Joseph Altuzarra recently took his namesake collection to Hong Kong for CENTRESTAGE, Asia’s premiere fashion tradeshow. The Daily caught up with him to find out about his experience and what the Asian market means to his booming business.
What inspired the collection you showed at CENTERSTAGE?
For the Pre-Spring 2020 collection, I was inspired by the desert landscapes go the American West, from the slot canyons of Utah to the flatlands of Joshua Tree. It all started with Robert Altman’s cult classic film “3 Women,” and its dream-like portrayal of life in an arid patch of Southern California. It informed the colors and textures of the collection, as well as the long and lean tailoring silhouette.
You launched your brand over 10 years ago — when you were only 25 — after working for some pretty major designers — Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy — why did you decide to do it then?
I started my own company in large part because I felt I had something to say, and a unique point of view. I also think I felt if I wasn’t going to do it then, I might never do it!
If you had to say, what do you think has been the secret to your success?
Authenticity is an over-used word, but I think having a point of view, a core belief, and sticking to it, makes all the difference. Don’t follow trends, follow the beat of your own drum.
How important is the Asian market to your business?
The Asian market is incredibly important to our business. In part of course because it is such an exciting market. But also, from a personal point of view, because I am half Chinese and grew up very close to my Chinese family.
Any new projects in the works?
We are working on a few exciting projects, which we will be able to share soon. I am particularly excited to be a judge on the new Amazon Prime TV show “Making the Cut” alongside Heidi Klum, Naomi Campbell, Nicole Richie and Chiara Ferragni.
Have you ever considered expanding into menswear? Home? Other categories? What would you like to do in these areas?
We are constantly thinking of new product categories and collaborations. I love menswear, home, luggage! You’ll have to stay tuned !
In what ways does sustainability factor into your work?
Sustainability and ethical processes have become incredibly important to me, and to our company. We have spent that last couple of years educating ourselves on how we can do better, both in terms of raw materials and production. We are now using recycled fiber and dead-stock fabrics and thinking more creatively about design to lower our carbon footprint, and create less waste. For instance, in the collection we showed at CENTRESTAGE, the multicolor dresses were made of dead-stock fabrics which we combined to create beautiful and desirable garments.