On The Selvedge: Fernando Garcia de la Calera

The Rake talks to The Concrete Tailoring Co's founder and Spanish artisan Fernando Garcia de la Calera on how he is breathing new life into the age-old art form of denim design.
On The Selvedge: Fernando Garcia de la Calera
Denim is arguably one of the coolest and most culturally ingrained fabrics in modern menswear – what began as a functional, weather resistant material for sailors and manual labourers has become an integral part of the civilian wardrobe of stylish individuals all over the globe. Fernando Garcia de la Calera, bespoke tailor and founder of The Concrete, his atelier in Madrid, is bringing new life to the art form of tailoring in denim, rejuvenating it with fresh designs and a thoroughly modern perspective on bespoke tailoring. Located in the metropolis of Madrid, Garcia de la Calera is dedicated to learning about and developing upon the history of those fabrics he chooses to work with, believing as he does that they more accurately reflect his – and his clients’ – day to day lives. From his indigo-dyed 10oz selvedge denim to remarkable 5oz herringbone natural cotton, he works in weathered lightweight fabrics ideal for the heat of European cities. His own sense of style has an undeniably contemporary edge that perfectly balances the technical understanding of a tailor with the vision of a creative artisan, whose obsession with detail doesn’t stop at just his clothes alone.
His approach to denim is unconventional, but reflects the natural evolution we are currently seeing in menswear, with suits becoming more utilitarian and less exclusively formal. “Tailoring is all about elegance, comfort and that unique feeling when you wear your bespoke garment – it does not mean you can only wear the garment for a more formal or casual occasion. I just try to make it more durable according to my lifestyle.”
Says Fernando, “My pocket watch holds more sentimental value than antique value. Basque Country professional skater Norberto Mena gave it to me during a competition weekend I spent at his home.” Fernando’s vintage Thermidor Quartz is from a Spanish watchmaker from the 1970s that no longer exists.
Fernando’s hands-on approach involves everything from the tools he uses to the fabrics his clients are offered. “My dad was a pilot so although I don’t have heritage tools like some of my colleagues, I have collected these from vintage markets such as ‘el Rastro’ in Madrid. I also made my own tailoring ‘tool-roll’ in selvedge Japanese denim and leather for travel or appointments outside my studio.”
“I used to spend money on branded sunglasses, but because I lost or broke so many as I use them a lot for motorcycling, I decided to buy these from a vintage store in Madrid called Templo de Susu. They are light and flexible, and I find them very comfortable – it’s a shame that these cheap ones last the longest!”
Fernando’s jewellery collection reflects the places he has been and their sentimental value. “The dark green stone is from Turkey, as my dad lives there now, the small one with five point stars is from Australia where my brother lives, the others are from Madrid and Mexico.”