Being named the best young designer on a catwalk is a boost of energy and recognition of hard work, especially in the difficult times we are going through as a result of the pandemic. Gabriel Nogueiras, founder and creative director of RUBEARTH, has just won the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talent award on the Allianz EGO platform, dedicated to the emerging promises of fashion within the framework of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid. “I expected any of my colleagues to win, they are all true artists, and I am happy to have shared this experience with these excellent people,” says the Venezuelan designer, who worked for Carolina Herrera or Bimba y Lola, among others, before undertaking his own project in which he captures his creative universe.



This is the second time he takes part in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid, after debuting last September with his collection “Landsketch”, an experimental proposal that allowed him to consolidate his brand identity. It has been “FAT MAN”, his second collection unveiled at the platform for young creators, the one which has been awarded in an atypical edition of MBFWMadrid, with very limited capacity and strict sanitary measures. An exceptional situation that has not prevented him from enjoying the experience. In fact, the confinement and the pandemic were the origins of the idea that he would end up materializing in his textile proposal. “I looked out the window and it was devastating. The harshness of reality seemed like a real war movie”, he explains.



“FAT MAN” is a collection more connected to reality, an organic evolution of RUBEARTH’s DNA that is evidenced in technical perfection, the details of the garments and the concept embodied both in the pieces and in the staging, in which audiovisual resources are linked to the traditional catwalk. It is worth highlighting his firm commitment to sustainability and social and environmental responsibility, two fundamental axes in his brand philosophy, and his bid to collaborating with other creators to join forces and achieve better results. “For now, we are preparing one capsule collection at the end of winter and two amazing collaborations with Lisi Fracchia (jewels) Aram Rios (sculpture), and Sanyako (shoes)”, he comments about his next projects.
We speak with Gabriel to ask him when and why he decided to found his own brand, RUBEARTH, how he is going to take advantage of the award and what are the pillars on which his project is based.


Gabriel, I would like to start at the end. Specifically, with the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talent award that you have just received, which recognizes your collection as the best among those presented on the Allianz EGO platform at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid, dedicated to young designers. How do you feel, did you expect it?

At first, I wasn’t expecting any recognition. But when you hear your brand name as the winner one, every positive emotion, memory and feeling floods your body. It was a recognition of my style proposal, creative guidelines that I call mine. In short, I feel proud and tremendously happy. I expected any of my colleagues to win, they are all true artists, and I am happy to have shared this experience with these excellent people.

“FAT MAN” Autumn/Winter 21-22 is your winning proposal. A collection inspired by the atomic bombs detonated in Japan in World War II. What led you to dedicate your new work to this tragic historical event?

It was thanks to the pandemic situation when they locked down us at home. I looked out the window and it was devastating. The harshness of reality seemed like a real war movie, and all these links with the story of the atomic bomb, a subject that I treat with great respect since it’s still to this day an atrocious catastrophe. That’s why within the same collection there are allegories to peace, which is what I truly and deeply defend in this world.



Military aesthetics, patterns reminiscent of camouflage clothing and multi-functional padded vests become a protective second skin. How have you captured your references and inspirations in the garments?

I’m constantly looking for visual references in the images of Joe O’Donnell, especially in the Nagasaki brother’s photo. It really shocked me to my core to see how cruel the war can be. That’s why a lot of the patterns seek the protection or the hug and support that we need in hard times. I also work on military aesthetics giving a new, much more street look, and breaking camouflage print commercial stereotypes. Also, the series “We are who we are” helped me to link my ideas to a love story amid war.


I guess that creating a collection of more than twenty looks amid a global pandemic is no easy task. Difficulties in accessing fabrics, delays in deliveries and maximum uncertainty, as well as problems arising from loneliness and distress which inevitably affect creativity. How has the development process of “FAT MAN” been?

As you suppose it was not easy at all. Making two complete collections in less than a year was a day-to-day struggle. Calling our suppliers every day, we suffered critical delays, and until last week sewing with Montse, my battle partner in this. I am very proud of my team, and of all the friends and family who supported me in this adventure. Without this constant help, this wouldn’t have been possible. In my case, loneliness awakened my muse of 100% creativity power. Every day I was studying how to make this new technique, cut or colour. I do not like to waste my time. For that, I repeated like a mantra, “imagine it, make it real”.



Before creating your own brand, RUBEARTH, you worked for brands such as Carolina Herrera, Zara and Bimba y Lola. Close contact with the retail sector which flows into your personal project, where you unleash your imagination. What did these experiences bring you and how do you take advantage of them in your brand?

They made me grow as a professional, and acquire much-needed tools and attitudes in the textile world. Also, it’s fundamental to believe in yourself and your creative inner self. The companies I have worked for are businesses that started from scratch. Why can’t I do it too? I don’t put limits on myself.


Were you always clear that you would end up undertaking your own project? How and in what way did you decide to officially unveil it?

Yes, I always dreamed of having something of my own in which to invest my dreams and hours of work. But to do it well, you have to learn and believe a lot in yourself and your creativity. I decided to jump along when I felt it was time to do it. It was a vertiginous situation, but in less than a year achieving this recognition makes me continue fearlessly.



This is the second time you present your work at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid. In the previous edition, you debuted with your collection “Landsketch”, in which your DNA and brand philosophy was sensed. However, this proposal is more functional, an evolution of the same concept. What are the main similarities and differences between both?

I am proud to say that I have developed a personality when it comes to designing. My goal is to stand up from the crowd in a multi-brand store, as a proper noun, RUBEARTH. My first proposal was experimental and seeking identity. In “FAT MAN”, I started with much more security, I decided to completely explode and “RUBERIZE” each garment, without losing the prêt-à-porter part in this. Many designers have black codes as identity, to RUBEARTH it’s a navy blue and some relevant part of universal history.


And what are the three values that best represent Rubearth?

A brand linked to trends to produce an eco-responsible product, which points towards the so-called slow-fashion. We also go to great lengths to innovate in colour and graphic application techniques.



This award used to allow taking part in a fashion week abroad. However, as a result of the pandemic, it has been replaced by a cash reward. what are you going to do with it? Is there anything you can tell us about your next projects?

I really would have loved to take RUBEARTH to an international catwalk, but I understand the situation. The money will help us to continue with this project since every euro will be invested in growing and continuing to develop the brand. Our idea is to start to commercialize our product, both for stores and our website. For now, we are preparing one capsule collection at the end of winter and two amazing collaborations with Lisi Fracchia (jewels) Aram Rios (sculpture), and Sanyako (shoes).


And what would you like to be doing five years from now?

Continuing this conversation with you! Talking about store openings in new countries and that we continue on top of a catwalk, surprising and making people dream through textiles.