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Brais Albor pornstar
Courtesy of Brais Albor

Sex, drama, or nada: Brais Albor is unleashing sleazoids onto the runway

We catch up with the rising designer on skewering fashion’s obsession with the twink prince model, being an aggressive Gemini, and chest hair

Sleazoids, bouncers, and dandies; pornstars with pornstar moustaches, hairy arms, and hairy bellies: Brais Albor pumped his graduate showcase with just enough testosterone to blow open a waistband. “The collection was based on the macho Iberico, AKA the Spanish alpha male,” he says. “I was trying to build a hyper-masculine wardrobe in the most emasculine way.” Impregnated with memories of Javier Bardem (in Jamón Jamón) roaming around ham-drying sheds with his flies at half-mast, Albor’s clothing huffed with a burly kind of bravado. The whole thing was a deliberate send-up of machismo, with biker gloves tricked-out in heavy-set jewels, cowboy hats accented with burlesque feathers, and double-fronted trousers left unzipped at the crotch – Hustler White style.

That film opened my eyes to how a man could use clothing to appear sexy and masculine, even if it was a little toxic,” he explains. Beyond all the Magic Mike suspenders, there was something extremely perverted about seeing a muscle waistcoat styled with a matching tie and trousers cut from the same fabric; a fetishised vision of an office worker and his dour, woollen suits. But where fashion has long cast the twink prince as menswear’s premier protagonist, Albor wanted to use “real humans”. “I want to bring non-standard bodies into the spotlight. I want to emphasise them in tailored constructions, wrapping them in layers which bolster and bare their physique,” he says. The impulse, as the designer repeats, is “sex, love, drama, or nada” – words which could just as feasibly describe the tenets of Versace, where Albor is currently placed. 

Below, we catch up with Brais Albor on being an “aggressive” Gemini, his tank tops and chest hair, and gay Twitter memes.

Hi Brais! How and why did you first get into fashion? 

Brais Albor: It’s always been my impulse. I just follow the impulses I feel. The choice to dedicate myself to fashion was not a mistake, every day I receive new impulses that prompt me to go ahead and fight for my dreams. I think is important to know yourself and trust your decisions.

What are some of the characteristics you return to time after time? How would you describe the look? 

Brais Albor: I focus on menswear design nowadays but really I’m open to anyone who’d like to wear my designs. I don’t believe in labels or gender restrictions, I speak to an audience that’s willing to explore their person, sexuality, and sensibilities. It’s my “Love Revolution”. My inspiration comes from everywhere: from history, films, experiences, and memes (especially memes) with a lot of irony baked in. I try to build garments with interesting patterns and volumes that emphasise body shape. It’s about creating layers on layers of armour with an elegant extravaganza minimalist touch.

Can you guide us through some of the inspirations behind the latest collection? What are some of the themes you wanted to put forth?

Brais Albor: My debut collection was called The Descent of Human and Natural Selection in Relation to Love and was based on the stereotype of the Macho Iberico, 20th-century dandies, and animal instincts. I tried to create a uniform for a powerful and revolutionary person capable and determined to be a part of change – and therefore I wanted to use real humans with non-conventional bodies that break the traditional stereotype of men in fashion. It’s an essentially masculine collection created in the most un-masculine way to create a new identity. The moodboard was full of different bodies, attitudes, animals, and pigeons. I used deadstock fabrics and the shoes were made in collaboration with a small Italian business that makes footwear for trans women. All of these elements give my characters – the models  – the tools to fight for a love revolution. 

Why did you decide to buck the skinny guy trope?

Brais Albor: I want to shift non-standard-sized bodies into the spotlight. I want to emphasise them in tailored constructions, wrapping them in layers which bolster and bare their physique. I want my designs to go further than the norm and be actively inclusive. I want to make the wearer feel powerful and strong. It is almost like the gentleman wearing one of my suits is as strong as a chainsaw but sweet as poetry on the inside. It wasn’t my intention to “buck” skinniness, but in a mini-collection of six outfits, I preferred to show on big guys (including me). 

What do you think people are likely to misunderstand about your work? 

Brais Albor: I don’t think people understand this brand's meaning, which is my fault. I need to think clearly about how to showcase my work to people and which elements define it without being egocentric. I want to create a beautiful community that loves fashion and helps each other. My garments should make them feel loved and give them a sense of belonging where everyone loves each other and accepts each other.

Which piece(s) are really totemic of the collection as a whole? 

Brais Albor: The coats and pants are key. I could dress a model in just a coat, pants, and nothing else. 

Did you have a freakum outfit when you were growing up? 

Brais Albor: I remember watching Jamón Jamón when I was a 12-year-old boy. The film opened my eyes to sexuality and masculinity, albeit in a toxic way. I was so impressed when Raul (Javier Bardem) was hired to seduce Silvia (Penelope Cruz) because I realised that a man could use clothing to be sexy and masculine. With this in mind, my freakum outfit would be a tight tank top with a tight opened shirt, showing my body shape and chest hair, which could be perceived as macho-like.

Would you design Rishi Sunak's next TV look for £10,000?

Brais Albor: What with Brexit, I’m not sure if 10k would even be enough to bring a custom outfit from Europe (high customs tax) to the UK. He’s a big supporter of Brexit so I wouldn’t accept the job anyway. 

What’s your weirdest internet obsession? 

Brais Albor: Instagram Reels of sewing hacks. 

The most recent note on your Notes app? 

Brais Albor: All your questions and my attempt at replying.

The most embarrassing screenshot on your camera roll? 

Brais Albor: This meme I screenshot a couple of days ago: 

Your weirdest comfort food? 

Brais Albor: Scallops cooked the Galician way. 

The worst advice you’ve ever been given? 

Brais Albor: “Do not do it”. 

Who’s your nemesis? 

Brais Albor: I don’t have one! I try to love everyone or not care about those with bad vibes.

What’s your star sign and are you typical of that sign?

Brais Albor: I’m a really authentic Gemini!

Pettiest thing you’ve ever done? 

Brais Albor: I’m such a good boy but when I was younger I got in a fight with my neighbour because she had pissed off my sister and my friend. Even though she was older and bigger than me, I ended up grabbing her hair and running with all of it until she was crying and I was left with a clump of hair in my hand. In my defence, I did it to protect myself and my sister. That lock of hair decorated my patio for a couple of weeks as a threat. I was very afraid of revenge on her part, but it never happened and today we have a very good relationship.

 What Dazed headline would you be? (Let predictive text complete the phrase).

Brais Albor: The Same Artist Confronting Me and I (no idea if that makes sense but it was the predictive text I swear).

What would your ghost outfit be? 

Brais Albor: A white mini dress (over the waistband) draped Halston-style, with two little holes for the eyes. White sneakers and socks and a slip with the word “BOO” on its bulge.

 What do you reckon you’re most likely to get cancelled for? 

Brais Albor: Today the world is very susceptible to everything, so surely due to some misunderstanding. I tend to speak in a very aggressive way in English and Italian (the non-birth languages that I used 24/7 nowadays). So that could be my big downfall…

The title of your biography? 

Brais Albor: SEX, Love, Drama, or Nada. The Continuous Drama of Brais Albor.