As I continue to highlight emerging fashion brands and designers I thought about who would be my next choice. I decided on Menswear and Womenswear designer Elizabeth Castellon. She also happens to be a fellow Academy of Art University alumni. After seeing her 2014 Fall Menswear collection during AAU’s runway show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2014 I decided to reach out to her. As a big fan of menswear her collection was one that stood out to me. I was fortunate to catch up with Elizabeth and asked her to share some of her designer journey.
As a designer of both womenswear and menswear which do you find to be more challenging?
Elizabeth Castellon: I find menswear to be more of a challenge, because there’s only so much you can design in menswear compared to womenswear. I think in womenswear you have more freedom to explore. With menswear you are limited, you have to follow the concept of functionality.
You presented your fall 2014 menswear collection at the Academy of Art University runway show during last year’s NYFW. How was that experience?
Elizabeth Castellon: It was a memorable experience. After working so hard on my collection for several months, then watching my designs go down the runway; and knowing that this experience was coming to an end was bittersweet.
What is one thing you draw inspiration from when designing?
Elizabeth Castellon: I draw inspiration from photographs and images of what men wore during a specific time period. I examine the images and look at what the men were doing, their surroundings and their demeanor. From there I create a character, with a back story, that embodies the man of that time. I use this character as a tool to help me focus my research for more inspirational images. When designing, this character and his story keeps me inspired and helps me to visualize my designs.
Do you have a signature design or style that identifies your brand?
Elizabeth Castellon: I would say my style is combining classic tailoring elements with sportswear.
What is some of the best advice you received during your career? What is your advice for emerging designers?
Elizabeth Castellon: Someone once told me “We are our worst critics. Try not to second guess yourself.” When sketching I tend to think “does my design needs something more? Does it need something to make it interesting?” But I have to keep in mind not to over design; that simple, is ok. My advice for emerging designers is to trust your instincts.
Lastly, where can people get in touch with you?
Elizabeth Castellon: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. My work is posted on Instagram at @castebycastellon.
This article was written by our guest blogger Tamarah Brown. You can follow her on Tumblr and Twitter. Elizabeth Castellon Fall 2014 Menswear Runway Images appear courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Image of Elizabeth Castellon is courtesy of Fashion School Daily.