The Biscay Project

Hi everyone.

Not very sure if I'll reach to fill every condition to be considered for the prizes but anyway I feel is a good starting point, so here we go.

Name and Location. Jorge Fernandez Martinez. Basque Country, Spain.

Brand Name. BISCAY

Slogan/Mission Statement. South of North/North of South

Link to video. To be added.

Logo. TBA 

Collection CADs. TBA

Branded car. TBA

Process work. TBA

First of all, I stumbled upon this class while attending another one from Jon Contino, where I made a huge effort in telling the story around this brand in english even when it wasn't mandatory for the project, so please let me take advantage of that work because I honestly feel that it was critical in pushing me forward and enroll in this class.

Oh, and please pardon my english...

This one's about clothing, but about lifestyle too.

When I decided to leave my day work as a graphic designer and start my own career, I realised that I had to  focus in a project that moved me and I could feel deeply identified with as the only way to make some sense of my decision. So my first research was a personal insight.

Living in the Basque country, you'd better love rain and bad weather, and, coming from a family with a background in textiles and fashion, the path was somehow clear. I just had to add my passion for the sea as an amateur sailor and so the Biscay Project was born.

So, this being said, let me tell you about Biscay.

Named after "Gulf of Biscay", the english name to "Golfo de Bizkaia", is the maritime area between north of Spain, west of France and the British Islands. Famous for its raging seas and bad weather but also for bathing green coasts of steep cliffs, intermingled with beautiful beaches, and inhabited by tough and proud people with a very particular "savoir vivre" that puts them somewhere between the working ethics from northern Europe and the "Spanish Fiesta", getting, in my opinion, the best from both of them.

Bizkaia is also the place I live in, and, having my roots in nearby Asturias and links to Cantabria and Galicia, and being a lover of southern France and British culture, it made all sense trying to create something that expressed the uniqueness of this corner of the world united by this relatively small sea placed north of Spain but also south of northern europe. If mediterranean culture is known all around the world ¿why not cantabrian?

Regarding this, I came up to "South of North/ North of South" as a slogan because of the geographical issue, but also because I feel it fits my vision of the creative process an even of life itself if you ask me. As a graphic designer I've strived for years to find something I could call "a style" until I eventually decided to turn my weakness in strenght and embrace "non style". As a person I've lived in a strongly politicized country that have suffered violence for 39 of the 41 years of my life and I've always felt that dialogue and coming up to terms, even if it hurts, was the only way out. So, far from being mild or uncommited I feel that my mission statement reflects deep and strong feelings about  looking forward, working togheter, respecting each other and the idea that preserving your identity wouldn't prevent you from enjoying that of your neighbours.

Too philosophical?? Well, maybe, but as Jeff said in his video I really wanted to start something consistent throughout the years and I feel that the strenght of a project comes directly from strong ideas, even if they are about embracing your weaknesses. Maybe I'm gettin' into that Zen thing, heh... but well, I also think that this is an important point in this project.

Why clothing? Well, it may seem too lightminded to attach such strong ideas to something like fashion and clothing, but this is also about doing what you love and there is no better way of telling story that through these things you love and understand (even if you're learning to understanding them well!!). And, again, this mixture of deepness and irrelevance fits so well with the mission statement because, as anyone in the fashion industry may know, clothing and the way you want to look may be as relevant as you decide it to be.

About clothing itself, my aim is to recover the old savoire faire that made famous Bilbao clothing some hundred years ago and give it a modern twist. As a flourishing industrial city it became a reference of a style that also made its way in most of the main cities of the area like Santander, Oviedo, Gijon, San Sebastian and even La Coruña. I'm thinking about something urban but cool, classy and serious but witty at the same time, and most important, something atacched to the rain and the weather. People strives for the sun but weather is predicteble but not manageable. I feel there's something of a domestic zen feeling in embracing rain and bad weather and even in enjoying it. Feeling good in a bad environment as a way of life, getting the best from the worst, looking at the other side of the coin, are other ideas behind Biscay.

I have to add that clothing is the main point of the project, but not the only one.  I'd like to talk about this land through clothing but also through food, music, images or goods of any type. I'd like to be as opened as I could in this sense, but always preserving clothing as the cornerstone.

Well, enough talking, let's get into it.

As Jeff said in his video one thing is having an idea but what you need is a story to tell. I've had the willing  of making something like this but the spark came when I discoverd the work of Jon Contino and  Alexander Stutterheim and thought about making some kind of "cantabric blend" of both visions. The love for rain and melancholy of the latter applied to cutting edge desing garments and the XIXth century  lettering work and sailor/docker feeling of the former fitted easily with the  vision I had from this land of sea, rain, iron and mountains. This is a summarized version of the  moodboard I prepared for Jon Contino's class.

Traditional business, iron and ship industry, docks, the sea, rain and clouds and weather proof clothing are at the bottom of the project. I got late to Jon's class and that prevented me from completing it properly but I also thought that could be a great idea to wait for this one in order to  refine the logo and get into further issues regarding the business side of the project. These are the ideas I'm working on by now.

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