Anuar Layon knows how to make a high fashion collection that is not afraid to be genuine, practical, fun, and bold for everyone who dares to try new and appealing colors and structures. After working for Daft Punk and Nike, he now brings on the 90s nostalgia through one of the most iconic TV shows: the Mexican designer found inspiration in the characters and images of Springfield. Mix high fashion, streetwear, and pop culture, and Layon’s Simpson Collection has caught the attention of many fashion fans, critics, buyers, and even Matt Groening himself could not help but applaud it.
His show for this 2019 Spring-Summer collection was as dazzling as the pieces themselves: live music, graphics, and scenes from the show on screens in the background set the tone for the one of the most celebrated collections of Mexico’s Fashion Week (the most important one in Latin America). He also broke paradigms, as this was the first ever collection to be bought under the concept “See Now, Buy Now,” sponsored by Amazon, where you have the chance to purchase the pieces as soon as they were on the runway.
His streetwear collection includes pants, jackets, hoodies, runners, and shorts, the main character in this captivating set of clothes. He has mainly designed for men, but for this, his latest collection, he decided to venture into women’s clothing. Still, he is not afraid to play with androgyny. The structure and texture of the pieces keep that sense of masculinity from his previous collections, but he gives them a twist by creating something in that vein but for women. As a fan of Lisa, Krusty, Itchy and Scratchy, and especially Bart, he invites all those who have never watched the show, like myself, to give the show a chance as he’s sure we are going to love it.
What inspires you, Anuar?
A bunch of things. It depends on what is happening in my life at that moment. But mainly, I feel really inspired by architecture, and Mexican design around the history of Mexico. Colors. It’s also very important for me to think about shoes. I have a bunch of inspirations that become shoes or sneakers.
Who do you design for?
Every time that I design something I try to represent the things that I wanna have in my closet, you know. So, it’s pretty important for me to design things that I really wanna wear. I do my research, obviously, but for me what’s really important is that I really like what I design, that I can wear it, and that I can feel how it’s gonna look on every person that buys my things.
Why a collection that plays with the imagery of The Simpsons?
It’s kind of funny. It was offered to me, and I couldn’t say no. I’m a big fan, like any other kid who grew up in the nineties. In Mexico, they’re a big deal; I didn’t realize how much of a fan I was until I started working on the collection, so for me, it was pretty crazy to collaborate with a show that has had such a cultural and historical impact. When I finished it, I was like “okay, I have something with the 90s.” Basically, we used original traces from The Simpsons. We do some reinterpretations of them and try to use them in a different way. We took pop culture into high fashion clothes. I’m pretty happy with the results.
Have you talked to the creators of the show?
Fox tolds us, and Gracie Films, the company that owns The Simpsons, and Matt Groening were like “this is the the best clothes collection we’ve seen in the history of the show.”
How does it feel like to work with a business giant like Amazon?
It’s crazy! This is the first time that this “see now buy now” concept happens in Mexico. It’s pretty cool for me to have this big company involved with the collection. Also, these things we designers are working on right now are a way in which we can do something for the upcoming generations of fashion designers. We need to open the doors, you know. It’s not the first thing that we’re doing that’s changing the industry in the country.
What is one thing that designers worldwide should care about? Maybe sustainability? Since this is one of the industries that has a great environmental impact.
What I’ve been thinking for the last two years is creating clothes that you’re gonna have in your closet, and that you’re gonna wear more than once, you know. It’s about quality, it’s about good fabrics. You need to check where the fabrics come from. It’s pretty important that all the designers are working on things that you’re gonna still wear even 5 or 6 years from the time that you buy the clothes. Mexico has a good way of creating fabrics, and basically, 98% of my designs are made with them. I’m also aware of the environmental impact of leather, so we’ve created evergreen pieces that are intended to last 15, 20 or more years, since we offer maintenance for your leather jacket for life. People need good quality clothing, so they stop buying fast fashion.
Who do you look up to in the industry?
Yohji Yamamoto. He’s one of my favorite designers. He always gives his best. He’s teaching us how to do fashion. I wanna be like him, still designing in my seventies.
What can we expect from your upcoming collection for NYFW?
I’m so excited for that. It’s gonna be a collection that is gonna talk about Mexico in a different way than I used to do through contemporary and streetwear looks. It’s gonna be crazy. We’re gonna have live music. We’re gonna bring Mexico to New York!
Streetwear has become one of the luxury items in the industry. Layun is grateful for the reception of his collection, as he understands the importance of being celebrated as a Mexican designer and that it is also important to do these kinds of things in order to open doors for the upcoming generations of Mexican designers. Starting out as a uniform designer almost fourteen years ago, Anuar Layon has earned a place in the international scene. And we cannot wait for his upcoming Fall-Winter collection, which is set to be shown at the most respected event in the industry: New York Fashion Week.
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