Artist Of The Week: Martin Across – The Landscaper

May I introduce you to one of my favourite menswear designers?! Barcelona based artist Martin Across is one of the biggest talents in the fashion world. And I expect great things from him in the future. I just feel it that he will be one of the big names one day. He just presented a collection at Barcelona Fashion Week  and subsequently created an editorial featuring the strongest looks of his collection. The  collection is called “The Landscaper”.

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It is a visual narrative inspired by the landscapes found in the Andes mountains in Ecuador – His home country. Photography by Anatol Gottfried. Models are Sam Nyqvist and Erik Vela. Hair and make up by Maria Lastochka. Assistants: Kimio Ogawa, Alex Moli. All garments by Martin Across. Look book: Photography: Nastya Kazakova , Hair and makeup: Nastya Kazakova , Model: Stefano Geminani , Assistants: Ana Lucia Ordóñez, Alex Moli. Interview by Marcel Schlutt
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Name: Martin Across / Age: 21 / Country: Spain  / Label: Martin Across / Founded in: 2014

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KALTBLUT: Tell us something about yourself. Where you from? And how did you grow up? 

Martin Across: Im 21 years old, born and raised in Quito-Ecuador. As a kid I grew up in quite a diverse environment in terms of culture and nature. Living in Ecuador was perhaps not easy in the situation that I was going through. In school I grew up feeling incredibly different in relationship to what was happening around me. I had different views of what I wanted to do with my life, and this created a sense of rejection among others. Families are very narrow minded, and anything that stepped out of the archetype would be seen as weird or incorrect. I am incredibly grateful that I went through that because I became stronger.

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It also allowed me to focus on different aspects of Ecuador and my interests. Ecuador is beautiful; every corner you turn your eyes to there is something breathtaking to see. My mother is a florist, therefore as a kid I would help her create her flower arrangements, I suppose that was my first encounter with creating something. She taught me about volume, color and balance. I began following her steps and interpreted it in my own way through drawing.  I grew up being very independent. When I graduated school I began studying architecture at Pratt Institute but later on realized that this medium limited me, therefore I needed to find a new way of expressing myself. I became interested in fashion as a consequence. Playing with the human body fascinated me.

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KALTBLUT: How did you became a fashion designer? Was that something you always wanted to do? Did you went to a fashion school? And if so to witch one? 

Martin Across: I graduated from Westminister University following their course in Barcelona at Istituto Europeo di Design. As a kid, I remember having doubts about what I wanted to do with my life. I knew i wanted to show something.. I just didn’t know what it was exactly. I had the possibility of trying every single thing out. I went from all kinds of instruments and music, sports, to numerous artistic fields. It wasn’t until I began studying architecture that I came across some fashion students and how they worked.  I became obsessed with the idea of expressing all the ideas that i had in my mind through the most interesting canvas- the human body.

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KALTBLUT: What was the first item you have ever designed? And what for?

Martin Across: I remember my mother took me to the cinema to see Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. There is a scene where the dress is given to Sleeping Beauty as a present and it keeps getting hit by magic enchantments, making the colors change. I remember running back home and attempting to sketch the dress in different colors. Im pretty sure if i saw the sketches now I would laugh really hard.

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KALTBLUT: Your collection is offering lots of great pieces. How long have you worked on it for? And what was your inspiration?

Martin Across: The Landscaper is inspired by a recent trip to Los Andes and some rocky mountains of Ecuador. It concentrates on condensing all these elements found in the mountains through a risky and exposed proposal. Sediments, rocks, and fossilizations are some elements that I tried to transmit within this collection. There is an aggressive feeling which gives the impression that the person is ascending a mountain. Harnesses, carabiners and rope as supplements that define an explorer looking for a challenge. Prints were created based on algorithms that narrate the movement of a natural landscape, seen from a digital filter. A composition between the world of technology and the natural environment. there is a migration of dust earthy coolers which evolve, becoming an astonished, cold winter. Shapes are round, dialed and overlapping forms that give the impression that the body is distorted and out of its normal shape.

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KALTBLUT: What kind of materials did you use for this collection? What is your favourite fabric to work with?

Martin Across: Rigid body tissues; felt, wool and neoprene. At the moment I’m incredibly interested by felt and other compressed fabrics. I like the body and structure it gives to my pieces. For the future i want to explore more woven fabrics and techniques.

KALTBLUT: Who would you most like to see wearing your clothes?

Martin Across: Any person that can relate to them.

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KALTBLUT: Who’s your favourite fashion icon and why?

Martin Across: To be honest, I don’t really think i have one. I prefer to remain neutral and not let any stereotypes or icons overlap with my work.

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KALTBLUT: What item of clothing could you not live without and why?

Martin Across: Black sweatpants and white T-shirts… Simple and comfortable! I need to be able to move and breathe freely!

KALTBLUT: Whats the best piece of advice you were ever given?

Martin Across: Always remember to have fun! put some humor in life and in your work!

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KALTBLUT: Where can we buy your design? Online shops? Stores?

Martin Across: We are working on it. Hope that in a couple of years we can reach the next step in this industry. It just takes a lot of time, dedication and thought.

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KALTBLUT: What we miss in Germany is young, talented fashion designers getting government support . What’s your experiences in that field? Do you get support from your Government/school or family?

Martin Across: Im not going to lie. I am so lucky to have had my parents supporting me. It has made the whole process of getting inside the industry more accessible. I am however independent now and have to look for new alternatives to make money.

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It is important to realize that in order to keep creating you need to make a living as well. Im not entering a state, a kind of reality check were im fighting out how to survive from this career. I think it is important that every designer goes through this stage. It is not easy at all, but its reality.

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KALTBLUT: Where do you see yourself in 10 years. As a label and as a designer?

Martin Across: As a designer, well hopefully in a point where I can still create without any boundaries. I want to wake up in the morning, go to work and feel inspired. I want to feel like im not only doing things only for myself but for people as well. Having a team, creating relationships, growing and expanding myself into different countries and platforms. I think I have a lot to show, I want to be able to have autonomy and courage to take my own decisions. As a label, well thats a completely different story. Im just entering that stage. I don’t think i can really answer that question. I hope I can do that in some years!

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Look Book

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Credits + Contacts:
The Landscaper Editorial
Photography by Anatol Gottfried
Models are Sam Nyqvist and Erik Vela
Hair and Make up by Marie Lastochka
Assistants: Kimio Ogawa and Alex Moli
Look book: 
Photography: Nastya Kazakova
Hair and makeup: Nastya Kazakova
Model: Stefano Geminani
Assistants: Ana Lucia Ordóñez, Alex Moli
Martin Across