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Searching for the Next Trend with Celestino Garcia

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After taking an introduction to Design at the prestigious Central St Martins College of Art, Celestino Garcia has then proceeded to graduate with a BA from the London College of Fashion, which is part of the University of Arts London. He is a Creative Direction Consultant for trend forecast agencies and for retail fashion, interior companies and lifestyle brands.

His careers starts at El Corte Ingles, the Spanish department store, where he stayed for 4 years. He worked from the London office, city which was seen as best fit for the new trends in fashion. London was the heart of high street fashion, new trends and a faster and less aggressive environment. His role was to work for the trading and forecasting department, sending monthly reports to the head office in Madrid.

I don’t work on fashion, I tend to work in concepts of lifestyle and interiors and then I move to different areas in fashion. I always depart from a concept that is a lifestyle. I get into the life of the person, books, cities, music, artists, shopping, anything relevant to the customer.

At one point Mango approaches him as the brand was getting more global, bigger and needed a more efficient design – coordination team to set up the new collections. He worked for the brand for ten years, working as a creative trend manager, a role between different roles like art director, creative consultant and visual merchandiser. His role was at the top of the team and everything that needed to be made to launch a new collection, was supervised by his artistic point of view. Working in this type of environment means knowing how to move around departments and dancing with them, trying to come up with the perfect concept, the perfect collection and in the end, convince the buyers to buy the bestselling product of the brand.

To achieve these important results, as a creative consultant and trend forecaster, the important stage of concept development is to get into the life of the customer. The consumer is influenced not only by the people around him, but also by art exhibitions, music, the book he reads, the film he watches, social movements, the cities he visits. Getting into the lifestyle of the consumers is important for the brand if it wants to create something relevant that can help build a stronger market and a heritage that will exist for ages.

At the beginning, when Garcia started working as a forecaster, there wasn’t an overload of information in the fashion industry so working with platforms like WSGN was easier, as they help trend forecasters find the information they need by giving a selection specific for that brand or consultant. Research was easier and there was still some space for creativity and new ideas. Nowadays, creativity has to be faster and better than before and researching has become a more challenging job. There is not a real research, it’s just a work of editing all the information that is presented and looking for what is relevant to the customer and to the brand.

When I am consulting, I get in depth of who buys the brand and from there I create a whole entire world that is not just fashion.

The main challenge of this type of research is that it is difficult to find new trends and new ideas in a present world where people is bombarded by a lot of different things on social media and around them, and everything lasts just a couple of hours. Fast fashion brands come up with a different, new collection every two months, people try to follow fashion trends that last sometimes a month, sometimes even less. Here lays the real challenge of a trend forecaster and creative consultant: trying to edit the relevant trends for the brand in the sea of ideas and still find a bestseller. The important part of this research is to never lose your own style and taste. When brands call a specific consultant, it is because they like their style. The reason why people love and want to work with Garcia is because his style is clean, classic with a twist, but can also change with the needs of the client, never losing his minimal touch in the creation.

What is important to remember is that Garcia doesn’t work with just fashion: he works with every part of society, creativity, art. He goes to art galleries, exhibitions, cinema; he reads books; he visits the new trending cities or the city where the collection will be presented. Behind a new collection there is a different type of work, other than just editing old fashion trends and styles. It is based on consumer behavior and how it influences the market and brands. And in this field, being yourself is the best thing you could do according to Garcia, from the beginning to the end of the development of the collection.

For the future, Garcia is intending to teach in Design schools; still freelancing with continuous collaboration throughout the year within the different publishers and platforms, covering: LifeStyle, Men/Women/Kids and Casual wear. He will continue working for SCOUT and he will also do more regarding fashion illustration, which is important for presentations and to illustrate better the concept he is working on. His style is simple, clean, minimal.The illustrations are very pleasing to the eye, with elegant silhouettes that come to life with strong colors. MiND hopes that his illustrations will be seen not only in cahiers for brands, but also in books for the aficionados.

Interview by Carmen Mc Intosh