Fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra founded his eponymous womenswear line Altuzarra in 2008, drawing from the French and American influences of his upbringing. At the conclusion of New York Fashion Week 2017, Altuzarra, who was awarded the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award in 2014, discussed his approach to design, navigating the business of fashion and the inspiration behind his most recent collection.
On knowing his customers: “I spend a lot of time with customers, going to stores and getting feedback and thinking about how women live their lives: what they want to wear when they’re going to work or dropping off their kids or going to dinner. There is a very pragmatic side to it – you want pockets to put your phone in, or you need something that stretches, or you want something that’s a little wrinkle-free for when you travel.”
On designing his Fall 2017 collection: “I was designing it during a pretty turbulent time here. And I think that I was feeling very much like I wanted something that felt protective and that felt – I guess ‘armored’ is the word. I think intuitively that was what I wanted to convey in the collection. And part of the inspiration came from my reading Macbeth which I felt was sort of appropriate for this time.”
On the French and American influences of his line: “Purely aesthetically, I think the French side sort of informs and lends to the collection a sort of sophistication and a very sort of European point of view with the cut and the embellishment and a certain sort of dressiness as well. But then the American side is very much the pragmatism and practicality of clothing and thinking about comfort and you know, pockets and things that feel a little less ‘Fashion’ with a capital ‘F.’ And I think it’s the joining of those two things that really make Altuzarra.”