People There is plenty of room to explore and even question the relationship between dressing well and other mindful practices. Living at this juxtaposition is Carlos Blanco, the protagonist of our latest campaign on menswear classics. Any connection between yoga and smart clothing that goes beyond coincidence might seem far-fetched. However, once our conversation sets off, it all makes sense.
Born into a family dedicated to the textile industry, Carlos developed a sensibility to well-made clothing at a surprisingly young age. This eye for a certain quality and cut is something he has decidedly cultivated over the years, yet it is yoga teaching what he chooses to do for a living, inviting people to make room for a moment with themselves. His words suggest there is no big difference: undoubtedly, garments have the power to create an impression. If done with honesty, taking a moment to reflect on the self and the image one wants to convey can also a humbling, mindful practice.
‘My grandparents used to have a little shirtmaker’s shop; it was this magical place where I grew up. My father also opened his own shop and worked in the textile trade industry. I followed my own path, but I would always return and learn and work at his shop. He was the one who taught me about dressmaking, fabrics, the terminology. But what he taught me the most was textile quality. This always stayed with me.’
‘I used to work with my dad, and I remember fondly that, after work, we would always go for a walk. He would say, “It’s very important to do this every day. You need to have time for yourself.” This sounds very bucolic, very beautiful, but he was right. He said there might be a time when you can no longer do it, so you need to make sure to enjoy as much as you can while you can. He was a hard worker, but he knew how to enjoy. It’s a very good lesson that I try to pass on. When people say, “I don’t have time,” I say, we all have the same time. We need to prioritise; we need to make time for ourselves.’
‘There’s quality and design, but then there’s yourself, too. It’s nice to know what brands are doing, but you should know yourself. There is no culture of dressing, there’s a culture of consuming, and they’re different. I enjoy the culture of dressing: I was always very free in that way. I was bullied for it in high school, but I didn’t care because my dad supported me. He taught me to stay true to myself.’
‘A lot of times, when we’re going through something, we just hope for it to pass – as quickly as possible, even. Yoga forces you to see that low moments are also part of life. I like being able to offer people this opportunity to learn to cope with things. I consider yoga to be a science of service. To me, it’s not about intervening, it’s about giving tools. That’s the fundamental work. We all know the physical work of yoga, but there’s way more.’
‘A walk by the beach, a little moment outdoors. It doesn’t matter if the weather is bad. Put on your clothes, go outside. Feel the air, clear your thoughts. It all changes. We are from the Earth, we belong here, there is a subtle communication that happens and makes a difference when we do this. When we’re nervous, the most common advice we hear is “breathe.” That’s yoga too. Everything that’s going on around us creates an emotion within us. We need time to process in order to be present.’