We have been following the Catalan publishing company Superflua for a long time, made up of Martin Torres and Pau Masaló, two people who flirted with fashion as a side effect of their professions: while one had a more conventional life dedicating himself to management jobs, the other touched the world of theater, illusion, drama and spotlights.
According to Rae, the definition of Superflux is “That it does not fulfill or perform a function”, however, if we transfer it to another area, we find that Superflua is an editorial dedicated to fashion narratives, a curious, ironic and provocative name. , three adjectives that we love to define it.
The small team that makes up the publishing house is in charge of a couple of creatives, who although they carry out their work outside of fashion, were always linked to it “Pau and I (Martín) come from different worlds.
He has always worked in the audiovisual sector and in the theater. Instead, I have had a more conventional life; Although I studied Art History, I have always dedicated myself to management jobs, but maintaining the link with the publishing sector as a freelance in one way or another, ”adds Martín. The publisher was born in 2018 with its first book: Yves Saint Laurent, bad boy, written by Marie-Dominique Lelièvre. The book was vetoed by Pierre Bergé himself, since it shamelessly exposed the acclaimed and disturbed Yves Saint Laurent, a good first step for the publisher.
However, the project began to take shape at a particular moment in Martín’s life: “When I passed the crisis of the forties (to put it somehow), I decided to give myself a chance and dedicate myself to something that I really liked. It had been a long time since I saw that in Spain nobody published a series of fashion books that interested me, and I thought I had an opportunity there ”.
What are you excited about doing Superflua?
The best thing about having your own project is something that we all long for: not having to
accountable to anyone, do what you feel like, in a good way, of course; I mean, build something as you think it should be and not always guided by the most rational aspects, but also by questions of pure taste. For example, our goal is not to become rich with the publisher (something difficult today), but to have a catalog with the best authors in their field; And if our objective is not the most commercial in the world, we will be willing to make the sacrifice.
“The best thing about having your own project is something that we all long for: not having to answer to anyone, doing what you want, in a good way, of course”
The latest installment of Superflua
At the beginning of this year, when the pandemic still seemed like a simple flu that was not going to reach Spain or the world, Superflua published its latest book written by Dana Thomas, Fashionopolis, the name by which the author endows the production and consumption system fashionable in the era of globalization. This is the first of all his books that is focused on manufacturing rather than fashion history.
At the beginning we find an industry devastated by the excessive ambition of the numbers, as we turn the pages, the panorama becomes prosperous and optimistic, with market strategies accompanied by social and environmental responsibility, a new way – or perhaps unknown and little suitable for large conglomerates – to make fashion.
Do you think Dana has made more people aware through this publication?
From the beginning, his intention is to expose the situation of fashion production today so that we become aware and change our consumption habits; And then it shows us what industry and consumers can do to be sustainable. In that sense it is a completely militant book.
Let’s talk about sustainability
Although from Arena Martinez we are familiar with the concepts of zero waste, circular economy, post-consumer waste, we understand that the general public is not yet steeped in this type of information. Propose a more responsible consumption, with organic raw materials, that favor the local market and make garments that are not for single use, is one of the initiatives that many brands within the sector, including us, are taking to make the field fashion again a creative place, where the hallmark is empathy with our planet.
Do you think it is possible to continue shopping in the way we are used to or do you consider a change in consumption habits to be totally necessary?
In general, and not only in terms of clothing consumption, we are going to have to give up and rationalize the unbridled way of consuming. The first thing is to end using and throwing away. If we do not make the decision, if we are not responsible, it is going to be the planet itself that in the end is going to impose its rules, and we certainly have to lose.
Any advice you can give us to consider when buying our nextgarments?
Buy and own less clothes and of better quality. Take into account the proximity production, the type of materials, look for transparent marks regarding the ecological footprint of the garment.
How do you think the fashion world will continue after COVID? Saint Laurent announced that it is lowered from the official calendar, to respond to the pace of creation, and that this is who marks the steps to follow, do you think that this measure will be adopted by other brands?
No one knows very well what will happen; I think that all the brands are going to start testing options to see what works best and will wait for a moment of greater stability to impose a new model. But there are a lot of brands, and not all of them can grab attention like YSL does.
What they are announcing now is what Azzedine Alaïa started doing in the 1990s, but theirs was a small company and very artisanal work. If you want to bill a billion you are going to have to saturate people in some way… Fashion weeks make sense, what does not make sense is that they be done almost every two months because they want to constantly have news.
“Buy and own fewer and better quality clothes. The first thing is to end using and throwing away.”
It is said that today we can find everything on the internet, however you are more of the analog, the touch and the smell of opening a book, after all, what remains is paper. They never cease to amaze us with each delivery, and we thank them infinitely. We are always waiting for what they publish on Instagram, waiting to find the news that there is a new publication.
Surely the situation of this pandemic has slowed down projects but we want to know if they are working on a new book and if they can give us any details.
Indeed, as in many other sectors, there has been a radical break. Anyone who works in the cultural industry already knows how precarious the sector is, so after this … In general, there will surely be changes in consumption habits, and the audiovisual world of consumption from home will prevail among people very young.
In our case, we have Diana Vreeland’s memoirs ready for printing; in fact we were going to get it out before Fashionopolis, but in the end we prioritized Dana Thomas’s book because it deals with a very current topic.
And we also bought the rights to the latest book by Marie-Dominique Lelièvre, a journalistic investigation into Chanel perfume No. 5. It is a delicious book and disturbing at the same time, and in it Lelièvre makes a couple of contributions to the historiography of fragrance.
“We have Diana Vreeland’s memoirs ready for printing; in fact we were going to get it out before Fashionopolis ”
Superflua offers us …
We have talked about Saint Laurent, bad boy, also about Fashionopolis, the most militant book they have published, however, they have 5 more books. The publisher’s second installment, The Perfect Perfume, was in September 2018 and talks about the production of two perfumes, one by Sarah Jessica Parker and one by Hermes, taking into account American and French culture in the production of each. . The third –and one of our favorites– is that of the “battle” fought between Alexander McQueen and John Galliano: Gods and Kings, a book that more than a chronicle, seems like a novel, is the typical book that you cannot stop reading even if you wanted to.
The last two respond to major fashion milestones: Alaïa on the one hand and Bill Cunningham on the other, photographer considered the father of street art who with his blue jacket on a bicycle toured New York and the major fashion capitals in search of trends .
Supporting small businesses not only helps them survive against big competitors, but also makes local projects prosper. Superflua offers us quality content at reasonable prices. Thank you Superflua for making our library a place we always want to return to.