Fashion Citizen Spotlight : Guillermo Tragant, Designer, Artist & Creative Director
The world of creatives is a vast one and it's a motley crew of people. There are no two alike, even within the same field. We take a dive into this cool world and visit with Guillermo Tragant, Creative Director at Richards/Lerma, a multi-faceted branding agency based in Texas. Guillermo is also a designer, menswear master and much more. Let's take a look into the world of creativity through his eyes
Fashion Citizen : Brand Developer. Innovative Visionary. Sartorial Giant. How did Guillermo Tragant get started in the creative industry?
Guillermo T. : I started working in advertising in Argentina about 25 years ago, right after I left high school. After some years in a couple of agencies there I sent my portfolio to Fabrica, the communication research center founded by legendary photographer Oliviero Toscani and Luciano Benetton in Italy, and luckily I got hired.
I then moved to Europe and spend a couple of years there working with Oliviero, both at Fabrica as graphic artist and then as Editor of Colors Magazine. I moved to the USA and worked in the start up for an agency called The Community, then decided to try my luck as music video director and landed projects for Shakira, MTV, Vh1, Rolling Stone Magazine and others. After a couple of years doing so got a proposal to move to Costa Rica to work for Mcann Erickson as Regional Creative Director for the Coca-Cola portfolio.
After that I moved to Chicago with Leo Burnett and in 2007 went back to Argentina and open my own creative shop called Furia and started a fashion magazine called Angel. We worked on campaigns and design for Nike, Levi’s, Swatch, Diageo, Google, Dr. Pepper, Chrysler, Fiat, Adidas, Converse, among others; Three years ago started a partnership with Richards Lerma, a multicultural agency based in Dallas from The Richards Group, the biggest independent agency in the country, and moved to Texas.
In between I designed shoes, installations, fashion shows and art exhibitions.
FC: Focusing on the Hispanic market is a part of what your agency does, how important is it that brands address the specific markets that exist in our country?
GT : I like to say that we are a “Multicultural Agency”. So much changes everyday. I guess that is the beauty of this industry and most of all of a country like the USA is that there are so many cultures living together and respecting each other. To me as rule of thumb, if an idea is strong and fun it will translate into different markets. I think that beauty is justice, and people want to be entertained no matter what race or background they have.
Good strong ideas are universal.
FC: What changes have you seen in how brands approach different ethnic groups over the years?
GT: A decade ago there were a lot of very specific agencies directed towards different types of ethnic groups, then everything got blurred and now that is changing to a more homogeneous perspective. There are still differences, but we address them in more holistic and efficient way. Now we are all hyper connected and overloaded with data. We are one big tribe.
FC: To switch gears a bit to your personal style, what would you say dictates how you dress on a daily basis?
GT: I could say I have an elegant but fun style. I love clothes. People underestimate the power of communication that clothes have. I like to mix high and lows, designers and vintage, classic fabrics and bold colors. I go for quality and timeless pieces, and I get new pieces all the time.
I am a creative person but I am also a businessman I like to have a balance between the fun and the formal. I normally think of what events I will have through out the day and dress accordingly. I would rather be overdressed. I will always pick a jacket and a pair of shoes and then build from that, and I use accessories like ties and pocket squares to dress up or down, and love hats.
FC: Let's say we got to follow you around for a day, what would we see?
GT : I wake up around 7:15 and stay in bed for another 15 minutes checking emails and answering messages from my office in Argentina, because they are 3 hours ahead. I shower and get dress, this takes me less than 5 minutes. And then a have a breakfast, if I am in town I take my kids to school and by 8:30 I am already at the office.
The day is a sequence of e-mails, meetings, brainstormings, photo shoots and skype calls. I stop for lunch, typically with a friend, a client or my wife, sometimes with people from the office but always out. I don’t like to have lunch at my desk; Dallas has a lot of amazing restaurants so I will go and have something nice and simple, Italian or Mexican, sometimes I even go sit at a restaurant alone and use that time to organize the rest of the day and think and draw in my sketchbook.
The afternoon is similar to the morning. Boom. Boom. Boom. Magic. Around 5:30, I Ieave the office. I train at the gym 2-3 times a week with a personal trainer and I alternate between boxing classes, cardio and weights. It helps me clear my head. Then I go back home, answers more emails from work, help the kids with home work, and sometimes I cook, I love to eat and love to cook.
We put the kids to bed and then we head to bed to either read a little or watch a good series. After she falls asleep I will wake up and design or draw for a couple of hours and the go back to bed and watch more TV then fall asleep around 1 am.
Stop. Reset. Repeat.
FC: You seem to be very fearless in both style and business, what advice could you leave with the creatives that read this feature?
GT : Follow your heart, take chances and try to spend some time thinking about your work...how to make it better, get to know your creative process and your strengths and weakness; being a creative force it is not an easy task but it is the best job in the world.
Always, always…have fun, it will show in the final product.
Check out more coolness from Guillermo via his Instagram at @guilletragant.