While a household name in its own country, 42-year-old Spanish brand Delpozo was little known elsewhere – that is, until Josep Font stepped into the picture. Following the death of founder Jesús del Pozo in 2011, the heritage brand appointed Font as creative director in 2012.
Since then, the designer has led the brand’s renaissance, bringing a youthful vigour to the house’s ultra-feminine, couture-inspired collections. “Delpozo had to go international,” the designer tells us inside his first London store on Sloane Street, which opened this month. “So the first step was showing at New York Fashion Week.”
In his warm, Spanish accent, he adds, “There isn’t much of a fashion industry in Spain. I was hesitant before joining Delpozo but once I did, I decided that if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this right.”
With the launch of his light-filled, two-floor London store, Because spoke with Font about his past life as an architect, his elegant mother and reviving a historic fashion brand.
Inside Delpozo's new London store
I heard you were very hands-on in designing this London shop, is that right?
Yes. I studied architecture – partly to please my parents. So it’s important for me to create the essence of the brand within a space; to make it similar to how the clothes feel. The inspiration was our Madrid boutique.
I wanted it to feel intimate and peaceful – there are a lot of stores now that make you want to go in and out very quickly. But here, the music and serenity invites the customer to come in and see the clothes, appreciate them and take their time shopping.
What did you want to achieve when you took on the creative director role at Delpozo?
I wanted to make Delpozo a renowned, global brand and make it recognizable internationally. So that’s why I fought for a spot on the New York Fashion Week schedule. New York is like the window to the world and showing there has really been a big step for us.
Looks from Delpozo's autumn/winter 2016 collection
What were the things you wanted to preserve from the brand’s heritage?
What I’ve kept is the way we work, atelier style, modeling fabric, volume and everything on mannequins. I also wanted to bring alive the tradition of artisans and craftsmen in Spain because that history is slowly dying. We have people on the team who have been embroidering their whole lives.
I want to bring back the magic that clothes had – clothes that are well fitted and well done. There are a lot of “fast food” clothes out there.
Does your architecture background influence your approach to designing clothes?
My architecture training is definitely reflected in my collections – it’s part of who I am. For every collection, I usually take two elements, two different inspirations that are completely different from one another.
For example, with this resort collection, my two inspirations were filmmaker George Méliès and sculptor Anthony Caro. Méliès is more fantasy – he is obsessive about the lunar world and underwater whereas Caro is more about light. Sometimes at the beginning, it may be hard to combine the two elements in a way that makes sense. But that’s when we develop new and interesting things.
Inside Delpozo's new London store
You say your mum had a big influence on your interest in fashion?
She was a very elegant woman from high society in Barcelona. She went to many events and I remember her choosing special dresses from made-to-measure stores. I remember this one particularly gorgeous gown – a red, wool-and-crepe mix, tunic-style gown with a ruffle cut. It was very simple yet so elegant.
You’ve dressed some famous women over the years, including actresses for red carpet events. Any favourites?
I’ve dressed Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore and Keira Knightley among others and there are many more that I’d want to dress. The three actresses I mentioned are all very different but at the same time, they carry themselves in a specific way – women to look up to.
Delpozo’s London store is located on 134 Sloane St, London. For more information, visit Delpozo.com or call 020 7881 0950.
Interview by Jainnie Cho