He might hail from Barcelona but young designer Albec Bunsen could just as well be from out of this universe. His experimental unisex collections are loud and proud, catered to the unique, outcast kids who aren’t afraid of embracing their inner alien. We got to see him present his energetic collection « Lunar Speculation » at the past Feeric Fashion Week in Sibiu, Romania and were immediately impressed by his ability to combine African-inspired prints into fresh, urban streetwear. His tongue in cheek collections take us on a journey to the future of dressing the next generation. We’re sure there’s quite a lot in Bunsen’s arsenal that we have yet to look forward to, so of course we had to have a chat with the designer to see what other wonders he’s hiding in his spaceship…
So tell us, who are these aliens you’re designing for?
I’m designing for all the aliens that are used to being very optimistic, happy and cheeky. These are aliens that want to feel comfortable wearing shocking garments with crazy prints, over-sized lovers and coziness seekers. They try to hide among us, like the library freak, members of the Astronomy Club, astronaut wannabes…
What was the inspiration behind your vivid collection, « Lunar Speculation »?
I always loved everything related to outer space, aliens and galaxies in the same way as conspiracy theories… we can’t be alone. We are too tiny a planet in this huge universe. So I decided to touch on the possible existence of intelligent life outside of Earth, about the idea of Space Tourism or questioning if man really did walk on the Moon in 1969.
Your garments showcase a vibrant range of colors and patterns, is there an African influence to your designs?
Of course! I’m obsessed with African Wax Printing, I love the way the fabric becomes after different layers of shapes and colours, creating an amazing and crazy pattern. I created my own three prints inspired by the African technique, using bright colours and funny drawings that are also done by me.
What was your ‘Ah-ha’ moment when you decided to become a designer?
Well, I’m not going to say that I grew up in a ‘tailoring family’ or in a Super Fashionable environment. Actually, the first sewing machine at home was mine which I got when I was 15… I always knew that I wanted to work with something related to art, craftwork, and creating. The last year of my Bachelor’s in Art, I decided to focus on Fashion, because I wanted to show my inner mad world on clothes that I couldn’t find in stores, but existed in my mind. I thought, « Shit, it’s easy, if they are inside my head, Let’s do it! ». Then, I realized it, and I went for it and for the moment, it is going well.
If you were to ever meet an alien, what would you do?
If I’m ever in that situation I will take him/her to have fun for sure! We could start at the African Foni Bar in Raval to have the best Mojitos in Barcelona, after we’ll go have a fatty veggie dinner, then do some Jager shots and then directly to any Psytrance open-air Party. We’ll get some funny costumes and dance like Apache Indian kids under the stars until the sun comes up… or more!
How would you describe the fashion scene in Barcelona?
Hmmmmm… It’s weird because we are supposed to be one of the most « alternative and trendy » cities in the world, we’re supposed to feel free with what we wear and all these things that people say about Barcelona… But I don’t see it like that. There’s a lot of people looking like they are themselves, but actually, we have a big dictator, the big Spanish fast-fashion Monster, who tells all the people « Look guuuurl… be a CLONE, you’ll be accepted by the rest if you look like the rest of us. You’ll get a job, have kids, a small house with a huge rent and maybe a dog!! But please, don’t think by yourself ». But I’m sure something is changing inside the brains of young people… If not, I hope it will be soon!
Why do you personally think urban streetwear has such an impact on the current fashion scene?
I think nowadays people are starting to be tired of this « classy overdose » and the non-real lives of « celebrities » in impossible haute couture dresses… We need something more real, comfortable, more for us. People use to get shocked and confused but in some way, happy when they see my creations and me on the runway. I think fashion is too serious to take it like that, when we are supposed to enjoy what we are wearing.
If you weren’t a designer, what could you see yourself being?
It wouldn’t be a problem, I know that I could be doing something related with art. I mean, it’s the only thing I’m able to do, I’m not good at maths, science, or literature so please give me a pencil and a piece of paper to start drawing something! If the Art thing doesn’t work very well, I have my parents Tapas Bar where I’ve been working all my life, so it would be a pleasure to manage it 🙂
If someone offered you a trip to the moon, what would you bring?
Easy! Some pieces of « Lunar Speculation » and a pair of chunky boots. My sketchbook and some pens (I can’t imagine a trip without drawing!). Music, a huge list of all of the genres of music I like, it’s hard for me to travel, work or whatever I do, in silence or listening to annoying sounds like police sirens. A box of cookies and Pokémon Go on my phone, I’m sure there are a lot of weird pokémons and Wi-Fi out there! (laughs)
What can we see next from Albec Bunsen?
Fortunately, you will see my new collection « Vive la Révolution! » SS17 during Samsung EGO, the emerging designers platform at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid in September! Besides that I have many other projects that I’m working on, I can’t tell you anything yet, but you should stay tuned to my social media channels to discover my new adventures…