You may not have heard of Esteban Cortazar (yet) but the 30 year old has achieved more than most young designers could ever dream of.
Born in Colombia and raised in Miami, Cortazar’s introduction to fashion came via the very glamorous world of 1990s South Beach. He lived just above the city’s famed News Café and a few blocks from Gianni Versace. He’d often spy fashion glitterati such as photographer Herb Ritts, Patrick Demarchelier and supermodel Cindy Crawford in the neighbourhood.
By the age of 17 he held his first fashion show at New York Fashion Week, then later went on to become the youngest person to helm a Parisian couture house (Emanuel Ungaro) at 23. In 2012 he was approached by Netaporter founder Natalie Massanet to create an exclusive capsule collection, under a new business model that ensures deliveries a month after the designs are first presented (most brands follow a six month lead time).
For two seasons his label was exclusive to Netaporter, but spring/summer 2015 sees him go global for the first time with new stockists including Joyce in Hong Kong, Barneys New York and The Webster in Miami. The collection is inspired by his personal journey, and the women who have shaped his life.
Esteban’s biggest talent, in my opinion, is creating modern yet understated pieces that are polished and sexy. Highlights from spring include a sculptural oversized jacket with multiple clasps decorating the collar and a crisp white shirt with sexy cutout at the decolette and long tail at the back. For the evening there are plenty of sensual evening dresses made up of sheer chiffon layers and backless tops with knotted fringing. His style is summed up perfectly in a look that consists of a black top with sexy geometric cut outs paired with fluid wide legged trousers. What could be more covetable than that?
This is definitely a designer to watch (and keep in your closet) for seasons to come.