"To go to the beach after school and be surrounded by gorgeous topless women definitely influenced me to be quite free..."
[Ed. Note: Esteban Cortazar is a Columbian-American designer whose first collection debuted at New York Fashion Week on models like Naomi Campbell and Carmen Kass when he was only eighteen years old. Since then he has held positions as the creative director of Ungaro and is currently collaborating with Net-a-porter on an exclusive collection.]
"I grew up in South Beach, Florida on Ocean Drive and 8th St. I grew up in the best part of South Beach and in the best time for South Beach, which was the 90’s. That was when all the big photographers, like Herb Ritts, Steven Meisel, Patrick Demarchelier, Peter Lindbergh were going there to shoot all the supermodels. It was a very spontaneous time for Miami that I got to experience. I am very lucky to have grown up like that and it has influenced me so much. It was my first introduction to fashion in quite a beautiful way. Miami wasn’t really a fashion city but the fashion crowd went there to relax, and so I got to see them in that way. To go to the beach after school and be surrounded by gorgeous topless women definitely influenced me to be quite free and uninhibited about how I express sex appeal in my clothing. Now for me it has become more about sensuality.
The woman that I design for is extremely feminine but she also has a hardness to her. She is extremely strong, very sensual. Through this collection I am looking for my girl again, and I am letting her find me. I don’t want to think too much about one particular kind of woman because I’m reaching out to so many kinds of women around the world.
The initial concept for the Net-a-porter collection was to have the feeling of a trans-seasonal collection of pieces that can go from fall to winter to spring to summer–to be timeless throughout the year. That reflects very much what the Net-A-Porter customer is about, and how global and universal she is. As far as the inspiration, the starting point was the thought of a new beginning and the idea of a white canvas to build on. There are certain elements in terms of sculptural and architectural lines and sharp cuts, but these are paired with very fluid, soft, almost fragile shapes." -- Esteban Cortazar to Shop Ghost
Esteban Cortazar photographed in New York by Steff Yotka.
Esteban's Tips for Five Pieces Every Woman Should Own
A Great Pair of Jeans
"A woman needs jeans that fit her like a glove and make her look skinny and fabulous and makes her feel strong and gives her that confidence."
A Perfect White Tee
"The white t-shirt is a very important element to have."
The Little Black Dress
"Even though my collection is very neutral and ivory, one of the dresses comes in black, and that one has already sold out. That goes to show what desire there is for a little black dress."
A Belted Trench
"A trench coat is a great piece for a woman to have."
A Classic Pump
"The classic 90’s Manolo Blanik pump–that to me is so sexy and beautiful. Jeans, t-shirt, and a pump–you're done!"