In My ROOM WITH ALEIX
In the bustling streets of Barcelona, Aleix crafts a visual symphony that merges the raw energy of street culture with the nuanced world of fashion photography. Beginning his artistic journey at 16, he found his muse in the local BMX scene, which opened a gateway to diverse global cultures and styles.
Aleix's lens captures more than moments; it encapsulates a unique fusion of subcultures, blending the rebellious spirit of street life with the elegance of fashion. Working various retail jobs since 18, Aleix found himself increasingly drawn to fashion. His after-hours were spent capturing personal collections, honing his unique photography style. In 2017, his pursuit of fashion photography led him to Madrid for formal studies, but the onset of COVID brought him back to Barcelona. This return marked a new beginning in his career, leveraging his network to establish himself in a city rich in styles and faces eventually leading to a personal project to create a visual archive of his extensive Lacoste collection born from nostalgic high school memories, transformed into a significant creative partnership.
Residing in Badal on the west-side of Barcelona, his home reflects his artistic philosophy: an open-plan brimming with life, art, and music. It's here that Aleix’s minimalistic yet vibrant sensibility shines, making his home a haven to peaceful living and creative expression. In Aleix's world, every photograph, every vintage sneaker, tells a story, weaving together a tapestry of his creative journey. His home is more than a space; it's a living gallery of memories and inspirations, a place where art and life converge seamlessly.
RF: So let’s start from the beginning - who are you and how did you get here today?
Aleix: My name is Aleix, I’m a photographer based in Barcelona and I was born in Sant Boi, a town just outside the city. For me, my life changed when I was 16 because it was when I started riding BMX. This sport offered me the opportunity to do a lot of things. I started to go into Barcelona almost every day on my bike with my friends and started meeting people from around the world. It was so cool to open my world through that way. Through BMX I bought my first camera and started travelling around to film videos and take photos of my homies for magazines and things like that.
Right now I'm a full time photographer and it’s been a long hard road for me to get here. Since I was 18 I have been working in different retail shops, working every role as I moved from shop to shop. But every change pushed me into a better direction because I was working in streetwear so that's how I started knowing more about fashion. During that time I started shooting a lot after work during the afternoons that I had free and started documenting my personal collections of Lacoste or different things that the homies had at home and started creating content to find my photography style.
I moved to Madrid in 2017 to study fashion photography. After that, COVID hit and I came back to Barcelona because all my family and friends are here and I thought that it was a good start for my career.
RF: How would you describe your photography style?
AB: I describe it as capturing subcultures, things that happen on the streets. I like taking these worlds out of context and mixing it with my aggressive flash to bring together street style with fashion without making it ‘fashion fashion’. You know? Like I feel I capture a really nice middle point between the two.
RF: Talk to me about your relationship with Lacoste, what's the origin story behind it?
AB: My relationship with Lacoste started in high school when all the kids were wearing tracksuits, TNs and different Air Maxes and Nike Shox. I loved the aesthetic so I started to get the sport polos and when I was 14 I got my first trackie and I loved it so much. But I started riding BMX around the same time so I quit streetwear and started wearing slim fit jeans with long t-shirts. Then when I was around 25 years old I started to feel nostalgic about what I was wearing back in the day so I started looking for the vintage Lacoste tracksuits and polos and a few years later I discovered Vinted so it was easy for me to start a collection of second hand Lacoste France. Then at one point I had a friend tell me ‘yo bro you need to take pictures with all of your collection, I don’t know anyone else in Spain who has one like you’. So I started working on this passion project for two years shooting my friends wearing my collection and creating a visual archive. At one point Lacoste realised what I was doing and started to follow my work and then we started working together, which has been a dream come true.
RF:What does a day in your life look like? Is there such a thing as a normal day with you?
AB: It's hard for me to say ‘this is my day’ because my days lately are totally different. But I want to try to have a routine. It's not the same as when I was working for 10 years in different shops when I had more or less the same routine every day between Monday till Saturday. But now it’s totally different. In the last two years I had to understand how to adapt to life as a freelancer and work alone because you need to be focused all the time. Finding balance is challenging because you have to find time to be with your friends, your family, and time to think about your own personal projects. There are moments when you get a month with a lot of work and you are not able to see your family or friends. But if I have a super free day where I don't have pictures to take or develop or prepare mood boards, I will meet my friends, go home to Sant Boi and visit my father, or just spend the day with my girlfriend, or go with my dog around the city, cook a little bit at home and watch some movies. The most important thing is to rest from all the work or else you cannot do any of the work.
RF: How has Barcelona influenced your work as well as your creative process?
AB: It influenced me in a huge way because I was going into the city on my BMX at 16 years old from a small town. So when I started to see all these people with different styles, faces and hair styles, I didn’t know there could be so much variety. Since I was young I’ve always been observing people, like how people dressed, what kind of shoes they had on, things like that. So once I started to meet people from all around the world because of BMX I was really inspired to take photos of them, they even became my friends. It was a special time because it was before Instagram made following people and discovering styles and subcultures easier. It was about being on the street to see all of these things you know?
RF: Tell me a little bit about where you live, your neighbourhood and your local community - where are you right now?
