S1E9 Cayetana Soto de Garcillan, LPM founder and Style Icon

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Cayetana Soto de Garcillan and Mark Abouzeid on “Walking out of Lockdown”

In this episode, culture, fashion and style icon, Cayetana Soto de Garcillan reflects on how moments like this inspire revolution and creativity. “I’m really looking for this to happen, for people to come out of this lockdown with much more intentions of being creative and express themselves in a way, you know. But as well, I felt like we were going to come out with much more humanity. And I found I found myself wrong on that.”

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Los Pecos Mutantes
LPM born as a dream inside a dream. A pure celebration of art, music and beauty in the rhythmic heart of Florence. It was there that Mia and Alex, the designers and founders of LPM created a new world. A world not for the average but for those with the courage to be themselves, away from the mundane reality of todays society.

Surrendering themselves to their surroundings, immersing themselves in the rich cultures and vibrant lives of those around them, they weave their creative magic and continue to realise their art.

LPM is continually growing, and evolving; the designs informed by all that they have experienced as individuals, and all the adventures they have and will embark upon as a creative partnership.

The world of LPM is a playground without rules, and has no interest in following the paths or trends forged by others. With passion and self belief they create outside of the box for, themselves and those souls that yearn to join them in their creative liberation.


Los Pecos Mutantes X SEEDS | #SEEDSpeople: https://youtu.be/2JhmISEBEzY

Every week, Mark Abouzeid reaches out to freelancers, artisans, creatives, culture protagonists and everyday people on how they survived lockdown and what the ‘new normal’ means to them, personally and professionally. In an intimate conversation between friends, Abouzeid asks them about the future, what changes they will make to adapt and how they intend to rebuild.

Director: Mark Abouzeid
Producer: Real Lives Channel on youtube

Interviewer: Mark Abouzeid
Editing and Postproduction: Mark Abouzeid

Creative Commons Stock footage:
Woman Washes Hands – Cinesim Media
SFDPH Wash Hands Spanish – SFGovTV
Wash your hands, grab your hand sanitizer, keep Corona and other related infections away – #CapitalFmKenya
200129_01_Medical_4k_005 – Videvo
200314 – Work Life_Hand Sanitiser_04_4k_003 – Videvo
WASH Your Hands Mr Bean! | Bean Movie | Classic Mr Bean – Classic Mr Bean

Music from http://www.Epidemic Sound.com:
“Safehouse (explicit version)” – Iso Indies

Thank you to Zoom for webconferencing and recording.

Copyright Mark Abouzeid, 2020. All rights reserved.


Mark Abouzeid 0:23
Good afternoon. This is Mark Abizaid of walking out of lockdown. Today I’m here with Mia who Mia is going to graciously give me her full name because I can never pronounce it Right.

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 0:35
Right. So my name is Cayetana. So, yeah, that’s my real name, but everyone knows me as Mia. So Mark, you can use any way you want.

Mark Abouzeid 0:45
Thank you very much. Um, I met Mia and Alex in Florence many years ago, and the first time I saw them, I realized I had discovered or seen something that we rarely have any more In this life, which is true icons, you can call them style icons. You can call them social icons. You can call them fashion icons. But like Ed Sedgwick, like, Twiggy, like so many people before them, it is their life. It is their art, it is every aspect of what they do. And no matter how often I tried to look at them and say, Oh, yeah, they’re just, you know, it’s a cliche, they’re stuck every time I realized now this is pure and absolute authenticity. So it really is my great pleasure to have you here. You founded last Packers matatus. There’s a lot more there that I’d like you to tell us about. But as I do at the beginning of each one of these interviews, I want to go back to the beginning of the year. And I want to ask you, where were you? What were you thinking and what did the year look like for you? What was your mindset

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 2:01
Well first of everything Martha thank you very much like it’s beautiful the way you have scribers and I guess like all this time in PJs and tracksuit bottoms have made me feel less than definitely no like a to Cedric or any icon in fashion. So it didn’t make me feel really good. Thank you very much. And it’s true like when we found at this company, I think we were trying to really reflect the world that we were living in. And as you will know, like you Madison Florence Alexander was a sculptor, a painter, quite crazy one and young as well. Me as fashion designer, I was trying to really create like a world different regardless to what is fashion. And I think we combined really well together he with his craziness me with that sense of style. more feminine in the spirit that way and it was beautiful what we what we found without really not even expecting it or trying to make something of it it just came up like naturally as I learned through the years like companies work a lot on creating a concept and there is like status behind like a team that create what is the company going to try to talk about or how it is going to be spread and people are gonna understand it and for us it was completely opposite it we use went out in square dresses like crazy people like we still are and finally people like find it beautiful fun or something to in a way follow. I hated the world influencers and followers and things like that. It’s

