Interview: Fer Millán, Entrepreneur & Designer

Fer Millán has always been an inspiration for me, not only because of her good taste in clothes, but also because of her great kindness and the peace she transmits. There are many influential people in the fashion world, but people who manage to reflect their personality through the screen, sometimes it's not so easy. I started following Fer Millán on her social media about 2 years ago or a little more. I always marvelled at the great work she did, the effort she put into showing a product, but what most characterized her was her naturalness and charisma. It is an honour for me to have been able to include an interview with her as she is a person I admire very much.

Fer Millan best look 2020
You were recently in my hometown, Mérida. Did you have fun? What would you tell people visiting Mérida to do and see? What did you like the most?

Merida is a special place. It has the best of being in Mexico but it has a personality of its own that makes you feel like you are in another country. The people are different, the food has unique flavours, time passes more slowly... now I understand better when they call it "the Sister Republic".

There is so much to see, from Mayan ruins, cenotes, Frenchified mansions, haciendas, beaches, lagoons, traditional restaurants and new gastronomic proposals that it is a perfect destination for all types of trips.

What I liked most about this last trip to Mérida was not being in a hurry and living at a different pace. To simply enjoy the sunset, walking aimlessly through the streets of downtown or going to eat at my favourite places. In CDMX I feel like there is never a pause.

Your husband is an architect, so there are two creative people in the marriage. Do you have much input into each other's work?

Our professions are creative but very different in their processes, inspirations and rhythms, but it is a fact that I learned from architecture and Domingo from fashion. We like to talk as much about the design of a building as we do about the design of a piece of furniture or a shoe. What we have in common is a love for Mexico, a personality of our own in our creativity.

How did you get started in the fashion world?

I think that I started years ago when I was watching magazines, movies and music videos. Then I studied fashion for a few years but my classes didn't convince me, I got into another career, I set up a company and when this first company went bankrupt I had some extra time that I used to upload photos of my looks... thank God I started to notice movement in my account and I stopped sending my CV so I could keep posting. Thanks to my IG account, brands found me and I started to collaborate with them.

Do you have a guilty pleasure in your wardrobe? Something you don't wear but love?

No. I like everything. There are riskier things that I have to pay more attention to when it comes to combining them, but I never have that feeling of not daring to wear something.

You have just built and designed a beautiful new house, congratulations, but if there was a fire and you only had time to choose one item from your wardrobe, what would it be?

My engagement ring that Domingo designed for me, without a doubt!

Fer Millan's House
When you go to France, what do you miss most about Mexico besides friends and family?

I miss the intensity of Mexico. I like working 12 hours a day, creating content, talking to my jewellers, being in contact with the brands and talking about the next projects. I feel that the effervescence of Mexico is what makes me want to come back soon.

Fer Millan and Domingo Delaroière
Which famous person would you love to see wearing your handbag brand?

Audrey Hepburn. And more to have her comments on the design.

Are you ready for next year's Fashion Trends?

Always ready, I think that watching the fashion shows and observing the details in the garments educates your eye and opens up a world of possibilities for styling looks.

Are there any trends that are popular but that you think "I would never wear that?

Yes, totally. I've been more flexible lately. I used to have a lot of trouble with jeans, I didn't wear jeans at all because I felt they were too easy to wear and didn't do anything for me creatively, but when they launched jeans in super vibrant colours I got really excited and bought several. So I'll just reinforce the phrase "never say never".

Is there a particular shop, place or country where it would be a dream to see your creations for sale?

I would love to have a point of sale in Mérida.

Any favourite fashion trends?

At the moment silver accessories in bags, shoes, jewellery... everything in silver! I also love the super clingy garments that look like second furs for layering.

Any not-so-favourite fashion trends?

I never fall for blue denim and I've never really been attracted to this athleisure trend where trainers are paired with more formal outfits. I think I only wear trainers for exercise!

The fashion industry is famously difficult. What has it been like for you?

The truth is that I have been fortunate to meet many people who trusted me and have supported me from the beginning, when you do something for love things flow, you find the right people along the way and everything becomes very bearable. If I have had any, very few, bad experiences they were not because of fashion, on the contrary. I feel that fashion is an industry that opens minds about society, women's power, unique beauty, different body types or at the time about issues like AIDS... I feel that the fashion industry is not recognised for the good that it also brings.

How long does the process take between having an idea and the moment the idea is finally realised?

It depends, it's a formula where all the elements have to flow and each one takes a different amount of time. I could have a new jewellery design in mind and develop it in a couple of weeks and there are other products that can take several months between idea, development, testing and final product.

Are there any old or rare bags you'd kill to have?

More than a bag, I'm thinking about the iconic Ferragamo Rainbow platform shoes created in 1938. I have to have them by 2038 to celebrate their 100th anniversary hahahaha.

Besides your own brand, is there a particular bag that you never travel without?

No. I like to vary even with my own brand.

What's next for Fer and your brands in the coming year?

For Cefeida y Le Voyage to launch new collections but above all to expand our market and points of sale. For me, what I want most is to have even more creative freedom, new collaborators and projects that resonate internationally. I want to see more Mexicans in the fashion industry and Mexicans representing us.

Fer Millan and her handbag brand Le voyage
What did you feel the first time you saw your work finally in a shop window?

You think that the sleeplessness, the tears and the work are worth it. It gives you strength to go on.

Who is your favourite designer?

I have several! Right now I admire very much Marine Serre. I think she is the designer of 2021. I feel she has influenced many, many of the most important catwalks. The second skin and all his proposal "post apocalyptic, recycling, somewhat sporty, futuristic and genderless was a small revolution of someone who understands the present. I really admire how a relatively small brand can have so much power.

Fer Millan at Marine Serre
Favourite Mexican and/or foreign brand?

Kris Goyri surprised me again this year. Cynthia Buttenklepper. Alin Jotar is my favourite and we have a mega-talent to discover with the brand Esant of designer Aline Diaz.

Where can we find your brand Le Voyage and Cepheid?

Cefeida can be found in our online shop cefeida.mxin physical shops at Cihuah Store Saks and soon in Lago. Le Voyage in Amor & Rosas and The hoop.

Is there someone you admire, whether in the fashion world or not?

Of course, what I admire most these days are genuinely good and well-intentioned people. Who manage to contribute to someone else's project, who manage to add, to give. I feel that this is what we need most and what we all need. I want and I strive to be like that.

As an entrepreneur and an inspiring Mexican, any advice you would like to give us?

My advice is to work. Work brings security, energy, self-worth. There is nothing like being independent. My other advice is to take the plunge, today is the right day to start, make that call, knock on the door and start.

"Work brings security, energy, self-worth. There is nothing like being independent.

- Fer Millán

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