José Fernández, zero-gravity fashion
The Mexican-American designer began by "dressing" and now creates the suits for the astronauts of Elon Musk's company.
One of my favorite conspiracy theories still holds that the arrival of man on the moon was filmed on a television set, that we never went into space, and that Kubrick, a master of film, presented it to all of us with cheese.
Judging from the adventures of some of the most famous astronauts back on Earth — it is said Armstrong was looking for the center of the Earth in Ecuador and James Irwin, who traveled on Apollo 15, started a cult and chased Noah's Ark to Turkey - there is no doubt that space travel and its protagonists are very much cinematic.
Perhaps because of that and Elon Musk's passion for science fiction, when the visionary creator of Tesla and SpaceX had to hire a designer to create his astronauts' suits, he chose a superhero couturier. Because deep down, surviving in space is also a superpower.
That's how Mexican-American sculptor and designer José Fernández (born in Miami in 1965) began working for the eccentric millionaire. He was asked to present a space suit project and he created a helmet thinking it was for a movie. What he didn't know was that four years later, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, the first NASA astronauts to fly to the International Space Station for a private company, would dress him up in orbit.
Fernández began his career as a movie costume designer. The first Hollywood movie he participated in was The Gremlins (1989), and later as the official tailor for many Marvel and DC superheroes, such as Batman, Thor, Spiderman, Captain America, The Fantastic Four and Black Panther. He also created galactic helmets for bands like Daft Punk, which are quite Martian.
However, the designer, who founded Ironhead Studio in 2007, stood out above all for his space suits and alien costumes used in films such as Battleship and Passengers (2016), which surprised Musk and took Fernández to the top of high-flying fashion.
The costumes the artist designed for the Falcon 9 crew seem to be taken from Interstellar and are given the striking nickname of Starman. Although they have their limitations - they are not suitable for walks in space - they protect the astronauts in case of depressurization of the ship, just like the already legendary orange uniforms.
Technological and with a mixture of futurism and eighties fantasy, Fernandez's Starman suits also regulate the temperature, are fireproof and have a connection point in the leg that controls the internal climate, oxygen and data. In addition, the helmet, which was the first thing the designer presented to Starlink's visionary father, has microphones, valves and is made with 3D printing.
Fans of the suit are not in luck, the Starmans are not for sale. However, in addition to accompanying the astronauts in their pre-launch training at the end of last month, they were used on several mannequins launched into space with names that are also quite galactic. The second of these was nicknamed Ripley, after the lieutenant of the Nostromo spacecraft from Alien.