Interview & Backstage: Christian Siriano Celebrates 10 Years in Fashion

March 09, 2018 11:00 AM

After the successful launch of his book Dresses to Dream About, a decade-anniversary celebration on the runway, and a whirlwind of striking celebrity looks on the red carpet of the Oscars this year, Christian Siriano is undoubtedly building an empire. From his original interest in theater costumes, to his time winning Project Runway, the designer has proven that the world is his stage. Though the past ten years have been full of development and evolution, Siriano has remained loyal to his mantra to “celebrate all women” through his designs. After a season of making waves in the industry, TWELV caught up with the designer in a rare moment of calm to reflect on how far he has come and daydream about his pink, fluffy plans for the future. 

Watch the backstage video and read the excerpts below:

 

 

 

What can you tell us about your Fall-Winter ’18 show?

I was so excited to celebrate my 10th anniversary this past February. It was such an honor to have my friends and powerful women like Selma Blair, Danielle Brook, Ashley Graham, Candice Huffine, and my sister Shannon walk in my show. It was a parade of such beautiful people from all walks of life. I’ve always wanted to celebrate all women in all of my shows, and this season is no different. I also brought back some familiar silhouettes over the past 10 years and reworked them with new fabrics to compliment the collection which was exciting for our customer, I think. 

What is special about the location of the show, The Grand Lodge?

One of the points that made my show even more special was the venue itself. The space is part of Freed Mason which is an established fraternity organization with a long history that dated back to the fourteenth century. I was able to put on a show that celebrates and empowers women under their roof. It was so powerful to see all these amazing women march through the rooms that at one point, they were not allowed to be in. It felt so regal and powerful to see that unfold.

What message do you hope to deliver with the ten year anniversary of the brand? 

I think I want to celebrate the women who have helped contribute to the success of the brand. We are now known for dressing women, no matter what shape or size and this has been a core value to who I am as a person from the beginning. Now ten years later, my vision for the brand still resonates with my beliefs. I want our customer to feel beautiful, elegant and glamorous when she puts on a piece from our collection. I want her to feel powerful and strong. 

Is there someone who you hope to, but haven’t had the chance to dress yet?

I think, for the most part, I’ve been really lucky thus far to have dressed the women I have; women who I admire so much. The list is long and I’m proud of all the different types of people we have dressed. 

Who or what has encouraged you to keep designing over the past decade?

I think my love for designing something beautiful. I have always loved transformation. I think that’s an exciting thing to see. Also I think our customers have been the biggest encouragement. They keep me inspired and keep the brand going season after season. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 

The best advice I received is just to stay true to who you are as a person no matter what and if people don’t understand what you are doing, they usually come around one day. The people that don’t— you don’t need them to be successful. 

You’ve said before that being a decisive designer has been one of the most important factors of your success. What have been some of the most critical decisions you’ve had to make? 

I think it was knowing who I was and that where I saw my brand going has always been apparent. I always wanted to design beautiful clothing for people to live their life. Not listening to my critics helped me get to where I am today. I just did what I loved to do. I always thought about my customers first. That helped us find success in a very competitive market. 

How have you seen New York Fashion Week change since you first began showing? 

So much. There are tons of things that have changed– the venues, models, editors, magazines, who attends the shows, what is the main purpose now of even doing a show– it’s all different. I think, though, it’s all for the better. 

Do you think fashion is headed in an ultimately positive direction? 

I do I think so. I think the industry just wants to celebrate people who love fashion and that’s exciting to see. 

You’ve published a book, and you’re now celebrating a successful decade in fashion. What are your plans for your next chapter? 

I plan to open up my first store in the upcoming months, which I am very excited about, and we just finished a very busy award season dressing 17 women on Oscars weekend. 2018 has so much in the works, I can’t wait for to all come to life. 

 

INTERVIEW BY AUDREY ROSE

 

BACKSTAGE VIDEO BY HOLLIS DE LANEY

PHOTO CREDIT: RYOSUKE MIYAI

 

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