Mark Abouzeid 3:56
no and if I can interrupt for a second because I think that’s an important that’s An important distinction to make, which is, I have never gotten the impression that either of you were interested or trying to be influencers, YouTube or any of that, in fact, I get the opposite in impression, you know, I look because it’s not just the two of you. It’s also a world of people around you that are also somehow connected to that and watching you. When you’re in Florence watching you now online. I see that continues. In fact, one of the things that fascinated me and I must say, you’re part of the inspiration for this series, because I watched how in some way, maybe you’re in pajamas, maybe but that life didn’t completely come to an end as it did for a lot of people. It seemed Yeah.

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 4:58
Well, I think you’re right

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 5:01
Well, again, as you will know, Alexander does not even have a phone, he doesn’t even know how technology works. So Francis will have never will do together it’s true that I’m much more involved because of the fashion world at one point or another like makes you like get involved in a little way even if you are not trying to be part of it. Like the fight you need to sell a product or you need to compete in a way with all these brands. They’re coming up, but um, I don’t want anyone to think that I’m selling them something that I don’t believe in on it or like I’m like taking people that they just like putting their clothes for like talking about something someone has paid and behind them wherever. No, we’re real, like, you see like we dress to musicians, a really young musicians talent But they have not really like yet succeed under like, fashion music artists. Well, they are they are like as like they are fighters. They believe in what they do. And that was what we were living in France that you were saying. It was just a community of students and people that decide to try something for themselves. And this was Florence and we united there. And our house was always full of musicians, photographers as you like,

Mark Abouzeid 6:33
even even filmed in your place that one?

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 6:37
Absolutely. But that was the beauty of it. You know, there’s all these people with beautiful talents that they were like so rendered as in our house, and having good toxin red coffee. And that’s what the label is like. I don’t think like we do something for our fashion industry. I think we do something them for like a generation that is trying to fight with their dreams and become someone bigger. Leo does matter. And they use one something to change and they want something to call their attention. And that’s,

Mark Abouzeid 7:20
yeah, they’re also from my outside point of view. And as you know, with the art schools, there were various communities of students that would bind together socially, whatever they were the British, there were different ones. It was a superficiality for a lot of people. It’s like, Yeah, I do art, but I’m really just here partying. And one of the things that always struck me. Nobody I ever met through us seemed superficial. Nobody ever seemed like they weren’t in one way or another. Sometimes too profound. But looking for that.

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 7:57
Yeah, we were young. It’s true. We’ll arrive with, with good, good intentions. But then we are get a little bit lost that beautiful, fun world that we were. But don’t mistake because I always when I think back about it, yes, we did have fun. But it was educational because I remember every party we were every reunion in that square. We’re talking about art. We’re talking about debating about the world industries and that it was under a beer or a glass of wine. But we’re not an hour conversation. We’re really adults. Like I think it was people coming from every part of the world because it was something was there so to speak. Like it was funny as Alex was saying this, but then we have like, living people. We have people from Russia, people from France, humongous community of every like really, really like next. And that’s amazing. Because that was the Lesson in life. So yeah, we were not like the people that were in that situation we were real. We have any intentions of becoming like the richest person in the world, or the most influencer? No, we did want to do something beautiful. And that sent a message. So in a way, I will say we were losing our way, like all of us in different ways, you know, leads, which is where school shows me with

Mark Abouzeid 9:29
most people mistake revolutions for the things that happen in the streets, and those revolutions seldom and anywhere.

