Fashion Your Seatbelt podcast

075 Joseph Altuzarra: Finds Fashion's Perfect Balance

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You get the sense, when you speak to designer Joseph Altuzarra, that he is that perfect combination of creativity and commerce. That as a French American, he has an innate sense of style coursing through his veins. While his American roots give him savvy business sense and a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” attitude. From a young age, Joseph - who was raised by his French Basque father and Chinese- American mother - has always believed in the transformative power of fashion. A self-taught designer who got a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Art History from Swarthmore College, his approach to this sartorial art form has always been focused on how the clothes someone chooses to wear tell a larger story. It can be the story of who that individual is or it can be one about the person they hope to become. That clothing telegraphs a message to the world about how we see ourselves. As luck would have it, Joseph landed an internship in the design studio of Marc Jacobs in 2004 and he went on to work with Proenza Schouler before getting tapped by Riccardo Tisci to join him in Paris and become the designer’s first apprentice during his tenure at Givenchy. Then in 2008, Joseph returned to New York to strike out on his own. And from the moment he launched his signature brand, his work stood out from the other fashion collections being shown at New York Fashion Week. His sexy, sensual aesthetic that wove together elements of his multicultural heritage into his designs did not fit into the American Sportswear approach of many of his peers at that time. But standing out from the crowd served Joseph well. He was honored with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2011 and the CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear Design in 2012. He was then named the winner of the US Woolmark Prize in 2013 and in 2014 he nabbed the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award. Suffice to say, Joseph, with his accolades, his brand collaboration with Target, and his stint as a judge on the first season of the Amazon Prime television series “Making the Cut” turned Altuzarra into a household name. And now with his label well established in the fashion industry, Joseph is thinking about where he wants to take things from here. In our conversation, we discuss what the future holds for this talented designer as he looks at his career from a post-pandemic perspective. A viewpoint that has been changed by the arrival of his daughter Emma and a desire to lead a balanced and intentional life. But one that will always have fashion at its heart.

Altri episodi di "Fashion Your Seatbelt"

  • Fashion Your Seatbelt podcast

    079 Anine Bing: Turning Followers into a Fashion Empire

    28:35

    Fashion entrepreneur Anine Bing is a very savvy business woman who knows how to seize her moment. An early adapter to the social media space, Anine, who is a former model and blogger, was one of the first to translate her online following into a successful fashion brand business. She launched her signature line back in 2012 out of the garage in her home in California. Her collection of chic staple pieces, inspired by her Scandinavian heritage and the casual cool of her Los Angeles home base, were an instant hit. Her “online first” business model, leveraging social media to market and promote her pieces was a new strategy at the time she launched. But today it's a formula that many are emulating. She reverse-engineered her success, starting from the digital space and then moving into the more traditional brick-and-mortar arena. Because today, Anine is sitting on the top of a wardrobe essentials empire. Not only is her collection sold in more than 350 stores globally, she also has over 15 stores located around the world. And Anine continues to expand. She has moved into childrenswear and has launched a successful line of perfumes, not to mention sunglasses, shoes, bags, lingerie, and jewelry. I sat down with Anine in her stylish stand-alone store in the heart of Paris to discuss her impressive success story. I was curious to learn more about a woman who was able to translate her love of timeless style and relaxed elegance into a brand that is helping legions of women look picture perfect for their selfies.
  • Fashion Your Seatbelt podcast

    078 Kaat Debo: The Fashion Curator Looking to the Future

    38:38

    Kaat Debo is the Director and Chief Curator of Antwerp’s famed ModeMuseum fashion museum, better known as the MoMu; a museum that has spent the last three years under renovation. But now, after years of waiting, Kaat is able to reintroduce the world to her second home. A museum with over 35,000 pieces of Belgian fashion in its archives and a unique history that celebrates sartorial storytellers who have helped the world see fashion from new and unexpected angles. But while the MoMu is all about helping the larger world understand the different aspects and influences of the fashion universe, Kaat herself hasn’t been one to share her story much with the public. There is very little information about her online, other than the broad brushstroke that tell us that she studied literature and philosophy in school, that she first joined MoMu as a curator in 2001, she spent a couple of years as the editor-in-chief of A Magazine and then in 2009 took up her top spot position as the director of the MoMu. So I was excited to have an in depth chat with Kaat about what it takes to be a curator, especially one working in the rather new field of fashion curation. I looked forward to learning how her studies, her childhood and her mentors throughout her career shaped her world view and her collaborative nature. And I was interested to hear all about the rebirth of MoMu and how she is planning to make this museum so much more than a shire for clothes; but rather a living, breathing part of the Antwerp cultural community that interacts with the city that surrounds it and helps to nurture fashion lovers of the future.
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    077 Mary Katrantzou: Fashion's Goddess of Trompe L'Oeil and High Tech

