A personal journey with Esteban Cortazar

27 May 2015

  • After the hiatus, Esteban Cortazar remerged at this years’ Paris Fashion Week with a fantastic “personal” collection. The collection reflected his emotions - from the uncertainties of running his own show, to a sense of freedom and the feelings of joy.

    The post–Ungaro period

    I decided to stay in Paris after leaving my position as creative director at Emanuel Ungaro in 2009. During my helm at one of the most prestigious ateliers, I got to hone my craft and creativity, the experience took me to a new level and Paris became my home. I thought long and hard on what to do next and in the end, I established my own eponymous label and came up with this Spring Summer 2015 collection. We took a slightly different approach. First, we arranged buying appointments so that we knew exactly what sold and what didn’t, then we showed the collection on runway to the press, so that by the time people could see the collection on instagram, they could buy the collection. I’m embracing the immediacy of the current fashion pace, at the same time without compromising the importance of showing my vision.

    I can’t do fashion if I can’t sell a dream.

    From Colombia to Paris.

    ​The first look is a structured suede oversized jacket. I was going through a lot of uncertainties in Paris when setting up the company so this is like an armour to protect myself. Although Paris has become my home, my roots still remain in Colombia. I went home for holiday before I started designing this collection. The flaming red and forest green in the colourful palette is derived from the Colombian beautiful nature. I‘ve been riding since a very young age and I felt the sense of freedom when I was riding at home. The leather saddle is translated into the waxed leather jacket in this collection.

    The fringed and long chiffon dresses are the diaries of me dancing and sweating in the heat with good friends and family.

    I’ve lived in Miami and New York before coming to Paris. In Miami, I was living near South beach during the height of the early 90s glamour. Think Gianni Versace , Patrick Demarchelier and the supermodels. It was my first encounter of glamour. And in New York, I learnt about business models and disciplines of a designer. I think these valuable experiences in these different cities help mould me and set me apart.

    The collection is himself

    This is my debut full collection from my own label. I don’t want to draw inspiration from a book, or an artpiece or a specific period. It’s about how I feel. My father is an artist and my mother is a jazz singer, so the freedom of creativity has always been the core of my upbringing.

    I treat fabrics like sculptures.

    And people, people who have influenced or are still influencing me play a big part in my creativity.

    Interview by Lucienne Leung-Davies

    Photos by Filep Motwary