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 9:37
We always think there is something that we could be missing or that we can change. And that’s the beauty of both paths. I think when we are together. We always is, he definitely is much more for dreamers than I am. But there’s a good balance as well. Someone has to come back but um Why not? Like if we can dream in the world that we are living in nowadays? What else we have? So

Mark Abouzeid 10:08
we don’t have it. How do you feel today then? How do you feel today looking and how are you Pecos mood dantas and then your larger community dealing with it,

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 10:21
it’s really soon to really understand what’s going to happen. But it’s really sad because we know something is going to change. And changes are not always bad. But it is true that the freedom we have till now can be cut down in a way because we have been a generation really capable of traveling, moving, investigating, and I’m talking from what I’m leaving here in Spain as well. And we have been really cut down to all of that away. Like it’s been really strict. rules that there we’ve been through and obviously in a legal way that’s going to affect because this country was developing into like, into modern world. And it was it was really difficult because you guys to remember like Spain has been under Franco like not long ago. And we yes were like coming out and trying to follow like countries like England that it was modern or France and, and suddenly like we have another block like we are like, stop again that is going to affect us. I don’t think so that much because since I moved to Spain, I surround myself more Alex nobody’s runner, so but a beautiful community of musicians, greatest photographers, fashion designers, and there is a lot of people like with twins, and a lot of people trying to make something new. That we’re gonna find more difficult. Yes, obviously. And getting you don’t have to go far like economy wise, like, how are we going to be able to dream if we are not going to be able to make anything and we don’t have any hubs. And lpm words are synonymous, it means we’re a company on our own. We are little business, like, so. How are we gonna survive? I don’t know. But I want to remember as well, how we started with nothing. Yeah. Oh, it is been just five years in between. So I’m not sure and I don’t think Alex if he was here, he’ll be saying the same. we invent ourselves five years ago, we can do it again. And, and I think that’s a beauty as well. When you’ve been restricted. You have to deal with the things you have in your life. You have to create and you have to imagine how you’re going to make that happen. So it is like being your own photographer doing your own modeling or wherever it takes, you know, we are generation that we can learn. We’re like, capable of finding information online as well. And I think people with big dreams are gonna stop trying to do what they want to do.

Mark Abouzeid 13:24
No, and I think it raises the next question, do you feel that creatives freelancers independence are better positioned? In this moment?

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 13:37
I think

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 13:39
we know a skirt because we have never had that help in the sense like we are. Yes, I have worked for all the companies before when I was really unhappy and upset because my creative side was completely removed. And I’d say I will never go back to that. But um, I think the people like us that we have great pride dates and like try to make from what we had like something. And we’re not discouraging the situation because we know Yeah, probably we’re gonna have problems, economic problems we’re never gonna have helped, would never have. But like we never we’re not going to have the same easy way of getting that economics economics. But we are not scared of reinventing ourselves. Yeah, what I’m trying to say is like tomorrow lpm doesn’t work because the fashion industry really collapse that. I don’t know how that’s gonna be. Well, I’m sure like I will invent something else that will reflect my personality to go with Alexander on my own. And we are creators. We are people with a creative mind and that is something like no economic crisis, not a war or virus can move.

Mark Abouzeid 14:53
We are and I think you just hit a very important point which I which we’re seeing with people at home offices there’s identity crisis a lot of people are having identity crisis because even though they say it’s blending my work and my personal life What if you listen to them what they’re actually saying is their work had become their social life their personal community their identity I it doesn’t sound like your identity is at all tied up in what you do. It’s who you are.

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 15:28
Yeah, actually I have to say as well regarding to what you yes like mentioned, I think I would force my personality during this lockdown I think in a way because obviously when you have a company you need to sell numbers have to kind of make sense and things like that. Um, I forgot about the creative side like it was like Alexandre is not involved in lpm anymore. So I’m having to deal with the creative side and the business for have made me like removed from Little bit myself, that beautiful power of creation and invention and painting. And this Lockton has remembered me that I don’t care what this company is gonna go, but I want this company to be what it was. And it was something come up from a dream. And if I have the time as I did, I’m going to take the photos that we used to I’m gonna represent that total look on that model, the way that LPN was supposed to be not the way society told me, you should do.

Mark Abouzeid 16:38
This way they needed like this for editorial, they need this kind of crap. I know exactly what you mean.

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 16:43
And I was like, because not lpm and I forget it like for a little bit, and I was like, Well, if I’m gonna do LP, I’m gonna do lpm the way it began, you know, and no matter what we’re in a situation like no one knows where we’re gonna finish. So it At least if a person is going to die is going to die as it was, and if it is it born, you know. And

Mark Abouzeid 17:05
yeah, it’s fascinating that you say that though because I went I went through a similar thought process, which was the big project in Peru was going to be three years it was UNESCO. And when it got put on hold, Sophie, my partner was like, I can’t do this anymore. And I was like, No, wait, we’ll just put it on. She’s like, No, I can’t do this. And we stopped and talked about it, we realized that we’d gotten into a situation where we couldn’t enjoy the part we enjoy it anymore.