    50:01

    I’ll never forget the first time I discovered the work of Mary Katrantzou. It was in London in 2008 I believe, and I just happened to wander into a room where a rack of her now-famous perfume bottle printed dresses was on display. On hand was her mother who was proudly showing off the stunning creations her daughter had dreamt up. And Mary’s mom had every right to be proud. Her work was unlike anything else going on in fashion at that time. Advancements in printing and computer technology had made it possible for this young woman to create architectural designs on fluid fabrics. Blending beautifully her passion for interior designs and her studies in the field of architecture at Rhode Island School of Design with her Bachelor of Arts in Textile Design and her Master’s in Fashion from Central Saint Martins. But it wasn’t just the print work that set Mary apart from the pack,it was that combined with her choice of vibrant rainbow colorways. The result was a collection that was the harbinger of the 2010s colorful print fashion revolution. Since she started her signature brand in 2008 Mary, who was born in Athens, Greece, has found a way to modernize trompe l’oeil, help women fall in love with print and color again, and showed the world that clashing aesthetics can be boldly feminine and empowering. This is why powerful women like Michelle Obama, Cate Blanchett, Beyoncé, Lizzo, Jane Fonda, and Zendaya have all flocked to her creations. But Mary’s success goes beyond her ability to reinvent her core design principles every season. She is a very savvy businesswoman who saw early on in her career the power that collaborating with other creatives and brands could have in expanding her reach and name recognition. Her recent partnership with the high jewelry company Bulgari on a line of limited edition bags is a perfect example of this. But so is her work with Victoria’s Secret, Longchamp, Topshop, and Adidas Original. And her recent decision to create the size-inclusive year-round holiday capsule collection called Mary-Mare also is indicative of how Mary is able to deftly read the fashion tea leaves as the industry shifts away from seasonal shows and moves into a space where smaller drops throughout a year feels more in keeping with the times we live in. With over a decade in fashion, Mary Katrantzou is still innovating and challenging herself as a creative, and her devoted clients couldn’t be happier.
  • Fashion Your Seatbelt podcast

    076 Spencer Phipps is Making Sustainable Style A Manly Pursuit

    37:10

    Designer Spencer Phipps is a born risk-taker. There isn’t a limb on his body that doesn’t have a scar from one escapade or another - that he jumped into with both feet before asking questions. The man is even missing a significant portion of one of his pinkie fingers from one memorable misadventure. And when it comes to taking risks, Spencer also has no problem doing that in business. It was, after all, an impulse decision to launch his signature menswear brand Phipps back in 2017. When, after having worked alongside Marc Jacobs and Dries van Noten, he found himself looking to make his next move and couldn’t find a fashion house that ticked all the boxes. So instead he decided to start his own. Spencer, who was born and raised in San Francisco and graduated with a degree from Parsons in New York, has over the past four years created for himself a label that scratches a very interesting sartorial itch. His clothing celebrates timeless American wardrobe staples that allude to wide open places, outdoor activities, and manly pursuits. Garments that Spencer has designed so that they revere nature, appreciate the artisanal hand, and seek to leave as little an impact as possible on the planet. While simultaneously his goal is to have them hold a long-term place of honor in a man’s closet, another sustainable pursuit. From its inception, one of the pillars of the Phipps brand has been its commitment to sustainable sourcing and responsible manufacturing. For the designer, this means both leveraging the latest technology in terms of construction and production, as well as fine-tuning a list of transparent, sustainable suppliers that he works with regularly. His fervent commitment to crafting clothing that makes an impact but doesn't leave one on the Earth is one of the reasons why Spencer was an LVMH prize finalist in 2019 and, after just two seasons, the brand was added to the official Paris Fashion Week: Menswear calendar. But if I am being completely honest, on top of all the reasons I have already mentioned, Spencer is just a really cool guy that you always have fun hanging out with, as you will discover yourself with this interview.
  • Fashion Your Seatbelt podcast

