Brain & Beast’s Angel Vilda Gets Personal Sharing Collection Inspiration and Bits of the Brand’s Story

Born in Barcelona to a family of three dedicated and talented designers, Brain & Beast cherishes the liberty and rewards gained out of working for their own brand. A label with a devotion to using fashion as a place to think, it’s a reminder that fashion and the ensemble that comes with it should bring you happiness much like therapy.

1.) To start, where did the idea of starting Brain & Beast come from? How did you all (Angel, César, and Ezequiel) meet?

We are a family. We share our life and company together! In 1999, I launched my own brand as Angel Vilda and produced 10 collections. At the time, I was living in the city where I was born, Madrid. I got to know Cesar who had a career as a costume and stage designer in theatre and we decided to get married and work together. So that’s why I moved to Barcelona. After two years working in theatre, Cesar convinced me to come back to the fashion scene but it was clear it had to be in a different way. It had to be fun and I had to enjoy what I was doing. That is the way Brain & Beast started. Fifty percent passion and fifty percent reason or business. Ezequiel arrived later. So we all decided to build this family of three together and here we are, sharing everything!

2.) Launched in 2010, Brain & Beast has had a few years to feel out the market. In that event, what have been your biggest challenges and greatest successes so far? What are your biggest sources of inspiration?

Our biggest success has been doing exactly what we want to, designing what we like and giving our personal point of view about every single thing using fashion as a white canvas. Our success is BEING FREE. As for inspiration, well, life and the human being, personal experiences, memories, family and friends, loves and hates, fears, and sex are all sources of inspiration for us.

3.) Hailing from Barcelona, you’re not centrally located in one of the three major fashion cities like New York, Milan or Paris. Given that, do you find that there’s discrimination or snobbery coming from others in the industry or even the media when introducing your fashion to the world given that it originates from outside the circle of traditional influence?

Mainstream, nowadays, it doesn’t mean cheap. There is such a big industry around luxury mainstream. You know, I don’t feel discriminated against by not being part of the mainstream scene. I´m happy enjoying my work in my place, my environment, my circle. And after 26 collections, I´m happy to accept and enjoy who we are and what we represent. So many times I think about if I would like to work for a big brand as I was doing at the beginning of my career. I mean, I know that world, and, honestly, I don’t know if I would like to go back to those places. Those people, that … whatever. I would only do it if I could feel free.

4.) With collections entitled “Labyrinth,” “Transitional Phenomena” and “Proud Not Guilty,” you seem to be selling not only wearable design, but also espousing a political message. Would you say that’s true? What are some important social causes that the brand holds dear?

Fashion can be a place to think. Think! Think! It’s not just about being pretty and cool. Pretty means smart for me and beauty comes from the inside (even if it sounds topic). If it doesn’t look cool, it´s not responsible.

SS18 – “Labyrinth”

SS17 – “Transitional Phenomena”

FW16 – “Proud Not Guilty”

5.) Your ideas and runway shows are very theatrical and even a bit unconventional and often inspire one to step outside the box in their way of viewing fashion. Give us some insight into your creative process. Then, describe your creative style in three (3) words.

First, I need to have something to say, finding the message. Then, finding and choosing the fabrics as they were the words of the book, the right ones to portray what I want to say. And then, casting is a big important part of the project. As for the three words, I don’t think Brain & Beast can’t described in 3 words. I would need a book!

6.) In the past, you’ve described Brain & Beast as “good, nice and accessible.” How do these qualities play into the creation of your collections?

Good materials, good vibes, real prices. Things are not cheap or expensive, they just represent the value you want to give them depending upon what you want to spend on it.

7.) Tell us about the inspiration for your latest collection, “Eclipse.” What does it mean? What are you trying to say?

It’s a way back to the light. It’s about finding the positive in the middle of the dark to reach the light. Fashion should bring you happiness, helping you be nicer. Much like therapy.

8.) Why fashion? What do you like and dislike about the system?

I dislike a big part of the system. That’s why I’m happy not being part of that mainstream we have talked about before.

9.) Tell us about your online store. Where else can you find Brain & Beast?

In the coolest stores worldwide. Just in the best places. Our online store is a selection of easy to wear pieces. The collection is so much bigger. Once you’ve experienced that, you have to visit our retailers and enjoy buying any of our items from them. Trying them, touching them.

10.) What’s next for the company? What are your goals as a brand?

Next is the new chapter, new collection, new story. Not just another season, another story.

Kyle Johnson

Kyle Johnson is a writer, web designer and former senior editor for ODDA magazine, a glossy 500+ page high fashion magazine. In addition to his work for ODDA, he is also a freelance writer for LAB A4 and a creative director for various projects across various industries where he specializes in branding, identity and visual strategy. He is also the founding editor of PLOY.

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