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 17:37
I am destroying the thing that I create on my own, trying to follow society trying to become a better labor and much more accepted labor. What IBM is not like that IBM is like about like two crazy people that decided they like to dress like that another 10 people that they were involved in that and they thought like that’s great. Well That’s OPM. Otherwise I’d be I’d be doing like Black and White Houses and you know, and it wouldn’t be as

Mark Abouzeid 18:07
yours isn’t your collection is an explosion of joy always. Um, it may be more sophisticated, it may be lighter, it may be more party, it may be more serious, but the colors, the textures, just the way they’re put together is an explosion of joy and at a time when people really need that. And I do know that you’ve just finished a collection I haven’t used or you introduced Spring Collection wide in February and

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 18:35
Jasmine something that obviously COVID-19 has practiced in production so much. They loved it stop all the productions we have production need to sell nowadays. And when we went it was an A February to start a new collection. So weeks later, they stop everything. And so anyway, we were to invent something in the meantime, I’m probably going to Don’t like attached to my sewing machine with a glass of water for a month and make something come out for like covering this time in the middle of a week and a half until we can launch the next election, I believe as well like after every kind of big crisis or fix situations like the one we’re having right now, I can come out because people are looking for like something to bring them joy to make some something to change in a way themselves. And we have it’s been proved now like the revolution and 70s like when all those outfits wigs and music, it changed and those icons you mentioned at the beginning came up during like a revolution in a way so I’m expecting like something change when as well into fashion like and then yeah,

Mark Abouzeid 19:51
adversity definitely inspires creativity.

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 19:56
I’m really looking for like this. This to happen to people came out of this lockdown with much more and intentions and being creative and like express themselves in a way, you know. But as well, I felt like we were going to come out with much more humanity. And I found I found myself wrong on that. Like it surprised me like how stressed to people were like first days we were able to get out in the streets and the moods they were like treating themselves. This surprised me. I thought they were gonna come on way more human than we were before this will take like, I agree

Mark Abouzeid 20:38
with you. My expectations were that I do think that so far, it’s been too short. I have always traveled the world with my camera, even to war zones, even to earthquakes, volcanoes, things like that. Not because of the excitement but because I always Find that in the worst day of your life, some people just become the best humans they’ll ever be. And that’s what I want to capture. And that’s what I want to witness. And that’s what I’ve always done.

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 21:12
Why not? Like I think like we prove ourselves like the way we were like acting behaving like treating each other was not right. Like that’s where we are right to where we are. And because we, we criticize society, but we forget that we are society. So if we don’t change and we don’t, we don’t become more human, if we don’t try to see on the other person, like, how are we going to pretend to have a better world? You know, I like business money. And like when people complain about pollution about the RMB and tumeric, like, well, if we are not, we as individuals like how situation, how the hell is going to change Do you

Mark Abouzeid 21:59
It gives you joy in this moment or it takes you away from the problems to be creative or do you find it difficult to be creative right now?

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 22:08
Well, um I think I had before the lockdown on the situation with the COVID-19 I I find myself really blocked because I surround myself a little bit more into the fashion world industry. And suddenly I started seeing I don’t library do anymore. And I even thought about it like I was like, if this is fashion, I don’t like it. I’m not a I cannot be involved into this and I was thinking about, okay, how can I reinvent myself like being creative but without meaning to this world. And it’s funny, this granting has made me go back to love what I do. taking back my sewing machine that I even forgot how to sew I teach myself how to sew again and touching fabrics like painting because designer will learn how to Like mannequins or even like prints, and I took back my pencils, like, I didn’t even know what the hell they were. And as well it helped me to make this grantee and easier because in my family we have been effective really, really close. And my father was with Coronavirus, and it was really hard. And I moved back with my friends for a couple of weeks. And the situation was like, we have two options. But we started thinking about this every single second and we go crazy because no one knows now is going to explain you what is going going on or we try to structure ourselves. So for me, my destruction was like, go back to love fashion. Do what I do that I don’t like to love what I do great

Mark Abouzeid 23:52
style, creativity, whatever culture.

Cayetana Soto de Garcillan 23:56
Yeah, but that’s when you do things. They are real. Thank you.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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