2 Jul 2013 - 00:00
Vanesa Lorenzo. Pic: Marc Gonzàlez Camps

Interview by: Maria Almenar


Model, business woman and designer over the last year. Not a very familiar label yet, but it  is already taking shape. Living between Barcelona and New York, Vanesa Lorenzo is still active on the catwalks but she has decided to bet on “a solid project with its own team” to create a brand “in which to express ideas” and bring them to life through design. The Catalan top-model has no doubt: business first, then comes the show. This is why she dedicates 12 hours a day “with great enthusiasm” to her project to be able “to create a national industry and to make the local talent known abroad”. Lorenzo has three collections behind her, with outfits that dress the 21st century's women: “eclectic, versatile and with their own opinion” like herself. It is a long way to consolidation and the road is full of obstacles, but behind her angelic face hides a tenacious woman, someone who is able to manage a company that has prospects to become a solvent business. A difficult challenge, yet not unattainable. 


We talk to Vanesa Lorenzo in the study where she creates her designs. 



Vanesa Lorenzo's study. Spring-summer 2013 collection. Pic: Marc Gonzàlez Camps


Vanesa, you have shifted from being “dressed by” to dress others. How do you experience your new facet as a designer?

Currently, I combine both modelling and designing. Now that I know the other side of the coin better, I realise how eager I was in the past for expressing my language. I have always been a tool at the service of a team of professionals and, after so many years in the field, I wanted to create my own team and to express my own ideas too.


Why did you decide to change your way?

I did not make the decision of starting this new profession bearing the idea of retiring in mind, as it is super compatible with modelling and the latter career is longer than I thought. I keep working as much as I did years ago and I am really thankful for that. As you said before, the labels are now looking for the image of mature women more than girlish females, and I can take profit of it. I am in the right timing!


However, you had new concerns.

Yes, at the same time I matured, I started finding new goals. I wanted to make things by myself and start a solid and personal project. It is something that is connected with the value of personal fulfilment.


What kind of designer do you consider yourself?

I don't know, I find it still difficult to become familiar with such a label and I have respect for it. As a designer I am very meticulous, and I always think in today's women and their needs at the same time that I stay true to myself. You must feel identity.


Vanesa Lorenzo is working in her next collection: Spring-Summer 2014. Pic: Marc Gonzàlez Camps


Therefore, your creations are the reflection of your personality.

My personality and a lot of women's of the 21st century: we are cosmopolitan, versatile and have our own opinion. This is why I design timeless pieces of good quality, which are comfortable and very eclectic, so they can identify themselves with them. I am talking about the silent luxury. For me, the current luxury consists in garments that have a story behind, these that make you fall in love with them, the ones that you can feel and that become special when you wear them, whether they are design or cheap. I want my designs to be an expression of the different moments we live and feel.


You stay aside from trends. 

Exactly. I don't follow the trends in my brand because I am not interested in them. I also disapprove the irrational seasonal consumption 'just because'. I am zero per cent devoted to the labels and I shop according to my taste. I don't think women need a logo to express themselves or to look better.


Which is the leitmotif of your collections?

I try to keep coherence all along every proposal and some elements are repeated. I am interested in quality, bold lines, tailoring and neat cuts. About the fabrics, I give importance to their feel: felted wools, silk and the Scotish fabrics (they are so colourful, like the tartan and stripes) fascinate me. I always try to include them. Ah! I also love handmade watercolour prints, you will see pieces with them in the coming collections.


Through your brand you promote the national product that is locally made.

Yes, this was pretty clear to me from the beginning, because we must take care from each other. I want to create jobs here and buy the raw materials to Spanish providers because they are high quality. For example, I buy the leathers in Igualada, the fabrics in Sabadell and some embellishments in Valencia. The clothes are entirely made in local ateliers under proper working conditions. 



Some illustrations. Foto: Marc Gonzàlez Camps


What is our image as a country for the people abroad?

They value a lot the quality of our raw materials and they know that we have good products. However, we don't enjoy a good reputation in matters of service. They think we are not serious enough about deliveries. What I have noticed is that the label 'Barcelona' arises a good response and it has become a coming value.


Can you picture yourself taking part in fashion events like the 080 Barcelona Fashion as a designer?

I have received a proposal yet and I am very grateful but, for the moment, I am focused in forging my business. I am very sensible about my possibilities and I live with my feet on the ground. By this I mean that, right now, I want to perfect my product, to position it better and to commercialise it abroad competently. I want to be able to maintain my company, to make a profitable business out of it and to make industry. After I have achieved all this, I will start dreaming.


I see you are delighted.

Because I really am! I love it with eagerness, but I never imagined it would mean so much effort and dedication. I work 12 hours a day and when I model I feel like on holiday. I go in and out carrying my laptop and I get connected via Skype. I sleep on planes and use the trips to do business.


Do you have any free time left?
Less than I would like! I do some sport when possible, it is my hobby: I do yoga, go jogging... I also like to visit exhibitions, to meet my friends and going out for dinner. That is normal, isn't it?



Vanesa Lorenzo is a model, business woman and designer. Pic: Marc Gonzàlez Camps


Photos: Marc Gonzàlez Camps