History Lesson: Joseph Altuzarra
By Chloe Henderson
Joseph Altuzarra, the founder and designer of beloved fashion brand Altuzarra, had a non-traditional start to his fashion career. Born in Paris in 1983, the designer found his love for fashion early while growing up in one of the most fashion-forward places in the world. Altuzarra went to Swarthmore College and studied art history, but eventually discovered his intrigue for fashion after doing research on “how fashion used classical art to suggest luxury.” During his senior year of college, Altuzarra applied for an internship at Marc Jacobs despite having no formal design training, and was hired (he clearly stood out above the rest in one way or another). After graduating in 2004, Altuzarra’s career skyrocketed with only a few collections on the books.
After interning under Marc Jacobs, Altuzarra designed with Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy, but eventually went on to create his own namesake brand. Altuzarra pulls inspiration from Tom Ford, who is his fashion idol, and oftentimes Altuzarra is compared to the iconic designer. Since launching Altuzarra in 2008, Joseph won the prestigious CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund in 2011 and three years later went on to be named CFDA’s Womenswear Designer of the Year. In 2013 Kering, a French based luxury fashion corporation, took minority stock in Altuzarra, concreting the brand’s place in the luxury market.
Joseph attributes some of his rapid success in the industry to the internet and social media given its easy accessibility in today’s fast-paced world. Altuzarra also regularly talks about the importance of being available as a designer in today’s fashion world. He is known for being very present after his shows and is seen regularly making connections with other designers and industry insiders. In the 90s and early 2000s, fashion designers were often much harder to get into contact with and the industry, as well as the designers within it, were seemingly more closed-off than they are today. The fashion industry is ever-changing, and Joseph Altuzarra has proven to be a substantial contributor in bettering the fashion world.
Shop his pieces below, or by clicking here.