Interview with Fernando Bonastre
How did you get started ?
After my Design studies, I started in Paris with Lacroix Haute-Couture, then with Montana, and after that with the Prêt-à-Porter Femme, simultaneously as a designer, image and artistic director. While I was looking for THE portfolio for my laptop, in vain, a question crosses my mind: "... and why not create it myself?". The brand began in 2011.
Where do you find your inspiration? and how as this changed over time since you began to design?
Bonastre is the result of a research of simplicity and aesthetism. The final style is radical in its purity, voluptuous in its volumes and nonchalant in its look, to serve only the ultimate and essential goal: its function.
I find my inspirations in the following:
Space - I have an obsession that governs my creativity: mastering space. Space is a luxury of our modern world. A bag is a volume, a nomadic space that holds our privacy.
Plastic Surgery - Vegetable Leather is a raw, natural, noble and living material. it is an inspiration in 2D on which I, just like a surgeon, draw and imagine the contours of my creations.
Architecture - There is a permanent technical commitment and an essential architectural drive, where leather and construction interweave to give rhythm to the collections ....The aesthetics of the architectural movement of the 50s and 60s known as Brutalism is one of the main inspirations.Similarly, the search for the essence of the Bauhaus movement where "Form follows function" as well as Industrial Design, or the minimalist works of architects like Oscar Niemeyer and Tadao Ando influence the vision of the final product.
Music - An Alternative Rock atmosphere leads me into a “creative bubble” and gives rhythm to my imagination.
Where did you learn your craft?
In our workshop located in Southern Spain, on one of the last European sites of Luxury leather goods production. The Tradition and Know-How in the work of Leather results from the ancient art of Andalusian Saddlery. It is an exclusively handcrafted and handmade production. The know-how, as well as the tools are handed down through the generations. The relationship I have with the Workshop is deep and intimate. The same crafstman fashions a style from A to Z and needs about twenty hours to produce a Bonastre bag. Once the bag has been assembled, it is with the most meticulous attention that each bag is controlled and every detail is checked before the last solidity test. We are proud of Bonastre's environmentally responsible code, using this amazing vegetable tanned Leather which was treated according to this traditional process based on chestnut and oak tannins and olive oil finishing.
What is your hope for the future ?
My motto is Utopia, an imaginary world of perfection. We will never get to this but it is good to think it is an option.
What is your main source of calm during these stressful times ?
I feel a little bit ashamed to say that confinement has given me the opportunity to be at home, which didn't happen in the last 9 years - not even a single weekend ........ so this feels like heaven to me. Now, I am on a daily basis talking with my customers and workshop trying to imagine different scenario in order to exit from this unprecedented situation.I also savor a good dose of optimism which an entrepreneur should never lack.