Back to the top



by Omar Riccardo Krichi

‘Standing for a community that dares to be bold, to be itself’. Since its first collection, JUANVG’s mission has been very clear: proposing clothes that are truly wearable, that can self-plasm on people’s bodies, enhancing their gender identity and expression, winking at the concepts of ‘sustainability’ and ‘circular economy’. In fact, the environmental impact that the fashion system has on our society is a topic that JUANVG pays a lot of attention to. In this regard, we wanted to ask what was the needle on the scale that could keep these two poles in balance. By pairing individuality with collective intelligence, JUANVG exposes us to how one can be aesthetically fashionable through ethical and responsible decision-making.

‘DO WHAT YOU WANT, BE WHAT YOU WANT’. What does this mantra mean to you?

It’s a quote I keep in the forefront of my mind when someone doubts my work, tries to change my creativity or who I am. Its meaning is that it doesn’t really matter what people say: you just have to embrace what you can learn from and grow, expressing yourself the way you want to. What it means to me is that you have to take advantage of your individuality, as well as your creativity, craziness, values…and explore them to the highest level.

What’s up-cycled design about?

I look at it as a creative and cool way to be consciously sustainable. By giving new life to forgotten defective clothes and creating original designs, without having to manufacture new materials, we update and change what we already have, but don’t use.

Sustainability is definitely one of the keywords of your mission in the fashion system. What advice would you give to other designers on this topic?

The experience I’ve gained over the years has made me realise that, ever since I started designing and creating, the idea of upcycling has always been present when designing. So, my whole journey in the industry has been accompanied by this awareness, which is still strongly anchored to my mind. I’d like to say it’s not that hard to be a sustainable designer, you just have to figure out what area you’re immersed in, focus on that and start experimenting and creating.


The aesthetic of your collections can be seen as something very personal and truly inclusive. Can you tell us a little bit more about the visual narrative of your campaigns?

JUANVG is for everyone. All of our pieces are genderless: the concept of the brand, as well as its aesthetic, comes from a sense of community, inclusivity, mutual respect, fun, being bold, and drawing inspiration from underground cultures and music. We’re more than a fashion brand, we want to represent a lifestyle. For our campaigns, we always like to give a group atmosphere, and that’s the reason why our models are people we scout on the streets. In this way, we can embrace reality and see how all kinds of people can wear our pieces. Through clothing, we want to send the message that you can be sustainable, have an environment-friendly mindset and still be fashionable.

In your latest Instagram posts, you and your team have been experimenting with the 90’s collage aesthetic, adopting a graphic design approach. What’s led you to this direction?

For the launch of my new jewellery collection, we gathered a lot of illustrations showing chains with a very graphic and almost cyberpunk aesthetic. It led us to create an imaginary context, whose allure gave us 90’s vibes. We brought this vaporwave nostalgia to current times, creating a collage of references and styles from different eras. We wanted the consumer who sees the campaign to be able to reach that moment, a state of mind through which you can escape from the real world and immerse yourself in your fantasy.

How should responsible consumption affect our relationship with clothes?

When buying clothes, you need to have ethical awareness in knowing where that item was made, knowing what brand you’re buying and whether you agree with its morals and production philosophy or not. Another key aspect is to start supporting emerging designers and local brands instead of fast fashion. Ultimately, we have to remember that we don’t need a lot of clothes – in fact, we should learn to buy less and spend our money well.


You also presented your collection through a ‘street fashion show’. What’s that meant to you?

Once I finished my master’s degree and first collection, I realised that I wanted to do more than just an academic runway show. I was quite aware of my aesthetic and how my brand should be represented, so I decided with two other colleagues to create a street fashion show at MACBA. We managed to do it in three days, asking people in Barcelona if they wanted to participate. Investing all my passion and believing in what I was doing made me so grateful when the show actually happened: it was a huge revelation and joy to understand the brand and its concept of upcycling design are ultimately what I really wanted to do for my career.

So, what about next season? What will be on your moodboard?

We’ll continue to move in the same direction we’re moving towards at the moment, always exploring and pushing forward. Right now, all I can say is that ties will be guaranteed.


Credits: Pictures by Genis Mitjans, Styling by Carlos Marán, Stylist Assistant Ines De la Cruz, Grooming by Alizia Moreno, Location Blend Bcn Showroom, Interview by Omar Riccardo Krichi