Moisés Nieto

New Commandments

01/27/2020 · By Fruela Zubizarreta
Moisés Nieto openning
Moisés Nieto in his atelier in Carabanchel, a district known as Madrid’s Brooklyn for the many artists it attracts. © Mario G. Sánchez

Moisés Nieto presents his new collection at the Mercedes Benz Madrid Fashion Week Madrid. Unwilling to be a slave to the fashion system, creative and very pragmatic, the once young promise of Spanish fashion is growing up consistently while working on the full digitalization of his brand. “It’s the future”.

We meet Moisés Nieto (Úbeda, Jaén, 1984) at his atelier in Carabanchel, the emerging Madrid district that is being compared to Brooklyn for the increasing number of young and creative companies setting up shop there (for the money it takes to rent a 30m2 studio in the city centre, you get a 300m2 one here, and it isn’t that far, so it’s an easy choice). Boasting a recognizable and inalienable style, the designs of this young man with very clear ideas about fashion is enjoying international success, although going global is not his goal: “I want a quiet life”.

Two collections a year. How much stress can you put up with in your creative process?
It’s been a long time since I last got stressed. I don’t set myself limits as I used to when I started my career. Quite the opposite. I just want to enjoy things because I like what I do. I design clothes with the sole objective of selling them. But if I have to complicate things when it comes to showing them so people keep a special memory, I’ll do it. I don’t get stressed—well, just enough. I follow a daily schedule and I don’t work on weekends. I don’t work more than I have to. And I don’t go crazy about achieving impossible goals. I’m not in a hurry.

What is the guiding thread in all your collections? What do you always demand of yourself?
I must be loyal to my concept and, whatever I do, it has to say something about me and the way I work—a place, and idea, a colour… Something very personal. My collections must also be sellable. These are my two immutable premises. I don’t follow trends. I think about myself and I analyse myself, and depending on the moment, I come up with this or that, always being loyal to the same language and the same foundation. 

What’s most complicated about the fashion industry?
The most difficult is to concoct a cocktail with all the necessary ingredients. You have to organise a show but, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that people go to the shop, try the clothes on, feel wonderful in them and take them home. One thing is to create a great look in which all pieces fit together, and another to give every garment a life of its own. Combining garments and accessories is great, dazzling people is wonderful, but right now I’m more into making things simple and highlighting the essence.

The brand Moisés Nieto coexists with the men’s brand Dos Studio. How is that going?
It’s going brilliantly! I don’t do fashion shows, just press presentations and some social media. I’m very happy because it’s a completely different business. I only sell online at reasonable prices and it’s yielding profits. It’s all made in Madrid. Dos Studios is giving me a lot of joy.

And why don’t you apply the same logic on your main brand?
I want to gradually do without points of sale. Multi-brand stores are languishing and the women I dress don’t usually buy there. On the other hand, they don’t take a chance on young designers. There’s no denying the future will be online. Well, it’s already here in fact.

I have my feet on the ground. Why should I go to Paris if my clothes don’t sell there and nobody knows me? I’m not interested in being one among thousands

It’s clear that the designer and the businessman get along very well…
I know what I am and where my limits are. I don’t dream of showing my collections in Paris, New York or Milan. I don’t need that kind of adventure, that’s for sure. I have my feet on the ground. Why should I go to Paris if my clothes don’t sell there and nobody knows me? I’m not interested in being one among thousands.

How important is the fashion press to you?
It’s extremely important. When I started almost ten years ago, they didn’t pay me much attention. Emergent designers were a bit isolated. Magazines featured David Delfín and Juanjo Oliva. That was it. But then I started to get more support and win some awards. A generation change is taking place among editors and writers. Young fashion writers know me well and consider me more often. We share codes the ones before them didn’t understand or didn’t want to understand. They hold me in high regard, and so do I.

Is there some kind of feeling of belonging to the same family among Spanish designers?
I can’t be bothered about that. Spanish fashion is everyone from Balenciaga and Pertegaz to Palomo Spain. Labelling us as group doesn’t make sense. I think in Spain we love to create and label groups. We all come from the same place but everyone works differently and has their own mark.

How do you explain the great success of Moisés Nieto in Japan?
It's incredible and hard to believe sometimes. I was out for drinks on a Friday and got an email from Japan at 1:00am. It was from Open Ceremony, the coolest concept store there. They wanted to meet in Paris in a few weeks. I had been in Paris for six months, had spent a lot of money and had earned nothing. I was a little cross and didn’t feel like going back. But I didn’t say no to them. In the end, I rented an Airbnb room, I bought three racks at Ikea and set up a showroom in the blink of an eye. They were delighted and bought the entire collection. It’s all worked wonderfully ever since.

What do you think the Japanese saw in your clothes?
I think what they liked the most was the silhouette because I don’t like tight clothes. My designs are relaxed, flared. I don’t make clothes for exuberant women. I have no idea what the key to my success in Japan is, but I am delighted all this is happening. I guess the Internet and social media have had a lot to do with it.

What is talent for Moisés Nieto?
It’s a combination of the emphasis you place on what you like, tenacity, discipline and creativity. I think that’s the perfect mix.

A question all fashion designers hate: what are your clients like?
I hate that question so much (laughs). Well, my clients evolve season by season. They all want to feel special and different, and clothes are an important part of that.

What was the most important turning point in your career?
Selling my clothes to people I don’t know makes me very happy. Each piece sold is a mystery. Who’s bought it? What is that person like? These little landmarks make me very happy. Awards are also great—they are like encouraging pats on the shoulder, which are always helpful, but the effect fades away soon. In short, selling clothes is most important to me because it proves you’re doing things right.

Curriculum Vitae

Moisés Nieto (Úbeda, Jaén, 1984) founded his homonymous brand in 2011. He studied at IED Madrid and at the Istituto Europeo di Design, where he turned his thesis into his first collection. He has won several awards, including Vogue Italy’s My Own Show 2011; L’Oreal Paris’ Best 2012 Ego Collection at MBMFW; Vogue Spain’s Who’s on Next 2016, and the 2017 National Fashion Award for New Value. In 2017, he launched the men’s brand Dos Studio.