Making Women’s Dreams Come True with Juan Escuer
After several experiences in luxury fashion houses in London, Juan Escuer went back to Barcelona and in 2018 he launched ESCUER –a luxury women´s ready-to-wear and made-to-measure fashion house. Classical and architectural shapes define Escuer’s style, whose main goal is to create timeless bridal and party dresses and fulfill every woman’s desires.
MiND was invited to ESCUER showroom and atelier in Barcelona to discover more about Juan’s creations!
From working for some of the most acclaimed luxury houses in London to establishing your eponymous studio in Barcelona, can you walk us through how you got here?
Since I was 13 years old, I’ve been always interested in fashion. My mum supported me straight away and encouraged me to try. So, I joined an academy of haute-couture style in my hometown – Zaragoza – and I started making dresses for my mum!
After a while I moved to Barcelona, knowing already that I wanted to go abroad to get some experiences in international houses and in high fashion. I went to London and I worked as a studio assistant for Preen by Thornton Bregazzi for six months. At that time, everybody was looking at London as the city of fashion. Then I started an amazing experience as a Collection Designer for Peter Pilotto studio, reporting directly to the Creative Directors – Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos. At that time the studio was small, we were like a family. The passion for what they were doing was really contagious.
"From the first day of academy I fell in love with all the fabrics and the making of clothing."
After three years I joined Roland Mouret as Senior Womenswear Designer. Working for him gave me a different perspective of fashion because his designs were encapsulating an intuitive understanding of the female form. There I learned how to look at women from every point of view, understanding their desires, learning the purpose of a neckline, of showing a certain part of the body. I learned how to make a woman confident in her body just by wearing a dress. It was more of a psychological training. Each of these masters showed me a different angle of fashion.
Then I decided I wanted to go back to Spain although I didn’t have a clear idea of what to do. My friends were asking me to make dresses for them, and I always had the idea of starting my own brand. So, in October 2018, I founded ESCUER displaying my first atelier collection of ready-to-wear dresses for parties. I wanted to put together the knowledge that I gained from my experience in London and the desire to open something with my name in Barcelona.
What made Escuer studio expand from its initial focus on women´s ready-to-wear line to a bridal made-to-measure line?
It was quite a natural move because some clients were coming in the showroom asking if I was making wedding dresses. I think in Spain it is very common because brides are always looking for something special and tailored exactly for them. I didn’t want to be defined by one thing only, I wanted to start a collection that could have shown all the different techniques we can offer. The bride-to-be comes into our showroom and can physically see the details of the fabric and from there we create the dress of their dreams. I love to see that smile on a bride during their final fitting.
"I learned how to make a woman confident in her body just by wearing a dress. "
Can you describe your role as Creative Director for Escuer Studio?
It’s a step by step process. Once the bride-to-be comes into the atelier, she expresses her desires, I get to know her and her tastes, the part of the body she likes or the ones she wants to hide. My job is to make her the most beautiful bride in the room, so after the first meeting with her, I start drawing some sketches, adding some magic, something special that she doesn’t expect. The funny thing is that usually girls come in with an idea and then, once they try something, they change their opinion.
Here at the showroom we just have some samples for them to see, but everything is made-to-measure and the people who work on the dresses are experienced artisans. We are a very small team and the majority is focused on product making –sewing, cutting, button making and so on.
Having worked side by side with masters of the fashion field in London, how would you describe the fashion design industry today? Do you think it has changed?
Fashion has always been a mirror of society and therefore I think the fashion industry is changing now and will change in the future. Nowadays people consume fashion straight away from their mobile phones, where they can follow the trends that influencers wear and promote. This creates a direct emotion for consumers who want to replicate it and creates a need to have it straight away. I guess this movement is great in order to democratize trends and to communicate a message in a much broader way. There are so many existing brands and many new ones that seem they may collapse in the near future because they are competing for the same customer and offering a similar product.
In my case, I wanted to go completely in the opposite direction, trying to touch on the fact that clients who are looking for something unique and different deserve special attention, which we can offer at our showroom. When the clients come to visit us, I value their opinion and listen to their thoughts on the different dresses, this gives me a different perspective, which is always very valuable.
How do you keep up with maintaining your style while creating customized pieces?
We adapt certain things, but we don’t copy other people’s styles. We always start from our bridal collection and from there we add volume or details. I think that every client who chooses us and comes here already knows my style and the message I want to convey through my dresses. My style is very classic and minimal at the same time. It doesn’t expire, it doesn’t follow the trends. By buying our dresses, you’re fulfilling your desires, you don’t buy a dress because somebody else has it.
Anything could inspire me, from a conversation during a fitting with a client, to the architectural industry –where everything is geometrical–, to the way a woman walks, the movement of certain fabrics that I throw to the mannequins and see how it falls.
Do you already have any projects in mind that you can tell our readers about?
We will launch another bridal collection for 2020 at the end of this year and another party collection starting from our website and Instagram account. Little by little we will organize events to invite customers to come in to see the new collection.
What advice do you have for young fashion designers?
You need to understand what you’re good at doing and try to get as much experience as possible! At the beginning, the more you work the easier it is to grow as a very good designer.
We at MiND would like to wish Juan good luck with his 2020 bridal collection and future projects!