The other side of Selim de Somavilla

080 Designers
Wednesday, 7 August
Selim de Somavilla lives between two lands. His parental roots are Egyptian and his mother's blood is Cantabrian. He coexists with the natural passion of his character and the rationality acquired through experience. He designs clothes and accessories aimed at feminine men and masculinized women. Ambiguous, versatile and full of contrasts, Selim is an unstructured checked pattern. 


His passion for designing appeared during the adolescence, when he would make drawings of women wrapped in theatrical dresses. “It is a creative impulse that I held inside and that visibly blossomed at that age”, says Selim de Somavilla. He has always had the unconditional support of his mother, Yolanda, who is currently his patron. The drafts became cuts when he decided to study in London. A declared admirer of Ricardo Tichy, this Barcelonian designer has been driving his creativity since 2009 through his own collections and collaborations, like the ones with Martin Lamothe's or the brand Escorpion, during the last edition of the 080 Barcelona Fashion. 


Selim de Somavilla participated in the fashion shows based in Seville and Valencia, but it was in Barcelona, his home city, where he found the recognition for his work as a designer when he got the special mention for his debut collection 'Three Thousand Words', during the 12th edition of the Catalan catwalk. The new proposal for Summer 2014 follows closely the androgynous style of the designer, in which “men and women share features and instil elegance in their day-to-day looks'. Follower of the 'more is more' code, the distinguished creator has found his limits thorugh the years, making more restrained collections that keep being faithful to his daring but effective style. 


This Barcelonian designer has attainable goals and realistic dreams. His aim now is to commercialise the brand. This is why he is working hard in the creation of the online store and the opening of new national and international points of sale. Until now, he has managed his career thanks to custom orders. Some of them were rather far-fetched, like the one from the stylist of the 'American Idol' show (US), who asked him to dress Randy Jackson, the brother of the deceased King of Pop. “He asked me to make two jackets and two shirts for his public appearances and he has become a regular customer”, he claims. 


 It is insane!” exclaims Selim de Somavilla when he talks about carrying on with his independent design firm. He is aware of the difficulties of the sector, but he does not refuse any job opportunity, “either with my own brand or working as a creative in a firm of luxury for men”. This designer currently combines the making of his collections with a part-time job in a well-known footwear chain, a job that he considers not to be beneath his dignity. “I have to finance my brand somehow, don't I?”, he says. Selim, in Egyptian, means 'perfect man'. In this case, the name fits him like a glove. 


Interview by: Maria Almenar