Gabriela Cambero: The Mexican editor with a foot in both worlds
Last week, we sat over coffee with Gabriela Cambero who moved to Paris a year ago as a contributing editor for l’Officiel Mexico and a Market Editor for l’Officiel Paris. She has lived in Mexico City, London and Paris. As an expert on the fashion and the editorial world, we wanted to get an insight into her knowledge of the industry.
So Gaby, why is fashion your passion?
I remember reading my mother’s fashion magazines since I was a child and being astonished. I think it’s the fantasy of the photographs, the beauty of the images. That’s what I like, but not to capture the image, maybe I have too much respect for that and I wouldn’t be good at it; but just be part of the process of creation of it makes me happy.
You are between two editorials, what’s your vision on the editorial world, how has it changed or evolved?
I think magazines are changing their purpose, before they were informative; if you wanted to know the collections in Paris you needed to read a magazine, there was no other way to know about them. And now if you want to see a collection in Paris you can see it in real time streamed on your phone. So the role of magazines has changed in that sense, now it is more of a thing that you buy because you enjoy looking at beautiful images, to get inspiration, and also to have as beautiful objects. The Service Magazines (the ones that help you decide what to wear or buy) are now closing their print version to stay only online. It’s the beautiful magazines that remain successful in this digital era.
Do you see many differences between them?
I do see some differences between them. I think in Mexico, as it’s a very young market and not as big as the French market, the brands have fewer demands when it comes to how they are portrayed in a magazine. In France they pay a lot of attention on how they are featured; you have to be very careful even on the order of the pictures, the amount of clothes you can see, etc.
How do you see Latin American design evolving?
I think it’s actually in its best moment; now we are seeing for the first time brands that are catering for an international market, an international taste. They are not only sold in the international cities like Tulum or Mexico City, where you get a lot of foreigners, but also sold abroad. Like for example you guys, 85º, I think that’s amazing. You have a representative selection of Latin American designers that allows the European market to get access to them. And it’s expanding! I think it’s a really good moment to start a brand in Latin America.
What about the image of Latin America in fashion here in Paris?
The European market is getting curious of what it s done in Latin America but we still have a lot of potential; it needs to be more talked about, it is still a territory to be explored.
In the industry, things go so fast nowadays, what’s your perception on slow fashion?
When there’s a big trend, there’s a counter trend to balance it out. I think it’s important, especially now with the way we are becoming more conscious on how the fast fashion affects the environment and labor, for example; that it is not a sustainable way to make clothes.Slow fashion is becoming very important right now as a counter trend that invites us to shop more consciously to pay attention to where our clothes are made, how they are made, which materials were used, etc. I think the consumers are starting to realize that and this is forcing big brands to look that way and change little by little their methods.
As an editor, what can you tell us about the role that sustainability plays in Latin American brands?
I think that’s one of the biggest advantages that we have in Latin America since most brands are kind of small right now, they have the power to say how they will strive. Most of the designers, especially the young ones, decide to take sustainable practices, to work with communities, to use recyclable materials. I think that’s also a strong selling point.
And now the tough question. As a person between the two worlds, what role do you play in this?
I'd like to think I bring the best of each world to the other... I especially enjoy bringing a Mexican flavour to my work at L'Officiel Paris. I hope in time to be able to make Mexican and Latin designers more visible in Europe and help them expand their talent. I also feel extremely lucky that I get to live here most of the year, but I also spend a month every year enjoying my dear Mexico!