By Alice Butterlin

Most of the world has been in lockdown for over a month now due to the COVID-19 crisis. A moment frozen in time, when people are faced with solitude, grief or anxiety and see their daily lives shift for the better or the worse. In this time of extreme uncertainty, we can also take the time to reflect, create and enjoy the passing of these strange elastic days. We thought it would be interesting to ask artists around the globe how their creative process has changed during the quarantine and if it has been an inspiring or rather daunting experience… with a quick snapshot of themselves in lockdown. Meet Spanish fashion designer Arturo Obegero, whose minimalist collections are deeply inspired by the world of dance, surrealism and neo-noir movements. The designs are sleek, dark and moody, with an emphasis on the body and its multiple shapes. The Spanish folklore and traditions are never far away as Obegero is set on showing his roots in every step of his work. Find out how he is spending his days right now.

How has your daily life changed since lockdown began?

I’ve been in a sort of quarantine since last October to be honest. I was making ACAMEDIA, the collection I presented in March of this year, and I had just as little of a social life as I have today. My life hasn’t changed drastically somehow.

Have you had to rethink the way you create?

The current situation didn’t make me rethink my way of creating. It reassured me as far as the way we want to develop the label from both creative and business points of view. We will keep on creating pieces with poetry and substance in order to make people feel unique. There is a lot of research involved in the making of our collections. So, that will not change. We will keep on being responsible and honest with our customers and friends about how our clothes are created. The clothes are made here in Paris. We don’t support mass production and even if we could produce more to make a bigger profit or to respond to the demand, we probably would not. We work with the brilliant One Tree Planted organization which supports reforestation programs all around the planet, so with every purchase made, we plant a tree with them.

Did you realize anything in particular during this time?

Of course, this situation proved to me that we are the problem. Perhaps it’s nature putting us back in our place for all the greed and damage we are creating… We need to slow down. We make too many collections with too many looks. We need to invest in creating clothes with soul that make people feel something, not just ultra-marketed products for Instagram. That’s why I admire Azzedine Alaïa. We should all take notes from the way he managed his house.

Do you feel more inspired or paralyzed by the lockdown?

At first, I was quite motivated. My plan was to show my next Spring/Summer collection during Men’s FW in Paris in June. But it’s been really hard to keep myself focused. So I’m not making a full collection at the moment. I cannot shop for fabrics or trimmings or even buttons. I need to be out there to be inspired, go to exhibitions, walk around town. So it is quite paralyzing. On the other hand, we just launched our online boutique, so we are focusing on building relationships with our customers. I might end up showing a few looks in September; I’ll keep you posted.

Have you started or returned to any activities that you do not normally have time to do?

I started exercising again. I was so busy making ACADEMIA, as I make everything by myself in my apartment, that I had no time or energy to even go for a run. Now, there is time to exercise. I’m trying to remain positive and see it as a health break. Mens sana in corpore sano.

What do you think you’ll take away from this shutdown?

A firm belief in responsibility!

Are you worried?

Of course, but I am sure we will find a solution and things will improve sooner than later. I really hope this will be a breaking point for everything and everyone. Change must happen, not just in fashion but in every industry and in our daily behaviors, too. Hopefully our leaders will be intelligent enough to drive us on the right path.

How do you see life after this crisis?

I don’t know how our day-to-day life will be affected after this crisis, but I do think that now more than ever we need to make people dream. So I will try my best as always to achieve that.

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