AB: I moved to Badal six months ago, it’s a neighborhood located between Sants and Hospitalet on the West side of Barcelona and I really love the ‘barrio’. There aren’t many tourists around here, which is great because the city has so many in the centre. Here we have a mix of local Catalan people and a lot Latinos; Dominicans, Colombians and Peruvians. I love being on the street and saying hi to everyone because you see the same people everyday like the same old lady with her dog or the guy from the corner shop. It’s really cool.
RF: Talk to me about your home, what does it mean to you?
AB: For me my home is really important because nowadays I'm travelling for work or working long hours and maybe I don't spend time at home for like 10 days. So when I do have time I like to be with my girlfriend or friends cooking something and hanging out in my house. It's an open plan so you have constant visual contact with whoever is in the space and I love that. I have a lot of lights, plants, music, and I love to share this space with people. I think that I made it like this, just to share it with people
RF: How do you spend your time at home?
AB: I love to spend time here cooking with my friends or drinking a bottle of wine with them. Sometimes people come here to do botellon before we go out to a party and then end up staying here because it's really cosy and the space is easy to modify. For example, we move the sofa and table and we start dancing here, and talk about our lives. I love sharing my space and hosting my friends, I feel really comfortable having people over.
RF: How did you approach decorating your home? How did you ‘build it’? What were your references?
AB: When I started decorating I wanted everything to be super simple because I have a lot of things, you know, I'm crazy about clothes and sneakers. So I needed to find this balance of space and a way to organise my wardrobe. I needed the space to be clean and minimal or else there’s too many distractions so I made a little wall to separate the bedroom to have a bit more intimacy or else it was going to be entirely open plan. I try to be creative and not spend too much money right now. I’ve tried to create a space that adapts to my needs like this setup for the TV and my vinyl player, I made this myself using a marble table and concrete blocks I found. I think it’s so cool.
When I moved in the apartment was empty but decorating it was really easy because I had stuff from my last apartment but I only took like three or four things. Then I started buying second hand furniture because I love recycling and reusing things. Usually, when it's the day that people leave their furniture on the street to get picked up and thrown in trash, I go out and walk around to see if I can find anything because you can find some really crazy things here in Barcelona.
RF: How are you now seeing your life now? What are the things that you've learned from that experience?
AH: I think I really changed my perspective on how to live life and how to survive in this working environment in this industry but also having yourself as your worst enemy, because I have a hard time making compromises because I'm a perfectionist. So for me, I figured out that at the end of the day, I really had to deal with my expectations of myself. I would set goals for myself every day, every week and every month, and for the company as well. I just had really, really big ambitions and high expectations for everyone, including myself, but it was unhealthy. It came to a point where it was unhealthy for me and for everyone around me. But also for my family, because you know, I’m not able to focus at any given point when you're at family dinners, or at a party or whatever, like, wherever you go, 24/7 when you wake up, when you go to bed, you think about work, and you think about how to optimize and you think about what to do next, and you think about what's wrong. You think about what's wrong all the time. That was my worst enemy. I had to get rid of that and gain a more positive mindset. I had to learn to take the freedom of taking some time off, and, and not working all the time, not worrying all the time, not thinking about the next move. Eventually, the older you get, the more you're gonna burn it out, you know, and you're, the more you're gonna break. So I think it was just a matter of time.
RF: And what have you bought online?
AB: I wanted a Togo as my sofa but it's mad expensive and I knew if I had one and threw a party with people I would be mad because it's going to get damaged. So I bought a replica one that converts to a bed. I also bought this industrial table for the kitchen because I checked on Wallapop and it was more expensive than this one I found on a German website that was new. It’s perfect ‘cos my kitchen is small and I really love to cook with my friends when they come over. In terms of the art on my walls, I printed a few of my pictures that I never had before and I asked friends who are artists to make pieces for my place like Kenneth [shout out to my guy] who made me a really lovely portrait for my bedroom.
RF: What about the photos on your wall? How did you decide what goes up?
AB: I was really unsure because I’ve always wanted to have my pictures printed but I have an archive of thousands and thousands of pictures so I had to think about where I would hang them, which helped the process. Like the photo of the old lady in the wheelchair with her dog I placed it in the corner with all the plants because I feel that the colours of the pictures pop with the green of the plants. It’s not a typical picture that you will get tired of quickly.
Another one I decided to print is one I took this summer in New York when I was there for the first time. I really loved being there so I wanted to have something that reminded me of this trip. I took this picture that I really love, the mix of all the flags, Nicki Minaj, the BBQ, it’s so crazy and captures America in a frame.
RF: Talk to me about your most sacred items here in your house?
AB: The first would be my negatives, my photo archive, because that holds all of the stories I have captured from the first ones to the most recent. Even if I lost everything digitally I would still have all of my photos in this archive. I could say the next sentimental thing could be this tracksuit or sneakers I’m wearing but the truth is they don't make me feel anything by themselves but when I look at them as a collection it makes sense because I’ve spent a lot of time collecting them. I live my life with a little bit of nostalgia, it's why I’m a photographer, I want to capture the moments that you will never repeat. Most of my sneakers and clothes are vintage because it takes me back to a memory when I saw someone wearing it when I was younger in high school and it represents that moment in time.