José Jiménez - a Spanish designer -tells us how you can achieve exceptional things through perseverance and being faithful to your values. The Perfect Son - his brand - is proof of that, and a reminder that our past can act as a catalyst in whcih we can achieve our future goals.
TCL: We take into account that you come from a family of creatives - a shoemaker father and a dressmaker for a mother. Today, as you reflect on your achievements; what do you think you have learned from each of them after seeing them in their working environments?
TPS: My parents became creative out of necessity
We are four brothers and they had to raise us. It wasn’t an easy task. My father was a shoemaker - a profession to which he dedicated all his effort and love. He worked in the Kurapies factory (one of the most prestigious factories); renowned for their quality and design. Believe it or not, it was an obligatory visit for Spanish royals.
My father had a special energy. He worked weekends as a doorman in a disco and also took care of my uncles' field; where he planted all kinds of delicious fruits and vegetables.
My mother - the dressmaker - spent the little time she had left after finishing up household chores making dresses. She is a very determined person and it was that determination that made it seem like she did everything effortlessly.
I learned hard work from both of them - loving everything you do - turning things around when they come crooked. It was because of them that I learned the responsibility of delivering a perfect job early in life.
TCL: On your website, you wrote -
“If you have never grown a tomato, you will never understand the feel and taste of a freshly picked tomato".
Is this a philosophy that you learned as a child and how does this reflect in your work?
TPS: This is something that I will never forget and I am glad that you see it as important. Very few people would see something so simple as special; but it is the core of the essence of The Perfect Son-“a hearty luxury, lover of simple things”.
As I told you before, my father took care of my uncles’ field and most Sundays; my brothers and I accompanied him. Many memories and life lessons came out of this. We got to spend all day with my father and we learned to plant fruits and vegetables. That became a means of having fun and most importantly - to enjoy eating fruits and vegetables that we had grown ourselves.
It helped me value the effort that something as simple as planting a tomato required. When you take the first bite, you not only enjoyed the taste; you also sensed the smell of the sun and wet earth that reminded you of all the time and love that tomato had needed to grow.
When someone talks to me about sustainability or ecology I know exactly what it means.
I am very disheartened when someone asks what a tomato, pepper or lettuce plant is like.
TCL: Before starting with questions about your product. We would like to know why you named your brand “The Perfect Son”.
TPS: Thirty years ago my father passed away. That same day my mother explained the meaning of the “medal” and I dared to ask her something that we had never spoken about - how I felt after my father's death.
I felt lost, invisible and alone. My father was everything to me. He was the one who bathed me, the one who first left the house - while we as a family - waited for his return. He was the one who enjoyed eating roasted almonds with salt and all those good things. I also felt that he was the one with whom I quarrelled the most and he was the one who hit me many a time (which I sometimes didn’t deserve). I was neither the oldest nor the smallest nor the daughter of the house. I was the middle one and hence I often felt that nobody paid attention to me.
I always felt that I was the strange one, the imperfect one. To top that off, I was the only one born in a hospital and very often when my family got mad at me - they told me that they had switched me at birth.
I felt I was not the way that they expected me to be. It was when my mother explained that to my father - I was The Perfect Son. They knew all that was just a shield to hide my great sensitivity and fears. Over time, they realised that they could not force me to do what they wanted. They had to support what and who I wanted to be.
"Perfection is always in the unexpected".
TCL: The Perfect Son specialises in men’s underwear. What was the creative process to reach this result?
TPS: After hearing the story from my mother that I narrated and growing tired of working for big fashion corporations (where one barely has the time to go into details); I thought to myself -
"I have to create something that reflects what I really feel, something real”.
One day (while relaxing at my beach house), I read Luis Bassat's ‘Book of Brands’ which deals with how a product or a name can become a recognisable and resonant brand.
I devoured it in a few hours while writing down in a notebook everything that would make me happy about a project - fashion, quality, feelings, emotions, dad, friends, enjoyment, photography, aromas, unique and special characteristics and creations.
I always knew and was most certain about one thing - that was the name of my brand. It would be called The Perfect Son and it would be my most intimate creation - men's underwear.
For 6 months, I was sticking hundreds of post-it notes on the wall to shape the project. This is how I went about my creative process.
TCL: What is The Perfect Son and who is the brand’s intended audience?
TPS: The Perfect Son is a brand of men's underwear - where fashion, feelings and emotions come together. Its greatest characteristic is the love of detail and passion, made by and for people with loyalty and values.
"AN EARTHY LUXURY, APPRECIATING SIMPLICITY"