    075 Joseph Altuzarra: Finds Fashion's Perfect Balance

    41:35

    You get the sense, when you speak to designer Joseph Altuzarra, that he is that perfect combination of creativity and commerce. That as a French American, he has an innate sense of style coursing through his veins. While his American roots give him savvy business sense and a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” attitude. From a young age, Joseph - who was raised by his French Basque father and Chinese- American mother - has always believed in the transformative power of fashion. A self-taught designer who got a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Art History from Swarthmore College, his approach to this sartorial art form has always been focused on how the clothes someone chooses to wear tell a larger story. It can be the story of who that individual is or it can be one about the person they hope to become. That clothing telegraphs a message to the world about how we see ourselves. As luck would have it, Joseph landed an internship in the design studio of Marc Jacobs in 2004 and he went on to work with Proenza Schouler before getting tapped by Riccardo Tisci to join him in Paris and become the designer’s first apprentice during his tenure at Givenchy. Then in 2008, Joseph returned to New York to strike out on his own. And from the moment he launched his signature brand, his work stood out from the other fashion collections being shown at New York Fashion Week. His sexy, sensual aesthetic that wove together elements of his multicultural heritage into his designs did not fit into the American Sportswear approach of many of his peers at that time. But standing out from the crowd served Joseph well. He was honored with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2011 and the CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear Design in 2012. He was then named the winner of the US Woolmark Prize in 2013 and in 2014 he nabbed the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award. Suffice to say, Joseph, with his accolades, his brand collaboration with Target, and his stint as a judge on the first season of the Amazon Prime television series “Making the Cut” turned Altuzarra into a household name. And now with his label well established in the fashion industry, Joseph is thinking about where he wants to take things from here. In our conversation, we discuss what the future holds for this talented designer as he looks at his career from a post-pandemic perspective. A viewpoint that has been changed by the arrival of his daughter Emma and a desire to lead a balanced and intentional life. But one that will always have fashion at its heart.
  • Fashion Your Seatbelt podcast

    074 Alisa Volskaya: The Future of Luxury PR

    36:15

    I wanted to interview Alisa Volskaya, the founder of the public relations firm AVEC, for a few reasons. First of all, every time I would bump into her at a fashion show or event, our conversations about the state of the industry, future trends, and fashion in general always went well past surface chit-chat. Secondly, I was impressed by her drive and third, it just takes a lot of guts to launch a PR company during a moment when that field is in the middle of such a paradigm shift. Not to mention doing it in 2020, the year the world stood still. Alisa started out her career working at Condé Nast International in Paris and was in charge of the fashion publishing house’s digital projects and partnerships. In 2015, she became the Executive Director at Naked Heart France, a charity founded by the top model and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova, where she was in charge of international fundraising and partnerships. Then just five years later, she decided to go out on her own and launch her firm AVEC. Alisa’s PR philosophy is right there in the name of her business - AVEC. She sees the work that she does for brands like Chaumet, Ralph Lauren, Chopard, and Balmain as a real partnership. One where her role is to be there with the companies every step of the way in their strategy journey, from conception to completion. But what exactly does that mean in the post-pandemic, social media-centric metaverse world we now inhabit? Alisa, just like every other time I have spoken with her, had some insightful and sometimes surprising answers.
  • Fashion Your Seatbelt podcast

    073 Alexandre de Betak: Fashion's Consummate Creative

    55:06

    Consummate creative Alexandre de Betak is an industry touchpoint in the world of fashion. He is behind some of the most era-defining fashion shows, events, and exhibitions of the past three decades. The proverbial man behind the curtain, Alex has brought to life the visions of designers as diverse as Raf Simons, Michael Kors, and Gabriela Hearst, and brands big and small, from Dior and YSL to Jacquemus and Rodarte. Throughout our fascinating conversation, we talk about where the spark of creativity comes from, how to keep those creative juices flowing, and how Alex is instilling in his own children that desire to experiment, to explore, and to see the world, and what it could be from different perspectives. Perspectives that will help those around them also experience a moment in new ways that challenge, delight, and mesmerize.
  • Fashion Your Seatbelt podcast

