Fashion Stylist Fredo Montes: I predict it is only a matter of time that São Paulo fashion week will be equally important as NYC, Paris, Milan and London”
01 Apr, 2012
Fredo, the fashion stylist
My parents are from Puerto Rico, but I am a native new yorker. I speak fluently both english and spanish, but i also have learned to communicate in french and portuguese. once upon a time.
Quite a while ago, I was a flight attendant, and that is how i got to travel the world and the seven seas. that is how I got to know and fall in love with Brazil.
I am very fortunate to have figured out a way to make a living out of my hobbies and interests in life. I guess that is the secret to happiness. Since childhood, I have always been interested in art, photography, fashion, music, movies… pop culture in general.
My mom was a seamstress when I was a child. so I was always surrounded by fabric, sewing machines and fashion magazines. so it makes perfect sense that I now work in fashion. I love shopping, clothing, turning garments inside out and seeing how they are constructed. I love glossy high fashion magazines.
My apartment is slowly being over taken by fashion magazines! I have been collecting fashion magazines for decades. I refer to them constantly, perhaps that is why I refuse to discard any of them. I get angry when people mistreat magazines, wrinkle the pages, rip out the pages, or write on them. To me, that is absolute sacrilege.
I am a fashion stylist. I work with the clothing, with the wardrobe on variety of projects. I have worked on everything, from editorials in glossy fashion magazines to advertisements for both print and television, from designer runway shows/presentations during nyc fashion week to celebrity red carpet events, from music videos to independent films.
His most diverse influences
I love art. I love pop art. I think Andy Warhol was a genius. He truly was the king of all media. I also have a special spot in my heart for the work of Keith Haring. I also love music. I am always listening to music, all types of music. I think music videos are the perfect marriage of music, fashion, photography and art. I love Madonna. who doesn’t? Grace Jones has also been very influential… her music, her esthetic… especially her early work with Jean Paul Goude.
I also love the cinema… in particular old Hollywood movies. The glamour of the costumes. I love photography. Helmut Newton to me is god. But I also adore Francesco Scavullo, Robert Maplethorpe, Guy Bourdain and of the living? Steven Klein, Steven Meisel, Patrick Demarchlier are all living legends. There are so many talented photographers out there, my only wish, is that I get to work with each and every one at least once in my lifetime.
I never chose this career. my life has been a pure accident. or perhaps a series of accidents. Well, perhaps not “accident” I feel if you follow your heart, listen carefully to life, go with the flow… you ultimately find your destiny.
The brazilian invasion: an emerging fashion superpower!
Well, it all started with “the brazilian invasion” approximately 10-15 years ago.. Gisele Bundchen and Adriana Lima. then came Isabeli Fontana, Alessandra Ambrosio, Raquel Zimmerman, just to name a few. they are the godesses that put Brasil on the fashion map, so to speak. they opened the doors for countless aspiring brazilian models to migrate north and to Europe. We must also not forget Bruno Santos the male model, he opened the door for brazilian men.
Currently, there are several brazilian designers in both the american and european markets: Carlos Miele, Rosa Cha, Alexander Herchcovitch, Issa, Pedro Lourenco… Brasil is an emerging superpower. It has a growing economy. It is not the same country it was 15-20 years ago when I first travelled throughout Brasil: Rio, São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Recife, Salvador, Bahia… Meu deus, eu amo Brasil! I predict it is only a matter of time that São Paulo fashion week will be equally important as Nyc, Paris, Milan and London.
IN and OUT on fashion trends
I hate trends. what is “in” one day is “out” the other. I forgot who said “fuck fashion! give me style!”? Style never goes out of fashion. style is personal, intimate, unique like a fingerprint. what works for me, will not work for you and vice versa. to be stylish, you must feel confident. to feel confident you must feel comfortable. to feel comfortable you must know your body. you must learn to accentuate the positive and camouflage the negative. and for that, you need a mirror and a tailor or seamstress.
The key of success
Success? oh boy. Success means many things to many people. Success can be as simple as achieving the state of happiness. But happiness to me is a fleeting moment.I have learned from first hand experience that I cannot compare my success to others. Once you start comparing, you will always end up losing. there will always inevitably be someone who is bigger, faster, stronger, more beautiful, more intelligent, more rich, more famous. As for me? I am not successful. in other peoples eyes, perhaps I am. In my eyes? I have only just begun.
Worldwide economic criis on fashion industry?
This terrible economy has affected us all. It has affected every aspect of the fashion industry. Very well known designers (and very well paid) at iconic luxury houses have been let go. Retail sales are down, companies are downsizing,advertising budgets are being slashed. It is a very difficult time for the world for everyone. In retrospect, it has even affected the actual designs and colors that have been sent down the runway. There was a period, at the height of the depression, when everything was dark, black, very gray, very somber, very serious. models did not smile. but if we are to look to fashion as an indicator, it seems things are getting better. Spring/summer 2012 is an explosion of colors! And not soft pastels either. Very strong, very bold colors.
When you´ll come to my world? Brazil zil zil!
There is a place in rio, where copacabana beach meets ipanema beach… that is where i once found paradise (wink). “Eu amo o Brasil! Eu amo tudo do brasil!
Fredo Montes http://fredomontes.com/