NEW WORLD IN HIS VIEW
How Designer NIRCO CASTILLO is Taking the Fashion Stage
By Eden Herbstman
“It’s just fashion, we aren’t saving lives” says designer Nirco Castillo. Just looking at his collections, Castillo brings drama through his minimalist yet geometric crafted lens. Yes, it is just fashion, but Castillo is one of those designers capable of making the “fantasy” world of fashion into reality. Each piece comes from a place of honesty, authenticity, and a clear vision to inspire and challenge modern day elegance for women. Daring cuts, soft pallets, and the relationship between fabric and the body itself help engage the elements and artistic vision Castillo promotes through his clothing. Before launching his his label in 2013, Castillo had previous experience working under brands for Zac Posen and Alexander Wang. Through his own language of fashion, a Nirco Castillo original is a mashup of sexiness and refinement. This balance is what keeps the excitement alive in his clothing, and makes him a definite designer to watch in the coming seasons.
Eden Herbstman: You started your career in fashion at brands such as Zac Posen and Alexander Wang. While there did you have aspirations to one day develop your own label?
Nirco Castillo: It is satisfying being part of a creative team, and helping a designer bring his/her visions to life, but since I can remember I have always wanted to develop my own label. It was useful to observe the process when I was working at other brands, but I find it a greater satisfaction making my own creative vision a reality. It comes naturally to me. As a creative person myself, I have ideas, philosophies, and an aesthetic that I want to expose to society.
EH: Did you have any fears when you began designing on your own?
NC: Of course I did. Perhaps only an egotistical, overly confident, or naive person would be completely without fear in fulfilling their dreams. I”m confident in my own product and vision, but I want to see if the public is ready, and if it speaks to the women of today.
EH: What preconceived notions of fashion do you believe your brand challenges?
NC: Fashion is perceived as superficial and disconnected from reality, but I believe that fashion is one of the most tangible, physical, and emotional art forms that we as society have. It plays a role in nearly every aspect of our lives. As a designer I would like to challenge the idea of “elegance.” Elegance no longer has the same refined and delicate beauty it once had in the past. Elegance to me comes with grittiness and power. Clothing, in general, I feel needs to be more transitional: Day to night, work to party, sexy to playful.
EH: What signature elements make a Nirco Castillo piece?
NC: Intricate details, geometry, and playful cuts/lines that differ from traditional clothing. Presence, sensuality, and humor are things I keep in mind when designing.
EH: Do you have a life mantra you try and live by?
NC: My mother and sister instilled in me the ability to see lightness and darkness in everything, and to remain hopeful and positive when tragedy or failure is upon us. Life is given to us to live, so we must live it and welcome all the sweet and sour. “I work to live not live to work.” That”s something I say to my friends in the fashion industry or my team to help them keep their heads above rising waters and ease stress. It”s just fashion, we aren”t saving lives.
EH: If you could pick any person, dead or alive, to attend your fashion presentation who would it be?
NC: Gianni Versace. My fascination with Gianni began at the age of seven. His death when I was twelve had a powerful impact on me. I have always admired his aesthetic influence on fashion. His imagination exceeded clothing, and his vision had such power it gave force to an entire fashion empire. His clothing gave women a colorful, seductive, and bold sexuality. To have such a fascinating and artistic soul view my work would be priceless.
Nirco Castillo is a New York based fashion designer. This will be his third upcoming collection since his 2013 debut.
Written by Eden Herbstman
Photography Courtesy of MAO PR
Design by Francesca Rimi
Photography Courtesy of MAO PR