Ana Larruy has a unique take on clothing; blown up dark images of eyes, noses and lips take over the stretchy comfortable fabric of the hand-made garments, and these happen to be singular cuts, meaning that each exquisitely-made piece becomes one of a kind. The technique used comes from the marriage of her background in fashion photography, specialising in portraiture, and her own know-how of the textile industry, as the last three generations of her family have been involved in the business. And that is how the craftsman-like yet contemporary brand Clan is born, to rep for the bold, carefree women, who are confident in their bodies but ultimately in themselves and in each other. 
For those that may not be acquainted with you, could you present yourself to our readers?
I was born in Barcelona twenty-four years ago and have been living in London for four. I need to be constantly creating and finding new ways of expressing myself. This year, I’ve started playing around with fabrics and ultimately designing a small collection for my new brand, Clan. Fashion photography is still my main practice but I want to find a balance between that and designing, as for me they go hand in hand.   
I’ve read on an interview that your family has been involved in the textile industry for three generations, which is why – although having a background in photography – you have decided to take on this project with your friend Mariona Valdés, as you already had the know-how as well as the resources. However, how did you meet and end up coming with the idea of you both creating your own brand? Didn’t it feel daunting to go from being a successful photographer to taking on this risky project from another discipline?
Mariona and I have known each other for a long time now. In the past year, we’ve worked together on a few creative projects that proved us we make a good team. Funnily enough, my mum was the one that initially had the idea of printing my images on fabric. I started playing around with them and I knew there was something there I wanted to explore further.
Mariona, who had gained some knowledge on pattern-making and sewing by that time, helped me to materialise those first ideas. With probably more excitement than fear, and having always been surrounded by fashion, it felt like a natural step to take. I’ve always wanted to design my own clothes, as sometimes I wanted something very specific that I couldn’t find anywhere. And I’m taking this opportunity to do so.
Having been exposed to this industry before, when did you decide that this was your calling, and why hadn’t you started this brand before?
My mother’s family has worked in the elastic textile industry for three generations; it all started thanks to my great-grandmother, who used to work in a small weaving factory back in the ‘40s. She then met my great-grandfather and together decided to start running a small factory in their house. My grandfather took the lead when they passed away and established the first factory in Spain.
On the other hand, my grandmother (from my father’s side) made her way into fashion by creating her own swimwear brand. She has always been a big inspiration to me in many ways and I’ve been lucky enough to see her designing since I was a kid. So I guess all this familiar baggage has finally emerged in me! On a more sentimental note, I know my grandfather would have loved his grandchildren to follow in his steps. So for me, starting this brand is a way of keeping the tradition alive and honouring his legacy.
Ana Larruy Clan Metalmagazine 6.jpg
I’ve also read that you exclusively use photographic prints – from images that you’ve taken yourself – for the clothes, and also that every single piece is unique due to their singular cuts, even though you use only two portraits in the first collection. From these pictures, why did you specifically choose to show, on their own, parts of the face like a mouth or an eye? Was it to show these very visible parts of the human body, in a more intimate rather than vulnerable way?
Portraiture has been part of my personal work for a long time now. I find there’s something mysterious and evoking in faces, so it made sense to incorporate them in the first collection. At one point, I started paying more attention to specific features from people’s faces and this exploration translated into my portraits. This way, the prints of the garments become an extension of that investigation on the human face, creating an interesting effect when placed in the body.
Could you describe your newly-founded brand, Clan, in a few words?
It is a brand for women, designed by women questioning the industry’s male-dominated perception on fashion and femininity. We value ease and aesthetics a lot and we want to find a meeting point between these two. All the fabrics we use are stretch fabrics that were first used in swimwear and women’s underwear, helping to enhance the figure of the woman.
Why the name Clan? What type of girl is a Clan girl?
Clan, among other definitions, is defined as a group of people of common descent. We wanted the brand to evoke this idea, and it also sounded powerful to us. There are many sides to a woman and we want to explore that. Clan is designed for a woman who is bold, carefree and, lastly, confident in her own body.
Ana Larruy Clan Metalmagazine 3.jpg
I see that you have a few teasers on the website and on the Instagram page picturing a factory – most likely belonging to your family – and machines, probably emphasising Clan’s objective of fairly producing delicate pieces of clothing, instead of mass-producing. Why is this aspect of the brand so important to you?
Shouldn’t it be a priority for all brands? We simply think new generations have this responsibility and should be aware of the dramatic impact of fashion production nowadays. We are currently producing our first capsule collection, which is all handmade and is being produced by a friend of ours, Vera, who is a seamstress.
How did you choose the models that are featured in your campaign? Is showing diversity something that is important to you, personally?
The models in the campaign are women that inspired us and somehow embody Clan’s values in multiple ways. Of course, showing diversity is something important for us. It has been naturally incorporated in the first campaign and it is our aim to keep it like that and explore it further.
Where do you see Clan in the next year?
We are working step by step at the moment and enjoying the process of starting a brand. We see Clan developing and designing new collections. We are currently building up a team with energetic and creative people to work with.
Ana Larruy Clan Metalmagazine 5.jpg
Ana Larruy Clan Metalmagazine 8.jpg
Ana Larruy Clan Metalmagazine 10.jpg
Ana Larruy Clan Metalmagazine 13.jpg
Ana Larruy Clan Metalmagazine 11.jpg
Ana Larruy Clan Metalmagazine 14.jpg
Ana Larruy Clan Metalmagazine 12.jpg
Ana Larruy Clan Metalmagazine 7.jpg