    072 August Getty: Couture's Virtual Visionary

    25:11

    Fashion designer August Getty is a gentle soul whose goal is to create a fully inclusive, fully immersive sartorial world where everyone is welcome. All that is required is that you be yourself 100% both in the real world in one of his one-of-a-kind couture creations, or in the digital sphere where he recently created a whole new virtual universe he has baptized Tinitus. It is inside Tinitus that August brought to life four digital gowns for this past haute couture season, with 3D imagery so detailed it probably caused some of the biggest couture houses to turn green with envy. The designer spent six months creating these three-dimensional virtual gowns and he intends to expand on this concept with the upcoming couture shows this summer. Based in Los Angeles, the August Getty Atelier has become a niche go-to fashion house for celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Cher, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Zendaya..and I could go on. All of them looking for outfits that are bold, unexpected, and wholly original for their galas, red carpets, and event outfits, because let's get one thing clear, August designs ensembles for maximum impact. For August, who is an autodidact designer, the goal of fashion, which he says he has loved all the way back to “when he was in the womb” is how transformative it can be. It can make you brave and it can give you the strength to be the person you want to become. Turn fiction into reality with fashion. That is what makes it so magical and so powerful.
  • Fashion Your Seatbelt podcast

    071 Sasha Samsonova: Photographing Female Power

    42:43

    Photographer Sasha Samsonova is generating quite a buzz with her striking images of women who are comfortable in their own skin and unabashedly sexy. A female Helmut Newton, Sasha is all about celebrating the beauty and strength of the women who stand before her lens. Born and raised in Ukraine, Sasha is an autodidact photographer who was already shooting for Harper’s Bazaar by the time she was 17 years old, having picked up a camera after her plans to become a professional ballroom dancer fell by the wayside. But her innate understanding of how the body can express emotion in the way it moves has had a direct impact on both her photography and the films and videos she is now directing in Hollywood. Sasha has worked with celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Lili Reinhart, Khloe Kardashian, Emma Roberts, and Kate Bosworth, her images have been featured in the pages of Vogue, L’Officiel, Elle, and Playboy and she has collaborated with brands such as Google, Fear of God, and Revlon. When you see Sasha’s work it’s all about sensual strength. And when you listen to her speak, you know that her goal in life is to make women feel as powerful as possible. And she has the photos to prove that she is doing exactly that.
  • Fashion Your Seatbelt podcast

    070 Romeo Hunte: A Designer Hustling His Way To The Top

    33:05

    Romeo Hunte first registered on my radar in a way that I have never connected with a young designer before. He sent me a DM on Instagram during the global lockdown last year and suggested that the two of us jump on an Instagram Live to talk about the state of fashion in the throws of a global pandemic. And that is exactly what we ended up doing. I am telling you this story because I think it perfectly illustrates who Romeo is. He always takes the initiative, he has a clear vision of where he wants his brand and his career to go. And he is open to experimenting, trying new things, meeting new people, and just seeing how the creativity all comes together to build something new and engaging. Now just a bit of background about Romeo before we jump into our podcast interview. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and turned down a full athletic ride for his skills in track and field to instead attend the Fashion Institute of Technology to pursue his dream of becoming a fashion designer. He launched his brand in 2014 and then he hustled. Using his contacts via his freelance styling gigs and his full-time job as a personal shopper at a luxury retail store he was able to build both momentum and a buzz for his signature label. And then it wasn’t long before Romeo found his statement-making outerwear on the likes of Beyonce, Dwayne Wade, or Tobias Harris. Zendaya was a very early adopter of his colorful ensembles, and Michelle Obama has been spotted wearing his tailored blazers and denim hybrid jackets. Step by step, Romeo has been building a reputation for making cool, reconstructed pieces that take the best elements of different items of clothing and creating CRISPR-like hybrid pieces designed to get noticed. One person that early on took a shine to Romeo’s designs was Tommy Hilfiger. The two designers have built a strong relationship over the years, and Tommy recently gave Romeo free reign to forage through his archives. Romeo took it upon himself to revisit and reinvent some of Tommy’s iconic designs and give them a new lease on life. This clever collaboration is just the beginning of the long road ahead for Romeo in fashion.

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