Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada: “I think that a woman has to be independent”
Mexico City /
Spanish fashion designer Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada takes her place in front of the camera in suite 107 of the Andaz hotel. The clock is past 2 in the afternoon and she seems eager to share the experience that her biographical book, Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada, My Story, has left her, distributed in Mexico by Madre Editorial.
Her schedule is full of activities, she previously presented her bag collection and at night she will star in the first international presentation of her book, and the fifth after having done four others in Spain.
A text that “is fun, it reads quickly, if you are used to reading; It has been exhausting and it has caused me some anger ”with the people involved, he says during the interview with MILENIO.
True to her tastes, the queen of fuchsia wears a coordinate that highlights her features, and contrasts with the reddish color of her hair. The variety of tones of the floral arrangements on the back and side of it give the ideal environment for the lover of color. She greets kindly, after a few minutes of having focused her gaze on the camera, and she comments that it is time to start the chat.
Why share so many details of your life right now?
It’s in the environment. 20 or 30 years ago people wanted discretion; And now the most powerful woman on the planet, which for me is Kim Kardashian, handles everything based on indiscretion, because she has told us her entire life. And people have entered the total rag, is the trend.
Who would have thought that the son of the King of England was going to recount the things he has recounted. Is awesome. Before, a fashion designer made suits, a show or two a year, and now everyone wants to know about his life. There are biographies of Coco Chanel, I think more than 200; The brand owners don’t like biographies, but there are even movies, series, like Halston’s that was great. A lot of people didn’t know who Halston was, and they loved him. There have been, there are many YSL, Valentino movies. In other words, now people want to buy your bag, but they also want to know your story. That’s why my story came out.
You take the reader through your childhood, your adolescence, your relationship with your parents, with your partner, your role as a mother, as a friend, as a professional. How difficult was it to select those details?
I have done the book with a publishing house (La esfera de los libros), which is possibly the best in Spain, which is associated with Madre Editorial, and it was written by a fashion journalist I met 30 years ago, he was in the ABC newspaper and now he is the head of culture at La Razón. The publisher chose it.
At first I thought the book was going to be more professional. In fact, the first thing I did was take him (the journalist) to my Foundation. And I told him: ‘Look, here you have 40 years of work at your disposal: press, articles, books, catalogues, everything we’ve done. And I think he didn’t come back. Since he is a fashion journalist, he was bored with that information and wanted to know more about my personal side, about my relationship with power, about how it got there.
One of the priority issues for you is family…
I explain why I am like that, so that they understand me a little, perhaps for this reason the book will be more entertaining in Mexico than in Spain, where it has been a best seller. In Mexico, the whole life that I tell of Spain, of Madrid, of my childhood can be more romantic, because it is very different from what happened in those years in this country.
Is it like a trip to the culture of Spain?
There are two common threads in my life, one is culture. My father had the best collection of contemporary art in Spain, so the art world puts me right there, and I suck at it like crazy; and then, in my mother’s family, which was one where no work was done, although that doesn’t mean that there weren’t many plans. My grandfather was a man who bought three or four books a day; we were surrounded by books on all sides, and there was no exhibition, play, opera that was not circulating around there. All my life has been related to the world of culture, it has been my great savior.
The other thread is work, which has made my life change, happier and much more independent and free. Whenever I have had a problem, I work; in fact I recommend people do them: if you have five problems, work a lot more.
In the book you say that work is a great therapy.
Yes, it is, especially for women. I believe that the most important thing for a woman is to work, because if you don’t work, your life loses its meaning. You can have children, and there are people who say: ‘It’s just that you can’t because you have to take care of the children’, and it has been shown that your children want a mother who takes care of herself. Not working is something very impoverishing, because it is what causes man’s dependency. And I think that a woman has to be independent.
You revealed yourself as you tell in your relationship with your ex-husband, the nameless, as you call him.
What strikes me in my book is that 80% of my friends are divorced; then I say: ‘How did I not see it coming?’ It’s something that surprises me because I’m not that stupid, that’s why a lot of people don’t believe that I didn’t see it coming. He thinks I’m a Hollywood actress. Because I will be a good actress, from her point of view, but in a week I lost 10 kilos and in a month I lost 18 kilos; for me it was a great shock. They say that a surprise is worse than bad news.
