De­signer As­saad Awad, whose fetish-in­spired hand­crafted cre­ations were first show­cased by Lady Gaga and Madonna, de­scribes his per­fect day in the Span­ish cap­i­tal

Hong Kong Tatler - - The Last Word -

I love the light of Madrid, and the way Span­ish peo­ple know how to en­joy life. Madrid is a very com­fort­able city but it is also very au­then­tic. You can smell the past and the his­tory in the air but at the same time it’s a mod­ern Euro­pean cap­i­tal. I pre­fer a quiet life; I don’t like be­ing in a rush. Fash­ion ci­ties like Paris, Lon­don and New York are great for trade but not for cre­ativ­ity. The pace of Madrid suits me very well and my day-to-day life is sim­ple.

I wake up early, I have a good break­fast on my bal­cony and I go to my ate­lier. I travel by bi­cy­cle to work as I have a strong com­mit­ment to sus­tain­abil­ity. I re­ally be­lieve we have to take care of the planet, which is hard be­cause of how fast every­thing is mov­ing. I think the big­gest prob­lem in fash­ion right now is the ac­cel­er­a­tion; de­sign­ers cre­ate two or three col­lec­tions per year and trends are chang­ing all the time. I be­lieve in slow fash­ion, in qual­ity items that are time­less and that you can use for many years.

For lunch I go to the many de­li­cious food mar­kets in the city, like the Mer­cado de San Miguel or Mer­cado de San Fer­nando. There are lots of small res­tau­rants in­side where you can eat healthy food made with premium-qual­ity prod­ucts that come straight from the mar­ket.

In the af­ter­noon, I of­ten take a walk to find in­spi­ra­tion. You can still find some small shops in Madrid that have been around for more than 100 years. They con­tinue to sell the same sim­ple yet high-qual­ity clothes, jew­ellery, books and prints that they did when they opened. There is a street mar­ket called El Ras­tro where I love to spend the af­ter­noon brows­ing th­ese truly unique cre­ations.

Art is so im­por­tant to me—it’s a huge part of my work—and in Madrid we have one of the great­est mu­se­ums in the world, the Prado. Other mu­se­ums and gal­leries, such as the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen, are places you can see lots of paint­ings by Pi­casso, Dalí, and Miró. I of­ten go to a mu­seum or gallery af­ter work as I love th­ese artists and they are a big in­spi­ra­tion for me.

If I don’t go to a gallery, I might be at the opera. I re­cently dis­cov­ered the art form de­sign­ing clothes for an opera based on the text of the poet Fed­erico Gar­cía Lorca, called El Público, at the Teatro Real. Both Lorca and opera were won­der­ful dis­cov­er­ies and bril­liant in­spi­ra­tion for me.

My per­fect day ends re­laxed in bed sur­rounded by to­tal si­lence. I love the feel of good cot­ton on my skin—or good leather.

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