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Breaking down barriers: He planted his gender free fashion in Spain

“Garments are garments, and you should wear calmly what you like and what you feel identified with,” Tucuman designer Gonzalo Villa Max told Ser Argentino.

Argentines around the world
Gonzalo Villa Max

 Gonzalo Villa Max  is  Tucumano , and decided to move to  Valencia , Spain, more than two years ago. In December last year he opened his store “Villamax” in the Ruzafa neighborhood. In an interview to which Ser Argentino agreed, the tucumano told us that the decision to move to that city was because he fell in love with her. He also told us about the  design  of his garments without gender, what is the Spanish market like, what it is like to live in Valencia in times of pandemic, among other concerns.

 Clothing communicates and talks about who you are, does this have to do with your choice to design clothes without gender and that, in some way, can change the paradigm that such garment is for a certain gender? 

The idea of gender-free clothing would tell you that it was appearing alone, personal and social changes have helped this process. I think that every person has the right to be, to look as he feels more comfortable and more like the image that one has of himself, and  clothing  is a way.

In other words, all the choices we made define us and, in my case, designing would be the way to express myself. The garments have no gender, we as a society put certain signs to everything we can to feel more comfortable and contained within something or a certain group, it is true that the body is different, but the garments are garments and you should wear calmly what you like and with what he feels identified.

 Could you tell us what your latest collection looks like? 

This collection is based on typologies of  native peoples in  northern Argentina. The colors, shapes and prints are inspired by it. Because that is somehow in me, it belongs to me by inheritance or search. Also, in Valencia I continue to work in the same way as in Tucumán, I use the resources that my environment gives me, from raw materials to the ones that come from here.

 Tell us what it is like to live in Valencia and where your store is located 

I opened the shop in December last year. I live in a neighborhood called Ruzafa, the neighborhood would be a mix of San Telmo and Palermo so to speak, but with provincial idiosyncrasy, it is full of bars and designer shops, the environment is super friendly, the store is also in Ruzafa, three blocks from my house, and many of my customers are in the neighborhood. One thing that this place has is that the neighbors shop in this place to encourage the growth of the entrepreneur. The city is similar to Tucumán in terms of size and the climate is also similar. Life is quiet and friendly, and it is very normal to go out to bars or to the beach.

 What can you tell us about the Spanish market and what sets it apart from the Tucuman market? 

The market is new to me, you could say that I am learning from scratch, and I have recently had the store and I am learning on the fly. I could tell you that the consumer is more demanding here and consult more about materials, production and development of the garment he likes.

 How do you work day to day in that city? And what is it like to go ahead with your work taking into account the pandemic? 

Valencia is one of the few provinces that close to a nap like Tucumán, I work with Esther, a seamstress from Costa Rica, and I have a workshop. The pandemic changed us all about the way we work, I had the store closed for more than three months, at that time I had to rethink the collection, among other things. I think the way to get ahead is to realize that things are changing and consumption is one of them, and the pandemic also helped us to become more aware of us, the other and how one influences everything in some way.

 What do you think Tucuman society should take into account in order to support entrepreneurs? 

The Tucuman society or part of it does support the entrepreneur, but I think it would have a closer look, we have resources, creativity, talented people and this I told you about that here, in the neighborhood they buy the neighbor, would be a good start to implement it in Tucumán.

 What message could you leave to people who are just venturing as entrepreneurs? 

I think they should be constant, generous, coherent, collaborative, persevering and not forget about their goal or where it comes from.

Publication Date: 17/10/2020

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