I’d like to introduce you to the hip NY designer Christian Cota whom style.com after his very first collection named one of their “Ten Newcomers to Watch”. In July of 2010, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue named Christian Cota a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist. Definitely one to watch! Stunning clothes! We talk about his inspirations, style, his collections, and life in general…
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am from Mexico City and after high school I went to Paris to study painting. There I realized the importance of fashion and how I could combine my two passions. Then I decided to come to NY and go to Parsons. After graduating and working in the industry for a little while and realized there was something pretty unique I could offer and in 2007 I decided to launch my own brand.
How did you get into fashion design?
It is interesting because it was always there. Now that I am a designer, I look back at pictures of mine at a very young age making costumes and decorations for my mom’s costume parties. At 15 I became interested in art and started painting classes in Mexico in the school of Bellas Artes. I entered a Levi’s competition when I was in high school that was called “Paint Your Jeans” and won the first place. My sister was my model. And right there I figured out that not only did I love fashion but I could make a woman feel beautiful and help people change their attitude and what they want to express. I was determined to make it as a painter, so I moved to Paris for six months to take classes. There I discovered the elegance of a woman when she dresses and realized how fashion was not only a passion but a great business as well.
What is your favourite historical period?
Fashion wise I would say the late 40’s and 50’s. There was an explosion of creativity and newness in fashion at that time. People were interested in fashion for the clothes and their beauty and the confection of a garment. There was a lot of room for innovation in every area of the fashion business.
Do you draw inspiration from music, art?
I get inspired by everything but mostly nature. Minerals, living creatures, plants, etc; I am inspired by forms, prints, colours, and textures. Besides that, art is another great inspiration to me. My SS09 collection was inspired on Impressionism and my FW10 on Cubism.
What kind of woman do you design for?
A sophisticated woman with a creative point-of-view. She is a cosmopolitan woman, with a lot of personality; she appreciates art. She is a very active women that needs to look special and don’t want to go unnoticed. They are creative and know how to combine garments. Like a true artist!
My grandmother; she was a really stylish, elegant woman. Every time I design something I ask my self if it is something she would approve of. Before she passed away she asked me to make everything with sophistication and make her feel proud. I keep that like a little voice inside my head all the time…
Charlotte Casiraghi because she is elegant, modern, and has an ease to her, she breaks rules. Also Lauren Santo Domingo who use to be my stylist. I love how she dresses and she always gives me her honest opinion without sugarcoating it; she has amazing ideas. And Rania of Jourdan symbolizes beauty and femininity and still being very powerful and influential..
Fashion faux pas?
Trying to hard. Confidence is the best foundation for any outfit.
Describe your style?
Classic shapes with touches of colour or eccentric details. I love tailored pieces mixed in with relaxed easy ones. My style varies a lot since I like to be comfortable when I am working but then when I go out I like to dress up a little.
Inspiration for SS 2011 (absolutely stunning!)
I got inspired from the Yucatan jungle. I went to a trip there and stayed in a high-tech eco-cabin surrounded by nature, so I wanted to focus in the juxtaposition of these divergent concepts. There were a lot of birds, and seeing them in their natural habitat allowed me to reflect on my own relationship to nature while I was in my cabin -which was an engineering marvel- with its reflective solar panels that cut blade-like through the trees. That is where it all started.
Who wears your clothes?
A confident, stylish woman who is into art and not afraid of being herself. She is elegant and feminine and needs to look good since the beginning of the day in her morning meetings, lunches, gallery openings or social events.
Mexico City and NY.
Favourite restaurants, bars?
I love Joseph Leonard in NY and Suntory in Mexico City.
Professionally, grow my business in other markets and have my own store. I would to expand into a lifestyle brand eventually. Personally, I would like to climb a mountain and scuba dive; as well as to have more time to spend with my family and to work on social conscious projects.
The incredible Fall 2011 collection inspired by the dress of high-altitude natives -Tibetans, Andeans and Himalayans