Leandro Cano

The Diary of Leandro Cano, fashion designer and creative director of the homonymous Spanish brand. Welcome to Caleido, an inspirational diary that narrates many stories: about creative people, trends, travels, objects. / Read the Editor’s letter here


Diary of: @leandrocano

10 topics of conversation, approached from different perspectives, to explore reality through a kaleidoscopic vision
Leandro Cano
Ph. @antoniocorderofotografo
1. You come from Spain. Which aspects of your homeland have shaped you the most? If you imagine exhibiting your collections all together in one room, which cultural elements would emerge most strongly and consistently?

My work is very characteristic because I try to use all the Spanish crafts in my designs. I have a huge respect for artisans and their work, so I’m trying, in every season, to use any artisanal techniques and recover old ones.

In addition, my creations are characterised by prints. They are all designed by us and many of them represent landscapes of my Country. Spanish popular culture is always part of the inspiration in my collections, so if we look at my entire collection we definitely see a lot of Spanish codes interpreted from my point of view.

Ph. @yosigo_yosigo
Ph. @juanlucoimbra
2. What did it mean, at the beginning of your career, to be a fashion designer in your country? Are there any episodes, worthy of being recorded in a Diary, that you remember with greater intensity?

I was born in a small village in the South of Andalucia, Ventas del Carrizal, Jaen. At the beginning, nobody understood why I wanted to do fashion, because I studied photography and graphic design, but I found in fashion my way of expression. My career has been very hard in some part but also, I found the happiness in my job.

There are many stories I could tell, but I want to remember when I won the “Designer of Tomorrow” award hosted by Marc Jacobs, and I had the chance to work with him in NY. It was the beginning of my international career.

Leandro Cano

Ph. @antoniocorderofotografo

3. What do you think are the most profound changes the fashion industry is experiencing today? How is the new generation of talent contributing to these changes?

I think fashion has a new language nowadays, based on sustainability. People are now more aware of the environment issues and how fashion can damage it. Big productions, to buy clothes just for using one time… I think people want to change it, and the new generation of designers are the mirror of the society. Now everyone is more concerned about the traceability of fabrics, whether fabrics are recycled or not, or about using new fabrics such as recycled polyester.

Ph. @antoniocorderofotografo
Ph. @antoniocorderofotografo
Ph. @manuel_braun_photographe
4. What do you think are the strongest social issues that contemporary society is facing? Are there any battles that are closest to your heart?

After COVID everything has become more complicated than before. The fashion industry is in a tough spot, because it seems that after the pandemic, people mentality is changing. The rules we used to follow don’t work anymore, so, it’s like a big blank canvas, and we have the responsibility to rewrite the future from scratch.

Unfortunately there are so many battle out of the fashion industry… The inclusion of old women in the labor market is one of my worries. For that reason, we created some years ago an association of old women who make our knitted and embroidery garments. They teach these artisanal techniques to younger generations, and at the same time they earn their own salary.

Ph. @michele_yong
5. One of the most important issues in today’s discussion is the sustainable approach to fashion. Not only given by the naturalness of fabrics, but also by an approach that results in production processes, ethical or social content. What is your approach to this?

We only work with small workshops, which in many cases have one or two seamstresses. We try to collaborate with local suppliers and, as I told you before, we’ve created an association of older women

Leandro Cano
Ph. @juanlucoimbra
Leandro Cano
Ph. @juanlucoimbra
6. Your work is steeped in cross-cultural references, making you a talent to follow. If you had to identify 5 references (even outside of fashion) that describe you, to search for on Instagram, what would they be?

Marc Jacobs @marcjacobs

Alexander McQueen @alexandermcqueen

Estrella Morente @morente.estrella

Miguel Adrover @migueladroverofficial

Rossy de Palma @rossydpalma

Leandro Cano
Ph. @antoniocorderofotografo
Leandro Cano
Ph. @juanlucoimbra
7. Recently, a guest at Caleido said that in today’s world there is no longer a need for new “symbols” (which have always been central to fashion): what is needed is for creatives to focus on finding effective solutions to protect the environment and nature. Do you agree?

I agree about finding effective solutions to protect the environment, but I also believe that humans need to find symbols everywhere wherever they are. Symbols are our inspiration, are our reference. We live in a world with a big diversity, and everybody needs something to believe in and identify with.

Ph. @antoniocorderofotografo
Ph. @antoniocorderofotografo
8. As a new generation of creatives, what definition would you give to the concept of luxury?

Luxury is what makes us happy but cannot always be had. It is something unique and special, unrepeatable.

Ph. @juanjerez
9. How would you define romance? And love?

Romance to me means feeling butterflies in your stomach, love is something or someone you want for the rest of your life.

Ph. @madameoliviadacosta
10. What is one object in your home that you would never give up? What is the memory attached to it? Would you send us a photo taken by you?

The best memories of my life are in my head, and they are moments with special people of my life, specially my family and my grandma Carmen. If I have to think in an object, I have many pieces of embroideries that my grandma made before she died… They will be with me for life.


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