Interview with Manel Torres, Managing Director - Fabrican

on 31/10/09

Manel Torres, Managing Director - Fabrican

Manel grew up in Catalonia, Spain and from an early age he learned to sew, pattern-cut & tailor garments from his grandmother, a couture seamstress. This proved invaluable in later years, when he eventually went to study fashion.

Manel moved to the UK in 1995 & studied at the Royal College of Art in Womenswear Fashion Design. He subsequently embarked on a PhD at the Royal College in collaboration with Imperial College London. 

His research involved inter-relating the disciplines of science & fashion design and it was whilst working at the labs of Imperial College that he developed his concept of Spray-on Fabric, a sprayable fabric that comes in an aerosol can.

Manel discovered Spray-on Fabric out of frustration with the traditionally slow process of constructing garments.  Manel’s foresight and vision led him to think of developing a material that would magically fit the body like a second skin.

Manel provides  a brief snapshot of his work & some key tips for students / graduates.

What are the main duties of your role?
As Managing Director, my role within Fabrican Ltd is to give strategic direction and creative thinking within all the areas that the company operates, such as fashion, science and business and, of course, to ensure the financial success of the company.

What are the best aspects about your current role?
The best aspect of my role is getting recognition for what I have achieved.

Are there any areas that are particularly difficult or challenging?
The worst part of my job is battling to get a fair agreement in a business deal.

When employing a graduate what are the attributes you look for?
Responsibility, pride in their work and willingness to improve.

Do you have any words of wisdom that you would like to pass on?
Vision, discipline and perseverance.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Vision and Patience.  There’s a Catalan saying “patience is the mother of science”. 

What do you feel are the most important trends / changes happening in the industry that you feel students should be aware of?
Sustainability.  How fashion can drive the trend to use and re-use materials in new ways.

Quickfire Q&A
What is your highest qualification? Manel Torres creating a dress using Fabrican
I obtained a PhD on a Spray-on fabric, the research for which was cross-disciplinary involving fashion and science, which led to found Fabrican Ltd.

Last exhibition / event that you went to see?
100% Design

What would your superpower be? 
Time travel.

3 words that describe yourself?  
Passionate , committed, tenacious.

What is your must-have item for next season? 
Something on my head.  A head scarf or a hat.

What are you wearing today? 
A Balenciaga T-shirt, Cheap Monday silver grey jeans, and Converse All-Star hi-tops

Favourite film? 
“Todo sobre mi madre”

Favourite music?
 It depends on my mood. I like also anything-classical pop, jazz or reggae.
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For further details on the technology behind Fabrican and Manel's amazing work visit the Fabrican website.


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