Designer Joseph Altuzarra reveals his sentimental side and love of family.
Designer Joseph Altuzarra with his daughter, Emma Altuzarra-Weissman PHOTO COURTESY OF ALTUZARRA
Altuzarra’s cousin, Lily Scout Kwong, is featured in the fall/winter 2020 campaign that celebrates family bonds across generations PHOTO COURTESY OF ALTUZARRA
After a significant period of uncertainty for the future of fashion retail, it makes sense that designers would begin turning to the past, examining their roots and what compelled them to |pursue the industry in the first place. That sentiment certainly holds true for ready-to-wear designer Joseph Altuzarra (altuzarra.com), who has always found a way to meld his multicultural heritage into his collections in one way or another.
A sweet moment between the designer’s mother, Karen Altuzarra, and her granddaughter. PHOTO COURTESY OF ALTUZARRA
This season, the half-Chinese, half-French dressmaker showed a line of ’30s- and ’40s-based silhouettes that were a nod to his maternal grandparents, who immigrated to the United States from Shanghai in 1939. Reimagined cheongsam dresses, deconstructed tuxedo suits and separates in rich prints walked the runway. But the pieces truly shine in Altuzarra’s seasonal campaign, which was shot at his home and features four generations of family members—the youngest being his daughter, Emma Altuzarra-Weissman, born in late 2019.
Nods to ’30s and ’40s silhouettes are present throughout Altuzarra’s latest fall/winter collection, as seen here on the runway. PHOTO COURTESY OF ALTUZARRA
A tender image captures his mother in a cherry blossom-printed cheongsam cradling the baby. For Altuzarra, this was undoubtedly his most personal project to date, as it appears his strongest work stems from a love for the sentimental.
“Not only was it incredibly moving to be able to pay homage to four generations of women in my family, from my grandmother all the way to my own daughter,” says the designer, “but it was also a reminder of how connected I am to my family, despite the physical distance between us, and how important it is to cherish those relationships through these times of uncertainty.”