Lucho Dávila graduated from the Master of Strategic Design Labs in 2013, having learned how to give shape to his ideas and turn them into businesses. Today, he works as a fashion photographer under his personal brand, iamtrece, where he has combined his knowledge of business strategy and his passion for photography, which, surely, is one of the keys to his success.
Although he already had an entrepreneur spirit, his studies at the IED Madrid enabled him to organize his ideas and learn how to manage his entrepreneurial creativity. Lucho defines himself as «a maker: a maker of photos, videos, stories, ideas and “other things”, obsessed with the art of deception, the visual arts and the number 13».
For his final master’s project at the IED Madrid, he devised the start-up PrintForMe, a platform that connected clients and printer’s with the best offers and highest quality. Currently, in addition to positioning his personal brand as a photographer, he is also busy as cofounder of wroomies (Welcome Roomies), a digital platform that helps foreign students to get comfortably settled in Madrid.
You talk about your obsession with the number thirteen, which also forms part of your personal brand: iamtrece. What does this number mean to you, and why are you obsessed with it?
Thirteen is a number that various cultures believe brings bad luck and I am a person who doesn’t believe in luck. I have used thirteen in the names of many of my entrepreneurial projects throughout my life, to show that thirteen is just a number. Today, iamtrece is the personal brand that I use as a fashion photographer and it has an added plus. My greatest fear is blindness, of course, being a photographer. On my logo the number is written in braille, to fight this fear through the number and demonstrate that there is no such thing as luck.
Converting your passion into a business has been a great success. How do you go from fashion photographer to entrepreneur?
The fashion photography market is very hard, like everything else. But as my father says, "it is better to be the head of mouse than the tail of a lion".
I consider that maintaining a balance between creativity and strategy is a great achievement. I firmly believe that persistence, commitment, hard work and, above all, making mistakes and learning from them are fundamental to converting your passion into business.
What influence did your Master of Strategic Design Labs studies have when starting your own business?
I have been enterprising since I was fifteen years old. I have failed many times and I have learned from these mistakes. Therefore, I think that the Master of Strategic Design Labs was a good decision for nobody teaches you how to be an entrepreneur.
It helped me to connect my creative mind with my business and strategic side.
During the master you had the experience of creating a start-up. What did you learn from it and how is this reflected in your own studio?
During the master I learned a great deal of very valuable theory, but, above all, the experience of creating a start-up, working on real projects, managing to monetize an idea and finally have interested investors call about the project is a great reflection on the training.
Starting a project from scratch and making it profitable is a great achievement. Now, I see all that I learned on that journey reflected in what I do every day.
What is your differential value in the market? How do you position your brand?
I develop my differential value day by day. But I could say that there are many pieces in play to generate value, mainly having a great mentor in the business sphere.
Networking, good marketing and good service are vital to positioning a brand. When you are talking about a market like that of fashion, having your own voice and style is necessary, but it is also necessary to find a market that needs what you are offering. I think my differential value, in addition to creativity, quality and my own style, is service: a good user experience is essential in every company.
Tell us about your work in progress. What projects are you working on and for whom?
Currently, I am dedicated 24 hours a day to fashion photography. I have just shot a brief for Adidas, sent by the mentoring program, with Nick Knight.
For the next few months I will be carrying out some fashion films and several fashion editorials for the Spanish media and others outside Spain, among which is a production in St Petersburg. I also have strong ties in Latin America, where I have publications pending.