Not many aspiring fashion designers can say they got their first job by writing to Marc Jacobs on a whim. However, Joseph Altuzarra did just that.
Joseph Altuzurra was born and raised in Paris and moved to America to study at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. He studied Art and Art History where he focused on fashion and architecture. He had the sudden impulsive idea to send his resume to Marc Jacobs and was accepted. He moved to New York to start a six-month internship at the company. Joseph then moved on to design for Proenza Schouler on a freelance basis. Altuzurra also worked as an assistant to New York’s premier modéliste Nicolas Caito. In October 2006, Riccardo Tisci recruited Joseph to design for Givenchy as a design assistant. While working for Givenchy he worked on the ready-to-wear collections where his emphasis was on tailoring. Joseph struggled at Givenchy due to his lack of formal training.
While he was working for Givenchy he decided to leave the company and return to New York to set up his own label. While he was working for Givenchy, Joseph met Coline Choay, the international public relations manager. Coline left Givenchy to help Joseph set up his own business.
Altuzurra’s first collection featured the labels signature complex seaming and fitted trousers. This collection created a buzz that led to Altuzurra becoming an overnight sensation. The labels identity is considered to ‘fall between the legacy of French culture and New York’s pulsating energy’.
When you look at Altuzurra’s past collections he appears to be highly influenced by past decades or media events. His Fall 2009 show was inspired by the forties and eighties, Spring 2010 by the seventies, Fall 2010 Edward Scissor Hands, Spring 2011 by the sixties and Fall 2011 the nineties. Altuzurra have never used bright colours in a collection yet. The colour palettes are very simple and Joseph tends to stick to black, white or neutrals. There is a focus on the construction and the detailing in the garments rather than the colours that are used.
Last month Altuzurra showed the Resort 2012 show in New York. Once again the colour palette was kept simple with the use of black and white. The Fall collection was grungy and wouldn’t have looked out of place on the streets of New York. However, the Resort collection would fit in more in a French town. It was loose fitting and a lighter collection. Altuzurra’s latest collection would suggest that Joseph might want to move in a new direction. Whatever that direction may be it is certain that it will be just as successful as his past collections.
Images Courtesy of JosephAltuzurra.com and Style.com.