This exclusive interview with Don Rafael de Medina y Abascal, 20th Duke of Feria was conducted by Nicola Linza and Cristoffer Neljesjö in Madrid, Spain during February 2011
Coming from an old family, how has the history and tradition influenced your upbringing and life?
I was raised and educated in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. Left my home town Seville at a very early age, 11. The history and tradition of my family has been there for over 500 years and it is an honor to know that I belong to it. It wasn´t until a little bit later on in life when you realize the tremendous importance of your family´s heritage in the history of your country.
You became the 20th Duke of Feria at a very young age, what does the title mean to you?
It´s an honor to have a title that has accompanied over 4 centuries my family. It´s also very sad that it was due to the death of my father 10 years ago. I try my best to set an example on my personal life as well as professionally, in order to leave the title as it best to generations to come.
Some might say that the contemporary world has had a negative impact on accepted social graces. Do you agree or has it just strengthened them?
The contemporary world might have erased some of the old traditions. However, it cannot erase the history and what we represent or stand for. I think new power, social, cultural, economic, and political lines are drawn now a days in the world and we have all had to adjust to them and set an example. Being in constant disagreement with the rest of the world I think is a waste of time.
Tell us about your career, you began working in finance and later quit to start your own clothing business.
I graduated from University in Washington D.C and started to work for a hedge fund in NY. Then moved to Madrid to work for a team at Credit Suisse Private Banking. After 4 years I developed some ideas with a few old time friends that enabled us to start a project related to men’s fashion. Such a project was impossible without funding. We had no investors or people that believed in it so we started to work on it directly by selling ties B2B and making bespoke shirts delivered at home or office. Almost 4 years later we have 12 stores in Spain, over 30 multibrand stores and the idea of growing still on 2011 especially abroad.
What is your ambition with Scalpers?
Grow in brand recognition, settle the business model in Spain and explore the possibilities abroad in the medium long term.
How do you enjoy your free time?
Doing lots of sports (running, cycling, ski, swimming, etc.,) enjoying nature, enjoying a good lunch or dinner with a nice wine, travelling abroad…
It is 1970 and we are meeting up at a party that Luchino Visconti is having in Rome. What are you wearing? In addition, whom do we want to meet?
Very simple, relax shirt, relaxed pants & jacket. Rome is a relaxed city, no need to over dress. Would love to meet great actors from the 30´s and 40´s. TOTO.
The above interview with Don Rafael de Medina y Abascal, 20th Duke of Feria 2011 © Manner of Man Magazine/Welldressed. All rights reserved. Reproduction is strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher.