Article written for ROUGH Online Magazine
Après Ski it's a cool line of accessories by Barcelona-based designer Lucia Vergara, who launched her own collection in 2009 after working for companies such as Lydia Delgado and Ailanto.
Après Ski accessories blend together the vintage and the modern, romantic and naive, pure and logic, inspired by flora, fauna, geometric designs, and the universe, just for your viewing pleasure.
Moreover, the designer is particularly careful to create cool packaging. Periodically she has a collaboration with contemporary artists such as “ In and Out” to design nice illustrations on the cover of boxes for accessories.
I am pleased to discover more about the designer Lucia Vergara and her creative world through this exclusive interview.
Tell me, who is Lucia Vergara?
If this was a composition for school I would say Lucía is a very lucky girl who spends many many many hours working in what she loves most.
Whenever she's not working she is travelling, dancing rock and roll or playing table tennis.
You are based in Barcelona. Are there any other places you would like to live in also?
Some places I would like to live in are London, because of its cultural offer, and Savannah in Georgia, for its really beautiful wooden houses that look straight from the 1940s.
Also, I would probably like to live in Tokyo and be able to shop at the craft store Tokyu Hands every day.
I actually took a degree in Media Studies in Valencia, but after working for some years in that field I realized it wasn't what I wanted to do.
How and why did you decide to start a fashion accessories business?
Before starting my own brand I worked for three years developing Lydia Delgado's accessories collections, after meeting her by chance in the store I was working at.
During that time I also collaborated with other brands like Ailanto. But after that time I wanted to develop a more personal project where I would have complete freedom to create my own pieces. It was a very natural process because I had been making my own accessories for a while and also made some for my friends on request.
What’s the story behind the brand name Après Ski?
The name Après Ski refers to the “après ski” (after skying) aesthetic of the 1950s, which was the original source of inspiration for the brand.
It also has a meaning in the sense of accomplishment that follows a completed task or after making an effort, in that way those precious moments of relaxation are a reward and a source of happiness, a bit like the accessories I hope.
A goal that you achieved and a dream for the future. I mean, what is Your greatest dream?
A goal that I already achieved is definitely being able to make a living from working on what I love.
As for my dreams for the future, I have too many to list they range from being a ceramist to having a big house with a garden.
Do you have advice for other people whether they are designers (or not) to follow their dreams just like you did?
The best anyone can do is to stay true to themselves and be who they really are, without letting other people's opinions or judgments affect the way they feel or think.
I believe it's very important to find something you are good at and try to do it in your own personal way.
Define your style. What inspires you?
I am inspired by pastel colours, geometric shapes, nature, avant-garde art movements, and “poor” materials.
Everything that inspires me is clearly reflected in my work.
Photo: ©David Urbano
Which is your working method? What do you enjoy most about your work?
My creative process is very organic. Since I don’t have an education in design I started with learning the basic principles of artistic education. I'm always on the lookout for materials everywhere I go so I have piles of materials, once I have a concept I want to develop I follow my instincts arranging pieces by textures and colours and making up shapes.
I always have a lot of fun creating these compositions in such an intuitive way. It's a bit like mixing painting and collage and it works great for me to put my ideas down since I don't sketch.
Which music do you listen to while designing the collection?
I always have music playing while I'm working in the studio.
Right now I'm especially into Molly Nilsson, Perfume Genius, Wild Beasts, Johnny Cash, Girls and Dirty Beaches among others.
When did you start collaborating with contemporary artists?
Right from the start of the Après Ski! I always knew I wanted to collaborate with artists and to associate with all these creative people, so the idea of the collaborative packaging series was there right from the start.
Who are your favourite designers?
In fashion and accessories I love El Colmillo de Morsa, SuTurno, Iriarte Iriarte and Deux Souliers.
In graphic design Ana Montiel and Antonio Ladrillo.
All of them are extremely talented but also good friends.
What is an accessory for you? What is so special about your accessories?
I like to think that my accessories are a bit like medals or trophies in a way, that you get and then display proudly. I also like to think of necklaces like amulets, something that has emotions or meanings attached to them and makes you feel special when you wear them.
The great thing about accessories is that people tend to have a lot fewer accessories than clothes, so when you buy one you want to make sure that is something special that you love, something with a little extra.
Also, I love working with them because they are more timeless than clothes and you end up wearing them more often too.
Which is your favourite book, movie, and city?
Book: 'Minor Characters' by Joyce Johnson.
Movie: 'Minnie and Moscowitz' by John Cassavetes.
What is your personal style?
I tend to dress in plain, simple clothes that will allow my necklaces to stand out since I almost always wear a necklace.
My favourite items of clothing are shirts and jumpers, and I also love wearing masculine shoes, specially Oxfords.
Your fetish object?
A tiny box of biscuits from the 1950s that I found in a flea market in Vienna some time ago.
It has a gorgeous colourful geometric pattern like plaid and I take it everywhere.
Who are your heroes?
A word to end with this interview with a special designer like you?
"Words are like stairs", is the title of a poem by Yehuda Amijai, one of my favourite authors.
Visit Après Ski website to see the beautiful creations.
Once you get one, you will definitely desire to buy the whole collection.
Credits: Après Ski