The sensual and sophisticated woman of talented designer Esteban Cortazar
Two seasons ago, the British-Columbian designer relaunched his label with a daring commercial strategy. His spring-summer 2016 collection confirms the talent of this young thirty-something, who presented his first collection at the age of 15.
Numéro: When you relaunched your brand during the spring-summer 2015 season, you decided to show your collection first to the buyers during the pre-collections, before showing it to the press during Paris Fashion Week. Why this strategy?
Esteban Cortazar: When the time came to relaunch my label after two capsule collections for Net-a-Porter, I questioned fashion’s official calendar. Everyone agrees that it’s ridiculous these days for a client to wait six months to get clothes from a runway show that they will have seen endlessly photographed in the press. So I wanted to find a rhythm that was more relevant to our times. And I can safely say this strategy, that allows women to buy the pieces straight after my shows, is proving successful.
Your spring-summer 2016 collection emphasises your taste for geometry, asymmetry, construction and cropped tops contrasting with long skirts. Would we be right in saying they’re the codes of your young label?
They are effectively signatures I love working with, and they will always feature in my collections. My taste for geometry manifests itself in the laser cuts I happily incorporate. But I particularly like creating tension between materials that clash within the same silhouette. This season for example python introduces a certain thrill of danger and exoticism. By mixing it up with metallic textures, Lurex and shoes embroidered with Swarovski crystals, I gave the collection a galactic edge.
Some fashion critics have said the Esteban Cortazar woman is an extra-terrestrial creature. Who is she to you?
She is always brave, determined, sensual and feminine. This season I saw her venture into a rave party in the Amazonian region. I like imagining different, unique worlds, and asking myself how she would behave in them. It’s a way for me to daydream; it pushes me to be creative and to try out something new, something different.
Your runway show offers a very strong, impacting look, but every piece, when taken individually, is interesting. Is it important for you to reconcile an approach based on the product with a genuine fashion proposition?
For me it’s vital that every piece is interesting, even when it’s worn with very simple basics. And for my runway show I like to maximise the visual impact by creating strong silhouettes that are translations of the vision I have in my mind.
Interview by Delphine Roche