I’m telling you about the separation because it happened to me when I already wanted to have grandchildren, not go looking for a boyfriend, at that age? But I realize that there is no other way, and I tell it too. That gives me a lot of happiness, which maybe I didn’t have in 25 years, because I was more at work and I didn’t enjoy it as much. But hey, falling in love at this age is a fascinating thing, it’s very good. Although I never would have. Sometimes people take a lot of years. And he says: ‘Look, this gentleman gets very annoying, but it’s normal for older gentlemen to get very annoying, you have assumed it.’ But suddenly that you are going to dance, that you are going to flirt and that you start with the little messages here and there, all that was unthinkable, but it is very funny.
Your taste and passion for color, for life, are topics that you address…
I come from a family like this, my grandmother was the happiest woman I have ever met in my life and she has given me a lot. And my mother, who was a woman who had everything: she was beautiful, rich, from the best family in Barcelona, and she was always sad, that is, she had no health, and that’s a bitch. Then I realized that she had to protect me against unhappiness and there is no better protection than color; I say that now, and I sound like a crazy person saying it, but in a few years, doctors and universities will say so, I am absolutely convinced.
How do you feel after sharing your experiences?
It is very healing, I had never done a psychoanalysis, I always dreamed of doing it, deep down I feel like I have already told everything. What was very important to me was not to tell lies, I wanted everything to be true, there may be something wrong with it, but I have tried to make it as true as possible.
Elsewhere you portray the power that journalism has: your husband, who was a journalist.
Yes, because I have lived through it a lot, and journalists are fascinated with the book, beginning with the one who wrote it, with the portrait of power. I lived surrounded by power with seven bodyguards, and at the same time with a certain distance. I was doing my thing, I was the same as I am, and the thing is that the powerful don’t see you, they are watching the camera, they pass over you, I had a lot of freedom to notice how they really were.
What comes in fashion, how do you see them?
I have been twice in the last month in Paris, since I was born I have been with this business of my father, talking about the union of fashion and art. I arrived in Paris and everything was art. Akira Kurosawa was everywhere. A friend, Johanna de Vasconcelos, invited me to the runway she was doing for Christian Dior, the show was inside a work of art. Then comes art and fashion. The fashion was very commercial, but it was sensational. It is very clear that fashion and art have come together.
Your brand contemplates an infinite number of products, is there a preference?
I love almost all of them, they have made me excited from the armored doors that I have made, which was a very difficult subject, to all my perfumes, which I adore; my socks, my shoes, my notebooks that have gone to so many places and have been carried by so many girls, even here in Mexico; I have done everything with great enthusiasm. Sometimes I’ve done a job with a lot of effort and it hasn’t been successful, and other times I’ve done something stupid and it’s been very successful. I do not have work related to money, nor with effort nor with success; everyone goes at their own risk.
What do you long for?
I am quite happy because many dreams have been fulfilled, the only one that has not been fulfilled is having a grandson, which I would love; but all the other dreams I have fully fulfilled and I hope to continue having a good time until she dies.
What are you afraid of?
I’m pretty scared, but I get over it. I’m afraid of death, it’s the only thing I don’t understand about you, about the approach that the Mexican has with death. That way of celebrating it, they put little skulls; I see a skull and I don’t sleep, I think it’s nice of you and I wanted to study that attitude of yours. Not me, I only have a little corner of my closet with clothes for that moment; I see death with fear, with terror, with sadness.
What do you do in the moments that are only for you?
What I like the most is reading and being in the countryside with the animals, it gives me life. When the covid thing happened, I spent two months that were extraordinary; I love the countryside, it drives me crazy.
What tips can you give us to dress well?
I think that one thing that is in fashion is the tacky, the ordinary, if you are very rich you don’t have to show it. There was a series in Spain about Ronaldo’s wife, and I really like her, but the series was about showing the brands, that seems so ordinary to me, wearing the brands, the extremely expensive bags, that inelegant thing.
What do you like of Mexico?
Perhaps the work of Barragán, seems to me the most important man that has been in Mexico.
During her stay in Mexico, the designer also presented her perfume “I think it’s number 50 and it’s part of the Gotas de color collection.”
The presentation of the collection of bags that Cloe distributes in Mexico was another of the activities of the Spanish artist.
After the presentation of his book, he traveled to Cancun and later to Mérida to present a parade of his most recent designs.