“My mission is to design a modern wardrobe for women to feel confident and sexy in their everyday lives.” – Joseph Altuzarra
Founded by creative director Joseph Altuzarra in 2008, Altuzarra is a luxury women’s ready-to-wear and accessories brand based in New York. Joseph’s seductive aesthetic combines modernity, femininity, and an unapologetic sexiness, offering a fresh perspective on the modern woman’s wardrobe. Altuzarra likes to marry French sophistication with American pragmatism and ease. It’s what makes the label both subversive in nature and fiercely feminine.
Born in Paris, 1983, to a Chinese-American mother and French-Basque father, Altuzarra draws on his hyphenated identity. It was while volunteering in the theatre costume shop at Swarthmore College, Philadelphia, that Altuzarra, who was studying art history as an undergraduate, first realised he wanted to become a designer.
He found his place in fashion after moving to New York, and starting out with an internship at Marc Jacobs. Within a couple of seasons, he secured a spot at Proenza Schouler. Then came an apprenticeship with a French pattern maker. One could argue he really blossomed when he got back to Paris, to work under Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy.
Altuzarra’s eponymous label has attracted several honours over the years. Chief among them: The CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear Design in 2012 and the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2011. Forbes 30 Under 30. In 2014, he was awarded the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award. Accessories Council’s Designer of the Year, in 2017.
He counts Vanessa Traina, Carine Roitfeld, Evan Rachel Wood, Indya Moore, Shu Pei Qin, Melanie Huynh, Caroline Issa, Cindi Leive, Jenna Lyons, and Sarah Rutson among his muses. So what defines an Altuzarra muse? “I like someone who is real, humble, and doesn’t take themselves too seriously,” he said. “She also has an innate strength and is very sure of herself and her style.” Which is why, Altuzarra admits, when he does meet someone like that he hangs on tight. “They become my friends!” – he told Vogue.
Some of his most memorable work includes references to Edward Scissorhands, to Berber tribes and other folkloric flourishes, and to the unforgettable fashion eras led by Mugler and Montana, says CFDA.
On the red carpet he’s been championed by Rihanna, Nicole Kidman, Priyanka Chopra, Elizabeth Olsen, Emma Stone and several others.