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Interviews | November 16, 2016

Q&A – Xavier Garcia

Xavier garcia is all about colour combinations, patterns and structure projects, inspired by Barcelona’s cultural heroes and the Mediterranean way of living

words Peter Paris

You were born in Barcelona. As a local designer and artist, which is your favorite place in the city?

I love to drive my bicycle, slowly, all through the ancient part of the city: Gotic, Raval and Born (neighbourhoods). I like to see people opening their shops in the morning, people chatting in a corner, reading newspapers in a terrace…

You studied Industrial Design in the early 90’s at Elisava School, in Barcelona, but you make your debut in eyewear in Ravenna, Italy. What have that experience provide you and your brand?

I think the experience you get is crucial when creating and developing any kind of projects. Beginning in Italy it has been really a good chance, as the company where I was working had no factory, so we had to deal with different suppliers, each one specialized in special production processes, so I had the chance to see and work with many different suppliers.

When did Xavier Garcia become a brand?

The first collection was launched in Spain only with acetate models in 2004, but we can consider the beginning of the brand, with its complete collection – including 9 metal models produced by one of the best manufacturers in China – presented internationally, in 2009.

Do you still produce your frames in China?

Yes. I have tried to work with local suppliers in Spain, but as you may know, there are few factories left, so I’ve been “forced” to look for others. You can find high end quality in China, it depends on your quality requirements.

Color combinations, patterns and structures are Xavier Garcia’s heart and soul. Would you say there’s anything else in this concept?

No. It is exactly as you say: XG collection is about color combinations if we talk about acetate frames, and it’s about structural projects when talking about metal ones. I wouldn’t add anything else; I don’t want to fall into pretentious concepts.

Where can we see the city of Barcelona in Xavier Garcia frames?

I’ve been living in Barcelona since I was born, so my personality and culture is completely molded by Barcelona and the Mediterranean way of living. I’ve been living surrounded by Gaudí, Miró, Tàpies, Picasso, Miquel Barceló, Sert, Enric Miralles, Sónar music festival… I suppose that all that influences my creations and me.

Technologically you present mixing different fibrous textured acetates, etching or unique formats. Are these your most valuable weapons?

Yes. One of my main purposes is to offer my own products. I design my frames with no other stimuli than being my own. I’m looking for personality. I would like my frames could be recognized among others, and the way to achieve that is to create, following my heart and instincts.

To whom do you draw?

I do not design for a concrete and specific target audience. Maybe it’s the opposite: I always thought someone would like my creations, since I’m not from Mars, and would buy them for sure. The good thing however is that each year there are more people that matches my taste and appreciate my proposals.

You usually deal with other designers. What do you look for by mixing with other areas of knowledge?

I like to collaborate with other designers or artists because it’s a good way of receiving other’s inputs and ideas, you can increase your vital experience when dialoguing, otherwise one may fall into some kind of limited or monogamist world. In the last past years I’ve been working with some artists to create our image of communication like Conrad Roset, a young great illustrator, Javier Mariscal, the famous designer, illustrator and artist, and Noemí Elías, an excellent photographer. All of them have their personal way of looking and creating as me

What would you say is the easiest and hardest part of your daily job? Do you pick up the pencil every day?

The easiest part is to keep on thinking about design and the hardest is to deal with employees and also commercial matters. And yes, I pick up the pencil almost every day.

Which other interests do you have in life besides creating and optics?

I love spending hours admiring art: paintings, sculpture, music, architecture.

How far are you planning to get Xavier Garcia brand into the world?

We are 12 people working and over the past three years we have focused our energies exclusively on exports. I really have no plans. I am focused in offering the best I can and I don’t care whether the market accepts me more or less: what will be, will be.