Feature

‘Fashion is part of me, it’s part of who I am'

Fashion has been a central part of Hector Bellerin's life for as long as he can remember.

We recently sat down with the defender to discuss his upbringing, his grandma's fashion factory, the trousers he designed with his mum and which team-mate comes to him for clothes advice.
 
Scroll down to see what he told us:
 
on his fashion critics...
It is and you know, I always knew that a lot of people wouldn't understand it. But for me, it's so much deeper - just putting a few pictures with different clothes out there - than people think. When all these people don't know what they're actually talking about, it's something that you just don't listen to. I'm always going to be doing it, it's something that's part of my family and something that I grew up with. And it's something that makes me happy. It's my passion, as it is with football as well. I'm always going to keep doing it, regardless of what people say, that's just who I am.

on his passion for fashion beginning with his grandparents...
It's always my grandma, she started her own fashion factory with my grandad who used to help her, especially when it came to machinery and when her machines used to break, he was the one who repaired it and all this stuff. My mum did everything, she studied and she's got a degree on it. She's been making clothes forever and as I said before, it was the environment I was growing up with. So I was either playing football or I was around sewing machines. It's part of me, it's part of who I am and it's something that as I've been growing up and understanding that it's not just a t-shirt or it's not just clothes, there's a lot of art and craft around it. When you understand and when you see how people are able to put the images in their heads, in a piece of clothing, it's amazing. It's something that I enjoy doing and something that is part of my family and has brought me even closer to my family than I was before. So it's something that fills me up and makes me very happy.

on designing trousers with his mum…
When we have spare time, me and my mum go fabric shopping, and we decided to make this. She’s a master at pattern cutting. She’s done it all her life, so I can always tell her ‘I want this to look like that, this to look like this’ and she’ll help me do it. That was one of the first pieces that we ever made. I had a photoshoot for a magazine. I told the guys that I’d brought the piece with me and that it was very personal and it would mean a lot if we could show it. When the guys saw it and heard the story behind it, they were really happy about me wearing it. Some people on social media have seen that there were videos of me and my mum making it together. From going shopping and getting the fabric to then wearing it, the process is so enjoyable and it’s amazing to see it on after.

on what he was like in family clothes shop as a youngster…
When I was really young, that was a bit more secondary for me. It was always about football. I didn’t like to go shopping or do any of that stuff. I’d go and help if nobody was playing in my local park. It was more about cleaning the thread from the floor or if there were pieces of fabric that needed to be thrown away, me and my sister would play with them and sew. But as a kid, I never thought ‘oh, I really love fashion’. It was always all about football. When I grew up more and realised what my mum, grandma and family were doing, that my love for it started growing more and more, up to the point where I am today. It’s something that excites me a lot. I want to learn about it. When I’m with my mum and my grandma I’m always asking them how they do things. As I say, it’s something that brings you closer, it’s something that we enjoy doing together. As a kid it was never something I thought about. It was just football.

on who in the squad comes to him for fashion advice…
A few of the players sometimes have said things like ‘Oh, I’ve seen these shoes but don’t know what to wear them with, what do you think?’ I give them my advice. It’s probably not the best though! There are a lot of players here with a different sense of style. Some of them still believe they dress better as well. It’s all about taste and everyone being different. Whatever I can do to help people I will!

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