Merriam Webster dictionary defines haberdasher as a noun with its definition being a person who owns or works in a shop that sells men’s clothes
When growing up, men’s shops were not just shops that carried the newest, the latest and the greatest fashion of the times, rather they were places where men went to wardrobe themselves. Simply said, a haberdashery, a purveyor of fashion, otherwise known as a clothier, catered to every need that any man could have/need and Juan Avellaneda seems to be a 21st century incarnation of a haberdasher disguised as a brand.
Do not be deceived by his youth as his modus operandi is much the same as those who came many decades before him and paved the way for the likes of this man. He has reinterpreted the classics in ways that retain the original DNA of menswear’s past and but his collection offers an unmistakably au courant twist whether achieved by tweaking proportion, detail, color or fabrication.
What Juan Avellaneda offers to his retail and bespoke clients is best explained with the Italian word whose definition is copied below; think Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Lapo Elkann, Steve McQueen, Gianni Agnelli, Marcello Mastroianni, Alain Delon and many other men who crafted the act of dressing as an art form and means of self-expression.
“sprez·za·tu·ra (spretsəˈt(y)o͝orə) noun defined as studied carelessness, especially as a characteristic quality or style of art or literature. Sprezzatura is an Italian word originating from Baldassare Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier, where it is defined by the author as “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.”
Jeffrey Felner: Can you please describe your journey in the menswear business?
Juan Avallaneda: Avellaneda began in 2014 as a long cherished project in which I wanted to translate my concerns, interests and demands in my own fashion Brand. I was linked to the textile sector as I worked as a freelance designer specialized in accessories for men luxury brands and I have been always fascinated by fashion, the history of costume, crafts and clothing, contemporary art, Asian culture, among many other things which are directly related to this industry. I also studied Creative Direction at Central Saint Martins and majored in Business Administration. It was at this point when I strongly thought about starting this adventure, which has led me to the point where I am right know and I could not be prouder and happier of the journey I have been through. Since the launch of the first collection in autumn 2014, which marked the entry into the menswear market, everything has been really extraordinary.
JF: Since your clothes are those of great distinction, can you speak to the topics of inspirations and how you decide to merchandise the store?
JA: It came a time when I realized there was room on the market for an upscale yet relaxed men’s label, a label with a strong Mediterranean identity that would address an international clientele.
The showroom we’ve been working on in Barcelona encapsulated this Mediterranean style: it’s a place that “breathes” Barcelona, a city which is very cosmopolitan. It is very important to me since I truly believe that a brand is much more than just clothes, it is also about lifestyle. “ A fully assumed jetsetter, Avellaneda designs clothes for a man who resembles him, sophisticated yet casual, self-confident and without any complex; A Mediterranean version of the famous “American casual-chic style”.
JF: Besides being your own best model and spokesperson, how do you balance your personal tastes versus what you think you will sell? Are your designs now available to other stores and where?
JA: Every piece that I design is made from my taste and my instinct.
When I see a fabric, if I fall for it, I end up creating something with it. At the end, there’s something inside yourself that tells you either to do it or not. Nevertheless, it is obvious that not every creation has its commercial side, but from my point of view, it is crucial to design pieces that I would wear, because otherwise, what sense would it make?
Our collections are currently available in different stores. Santa Eulalia and Jean Pierre Bua, both located in Barcelona, sell our designs, and Yusty, located in Madrid, does it too. We selected these shops because of their history and luxury vocation.
Nonetheless, our Showroom is our main point of sales since our private clients are able to customize their pieces.
Last but not least, we have done some Pop Up Stores, where clients can find our designs in unusual places, or the other way round, unusual designs in our current point of sale locations.
JF: Let us speak to the future of here and ask who would be your dream collaboration and where do you see the brand and yourself in 10 years?
JA: I would love to have multibrand points of sale all around the world, but they should be always the best ones. Moreover, I would love to be able to collaborate with pioneer/heritage brands and do some cobranding projects, for example in jewelry, footwear or something more “lifestylish”, because at the end, the kind of man dressed by Avellaneda lives in a certain environment and frequents certain places, etc.
JF: If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would they be and why?
JA: Instead of a dinner, I’d rather throw a party in which I could chat from Yves Saint Laurent and Tom Ford to characters such as Alain Delon, Dali, Diana Vreeland or people who could give me good pieces of advice. At the end, I would end up inviting people whom I admire for their work, such as designers, editors, photographers, businessmen, etc.