Today we chat to Andy Cameron of Muchacho clothing. Muchacho specializes in on trend street-wear and swimwear, and had the opportunity to feature in the recent Gold Coast QT Fashion Week and Awards. Andy gives us an insight into this amazing label and what the hopes are for Muchacho in the future, including their partnership with SPEEDO, to be released in August.
So I am aware you actually take the photos that create the prints on your clothing and swim wear, where are they taken? And do you seek a particular theme?
I have been travelling back and forth to Latin America for the last ten years or so ever since I lived in Mexico for a short stint in 2002. From there I’ve travelled around most of the continent especially Brazil, Cuba, Argentina and Chile – where I also went back to live for a while with some friends. We taught English and lived in Santiago… Good times
How did you get the idea to use your photographs as your prints?
I really got the idea when I fell in love with photography. I studied a little at the ACP in Sydney and then decided to combine that with fashion so I quit my day job of working in an investment bank and I haven’t regretted it one bit.
Were you excited to have your line at QT Fashion Week and Awards?
Yeah for sure, it was great to be a part of – there were loads of good designers and it’s also a great introduction into the Queensland market for me. It fitt quite well to debut my swimwear line here
How long had you been planning Muchacho clothing and swimwear for? And what inspired you?
I have thought about swimwear for a while but didn’t want to rush into it as it’s a whole new ball game, but having just teamed up with SPEEDO and them showing such confidence with the range we did together (which is due out in August… plug plug) I decided to have a go at the things we didn’t do together. Boardies, bikinis, and some one pieces with some vintage style prints were the result.
How did you come up with the idea for the name?
Muchacho is literally Spanish for young man, but probably better translates in Mexican slang as mate. Its one of the things I used to call some friends when we were travelling round Central America so its stuck.
Did you do a course of some sort in design or photography or is it all just Andy Cameron inspired?
I think you can study too much, really the best photos are taken just because you love what you’re doing and you get out there and do it. You’re not going to get the best photos everyday but if you keep doing it you will. To give you an example – my last trip to South America I was there for 28 days, went to 4 countries, 21 cities and slept in 21 hotels, 4 overnight bus rides, and countless flights airport lounges. I was taking photos about 6 hours each day if I could. From that I used about 30 photos. And I loved it – found myself walking round the streets of Havana with a cigar in one hand and my camera in the other, truly fooling myself that I might be half Cuban.
There has been a lot of controversy around the issue of whether having clothes Australian designed and made is more effective and the more ethical way of working. What are your thoughts?
I think honestly if everything was made in Australia people would quickly realize that the local cost of manufacturing is not to their liking. The fact that production has gone offshore is just a force of economies. I make some things here – like my swimwear – I wish I could make it all here but it’s not financially viable.
What is and was your biggest vision for Muchacho? Did you have a certain way you wanted your customers to feel in your clothing?
Relaxed. Not too serious. I am trying to find a medium between beach and streetwear and I really think that what you wear can make you feel good – so why not wear something that feels good.
What would be your biggest dream for Muchacho in the coming years?
I’m pretty excited to be going to share the love with Europe in their summer and then who knows. A goal of mine, it’s a bit of a way off yet, is to start a gratis design school in impoverished areas, where I have taken inspiration, and help kids nurture their creative side.