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Antonio Banderas Fashion student at CSM 1 Granary interview
Antonio Banderas at CSMPhotography William Scarborough, courtesy of 1 Granary

Antonio Banderas: actor, CSM student, cape designer

The actor turned fashion student gives his first interview to 1 Granary – and he’s already got a Zorro-inspired signature

When famous people try doing things other than what they’re known for, they often come under scrutiny. Just look at Kanye West’s quest to be taken seriously as a fashion designer, or Miley Cyrus’s attempts to gain legitimacy as an artist. One celebrity unfazed by this is Antonio Banderas, the Spanish actor, producer and director who, it was revealed last week, has taken a place on a fashion design course at CSM.

He’s focusing on menswear, and met up with student run magazine 1 Granary for an exclusive interview to answer the questions on everyone’s lips. “So what do you wanna know guys? What the heck am I doing here, right?!...What am I doing here…? Knowledge. I’m here to gain knowledge, basically,” he explained.

From his own work in perfumery to his desire to branch out beyond the silver screen (“I’ve done 92 movies – I am not going to stop...but there were other things in my life that I was interested in.”) Banderas lets the magazine in on the first two weeks of the course, how it’s “more difficult to play with a sewing machine than to drive a Ferrari” and how he’s coping with having homework again. Read an excerpt below, and head over to 1 Granary for the full story.

1 Granary: Do you think your acting career goes hand in hand with what you intend to do with clothes?

Antonio Banderas: It does. Because in reality, you know, the world is a theatre and we all play characters. And what you wear is what you want to be.

1 Granary:  What would you like to focus on in your work?

Antonio Banderas: There is one garment that I love that was lost in menswear a long time ago, and I would like to experiment with it: the cape. Capes in the winter, in places like this… I think they have incredible possibilities. They’re very comfortable. And especially nowadays every place has heating, and it’s not like in the old days when inside was almost as cold as outside, so people had to be properly layered. Now, in winter time, you could just wrap yourself up in a cape, it’s so easy! CLACK! There are all these varieties of capes. For example, in the time of Charles the Third in Spain, capes were an instrument to kill – and to cover yourself. People used to do this (makes Zorro move) and nobody would know who you were. So they used to cut the capes and do these short capes, because it was forbidden by the law to wear long capes at night. You can experiment with colours, textures, you can do a number of things. And it is in a way so logical, coming from Zorro! (laughs)

“There is one garment that I love that was lost in menswear a long time ago, and I would like to experiment with it: the cape” – Antonio Banderas

1 Granary: Yeah, I’ve never heard anyone say they wanted to rework the cape for men!

Antonio Banderas: In Spain there are still places where there are clubs of people who love to wear capes. The shape has almost the same shape as the capote for bullfighting, in beautiful pink silk, with yellow or blue in the back. For me, it’s actually easier than a coat, you walk into a place and you just BOOM! throw it off. It depends on the materials that are used, but now there are unbelievable materials!

1 Granary: If you do it in nylon you could make the whole cape fold into a pocket…

Antonio Banderas: That’s one of the things I am learning with these guys too: fabrics. Yesterday we went to two stores in Soho… Wow! I loved it. These plastics, these new things you see… Right now I have to hold the horses and say: “My first design… I’m not going to go crazy. I’m going to do the same design that I did first time, but with a couple of new details.” I have to be clear that this is my path, and I’m going to do it step by step. It’s going to take me years to get the knowledge I am searching for with a certain level of security and credibility for myself and the people I am working with – and the public.

Interview by Julia van IJken and Sheryn Akiki