Words: José Berrocoso
“Homiés Marbella’s radical fashion style is meant to be recognizable and crafted to help customers boost their inner potential. We want them to be comfortable as well as powerful and confident.”
Re-imagined by friends Itziar Fuentes and JM Fernández in 2014, Homiés Marbella began by selling fresh, minimalistic tees to friends around town. Having found a gap in the contemporary-apparel market in Marbella, the demand soon grew so fast that the brand established a flagship store in just under two years – right in the heart of Puerto Banús. Surrounded by palm trees and located in the center of a luxury marina lined with designer shops.
Homiés Marbella was born as a tribute to the city where it all began: Marbella. With a collection of laidback high-end pieces that represent the lifestyle of a unique place on the South Coast of Spain. A simple range of thoughtfully designed pieces to make your daily looks sleek yet comfortable, maintaining the clean aesthetics the brand has become renowned for.
After 7 years Homiés Marbella has grown considerably in the digital world delivering every collection worldwide and collaborating with iconic fashion labels bringing to life amazing experiences in pop-ups around the world.
City Pages Magazine: Tell us about yourself and what pushed you to create Homies Marbella.
Itziar Fuentes: I’ve always been passionate about fashion and design but it was never my plans to own a clothing Brand. I’ve studied adverstising and marketing which has helped us a lot in order to develop the brand. Life pushed us to do it. We saw the gap in the market and before we knew it we had our shop in Puerto Banus. Dreamy!
CPM: When did your love of streetwear begin?
JM Fernández: Since I was kid I found myself interested in how clothes can use non-verbal communication as a way of self-expression. I started getting more interested in streetwear that was highly connected with the hip-hop movement and big cities I’ve always loved.
CPM: What’s behind the name Homiés Marbella?
IF: We have been raised in this Paradise and we wanted to create a community in our hometown because “Home is Marbella” and we are very connected to our Homiés, which are our Friends from the same área.
CPM: How did the Marbella vibe rub off on your designs?
JMF: Marbella is the source, a unique place in the south of Europe. Having amazing sunny weather, nature and a strategic geographical point only 30 minutes from the African coast. Their visitors and community offers a cosmopolitan point of view to their citizens. The holiday lifestyle of good living and no stress is something we want to project in our designs, the Marbella way of life.
CPM: How would you describe your brand aesthetics?
IF: Minimal, Armonious, Provocative.
CPM: Where do you find inspiration for new projects? How do you fuel your creativity?
JMF: Music, art, and the history of fashion. Even architecture, everything can be an inspiration. The best way to fuel your creativity is to disconnect from the stress of the modern world and just connect with nature. In the beach or the mountain where you can hear yourself and bring your ideas to reality. Also traveling can be very inspiring as you can always bring new things to old ideas.
CPM: You both seem very passionate about art & culture; you take in and absorb from many different strands. How does culture influence your creative process?
IF: Culture is everything. There’s so much oppurtunity to find amazing ideas on history. We are passionated about Marbella history, we find ourselves super identify with it and it is a big source of inspiration. Sometimes it could be hard to find your own gap in the millions of clothing brands but we have a very powerful source of ideas that allows us to have a strong concept. From Marbella to the world.
CPM: Some of your designs are inspired or influenced by the Middle East. What’s your connection with the Arab World?
JMF: Living in Marbella straight away makes us connected with the Arab world. Not only because of the Middle Eastern visitors we have every year in the city. Spain has been a place where Arab culture has been a huge part of our history in architecture, language even in gastronomy or music. Nowadays we can say we have a lot of Arabic friends and our clothes are available in places like Galleries La Fayette in Doha or Rubaiyat in Jeddah and Personage in Riyadh. We are looking forward to be more connected with our Arabic community, they have been big supporters since day one and we are very grateful for that.
CPM: Does sustainability influence any of your business decisions?
IF: Definitely. We have multiple on-going initiatives to become more sustainable. This year we have changed all of our packagings, using 100% compostable or recycled materials. We produce 95% in the Peninsula avoiding more pollution and we use 80% less water than traditional manufacturers with our production systems. It is on-going and we aim to be 100% sustainable by 2025.
CPM: What’s your personal favorite item in the range right now, and why?
JMF: Airplane mode set beige. I love the simplicity and comfort of this two pieces set ( hoodie and pants ) , that you can use for any occasion. The colour contrast between the nude base and neon Orange embroidery makes the right balance between minimal and expressive.
CPM: How do you want people to feel when wearing your clothes?
IF: Comfortable, fresh and empowered.
CPM: What have been some of the biggest challenges for you so far?
JMF: Everyday is a new challenge. Creating a brand from zero, without extra financial support is a challenging situation. From structure, team, production everything is important and makes the difference. One of our biggest challenges has been evolving from a brand that sells only on instagram and basically on the streets, to having a flagship store among the most renowned fashion brands in Puerto Banus. This means producing according to market, creating a team and many other things we have learnt on the way.
CPM: What aspects of the fashion industry would you like to change?
IF: I would like everything to be a bit more original, instead of following some settled trends, to have a little more freedom to create. Otherwise most of the brands end up looking similar. Uniqueness is missing sometimes.
CPM: What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?
JM: Today more than ever, social media is a window to see different views of the world. Fashion is a big part of it, since we are talking about images it makes sense that fashion is everyday more related with the digital world. It’s a platform where you can express your attitude towards aesthetics and lifestyle. For us it has been our starting point, even if we sometimes get tired of it. If you know how to use it properly it can be very rewarding.
CPM: What’s next for Homiés Marbella?
IF: We have many exciting things coming their way… As our first motive was to create a community, you’ll see many actions that will follow that desire and of course, continue expanding with amazing experimental pop up’s around the world.