David Méndez Alonso, founder and creative director of Outsiders Division, knows what it’s like to be an adult that hasn’t grown up yet. Establishing the Barcelona-based brand in 2012, David’s goal was to bring bright colours, fun prints, and handcrafted pieces to the market because, as he puts it, “it is impossible to find color and fantasy in adult clothing.” Taking inspiration from his love of graffiti and comics, he effortlessly combines an array of shapes and styles to design clothing that caters to the inner child—something that no other brand does.
His newest collection, premiering at 080 Barcelona Fashion Week is a union of past creations, handcrafted shoes, and new accessories. The animal motifs—skillfully hand-painted by David—are the standout feature of the collection. Dalmatians, leopards, and bears are showcased against vibrant silhouettes, making them truly eye-catching.
What made you decide to start designing clothing and launch Outsiders Division?
I felt that there was a very strong gap in clothing for adults who haven’t grown up.
Why do you think that designing “for all adults who have not grown up yet” is so important?
From a practical point of view, because it is impossible to find color and fantasy in adult clothing. That makes Outsiders Division have a very defined niche and we are alone in this aesthetic. My clients face maturity from another point of view. Growing up does not mean losing the ability to be excited or to find emotion in the little things.
What is the inspiration behind your newest collection premiering at 080 Barcelona Fashion Week?
Finding points of union between a grandfather’s wardrobe and that of a child who, at the same time, wears the same.
The collection features a lot of animals throughout the garments. What do they mean to you?
From an aesthetic point of view, the animals represent the Outsiders Division aesthetic very well. They are fun, friendly, high-strung, and have a colourful personality. Animals help me to attract the attention of many clients and take them to my land. There is no better design than nature, everything is perfect and well thought out. For this collection, I have painted some portraits of cats and dogs in oil that have ended up being the main image.
How does this collection stand out from your previous collections?
We start from a safe approach to the designs because we already know what works and what doesn’t. I have exclusively made all the shoes by hand, there is tailoring and new accessories such as sunglasses and crochet hats. From my point of view, it is a perfect mix between crafts and handmade products with more industrial productions.
In which way does your love of graffiti and comics translate into your designs? Has this changed with each collection?
Graffiti and comics [were my] first approaches to art since I was little, they are two disciplines that I do not practice, but have never ceased to interest me. References build our identity. They create a treasure chest full of knowledge.
Since the start of Outsiders Division, how has your approach to designing clothes changed?
My designs are now more functional, they are better produced, they are more honest with the viewer, and they help you connect with your childhood in a more direct way. Outsiders Division is a box full of nostalgia.
You make it clear on your website that while you are taking steps towards sustainability, you aren’t a completely sustainable brand. Why do you think it is important to convey that message to your customers?
Since we wrote that manifesto on the website, we have improved our decision-making about the use of materials and production. All our knitted products are organic cotton and almost all our jackets too. All the denim we use is raw and we wash it at local suppliers who recycle the water. The polyester of all our shirts is recycled. We are using cotton fabrics from the 60s and 70s from old factories, and we have also made entire collections made with recycled mesh. The road is to be a brand that uses recycled materials, but it is a long road that we are certainly willing to face. Sustainability and fashion are contradictory words. What is truly sustainable is not to buy, recycle and reuse. What is possible is to be more consistent and responsible with your environment. You cannot be sustainable with sales promotions every week. The message would be: stop buying, reuse, and jump off the trend wheel.
What are your plans to work towards becoming a more sustainable brand?
Use 100% recycled and organic materials. Try to control our growth so as not to produce more than 150 units per product. Try to design only what works and never make sales. This would be the master plan.
What is in store for Outsiders Division in the future?
Sunglasses, a new shoes collaboration, and the collection you will see on 080 Barcelona.
Learn more about Outsiders Division and browse their latest collection at outsidersdivision.com or on their Instagram.
photography. 080 Barcelona Fashion
words. Amber Louise