt.”
So in the realm of fashion, where so much seems contrived and derivative, how does Garcia manage to keep his vision original? “I think the most important thing is to really know what you want and to stick to what your ideas are,” the designer tells me, “Listen to people, but at the same time know what you want.”
I attempt to delve deeper. “What do you want?” I ask him.
His tone morphs from professional to wistful as he answers, “I want to express my creativity in the best way possible, and do it in a way that can be respected.”
I nod at his response.
“We’ll see each other in the future,” he says in order to wrap things up.
“At Fashion Week?” I ask.
And it’s at the end of our conversation where I quickly predict that though Garcia’s Verlaine is not yet a household name, come fall, it soon will be.