At the beginning of the year we were all in our office or studios working away and going outside for shoots or running around doing errands, but the last few months we’ve all been locked inside our homes to flatten the curve.
Since the beginning of lockdown, designer Joseph Altuzarra has been working hard at home with his team, who are all also working remotely from home, to finish the pre-spring collection as well as starting to work on the spring collection. Even when he isn’t working with his team, he is always working on his own personal projects, like knitting or making new accessories from broken jewellery found online.
Living and working in this current climate that is strange to us all “It’s been strangely invigorating in some ways, to be forced to be creative and be on a different calendar has been disruptive, but it’s also woke me up a little bit.” We have all had to wake up to this new reality that has changed the way we did things for a very long time, the disruptions have opened our eyes to problems we didn’t realise we had previously, or the problems we should have prepared for. You could argue that living and working through this pandemic has given everyone a new sense of intuition.
Altuzarra’s sense of intuition has heavily contributed to his namesake label and made him one of New York’s biggest success stories in the fashion industry in the last ten years. The reason for his success? He knows exactly what his customers want. Altuzarra clearly understands what women want, and he knows how to dress them. The brand started in 2008 in his parent’s house, and by 2014 his brand had grown massively, and he had won the CFDA award for Womenswear Designer of the Year, as well as winning the Accessories Council’s top award three years down the line. He has also worked with high profile names over the years, including Lana Del Rey at the Met Gala or Kerry Washington at the Golden Globes award. His forward thinking designs, combined with creating something that is actually wearable is an incredible talent, his dresses and tailored pieces have a fine line between wearing them to the office Monday morning and then going out for a drink after work; these clothes work in so many different scenarios, it is this wearable aspect that makes him so successful.
His intuition also makes him extraordinary at guessing what women will want to wear the next season, and the season after that and so on. The main thing that runs across all collections is that women “want to wear things that bring them joy-clothes that are all about living in the moment and being totally yourself.”
However, this lockdown has been hard work, Altuzarra has felt some of the few personal benefits it has had. Having the opportunity to spend more time with his daughter and has felt the effects of his community coming together and that feeling of solidarity; he has also launched a collaboration with ETSY creating a sustainable homeware line.
Altuzarra can teach the rest of the industry a big lesson. Fashion is about people, not just clothes, and having that thoughtfulness is the right step in the next direction.