PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston_April_2021

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You've said the better you dress, the worse you can behave. FEC: Let's be honest, society extends you a bit more grace when you're well dressed. You can get away with a little more in a suit or a tuxedo. You mentioned that the movies of Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, and the Cohen Brothers reward those who watch multiple times. Do you feel those who follow your work are rewarded? FEC: Yes, I believe so. Mise en scène, which I loosely translate to mean "world building," deeply informs my point of view. We are building a rich world that clients can step into … want to be a part of. I want to believe that when someone thinks about F.E. Castleberry, they see a world that is considered, rich, tangible … and slightly irreverent. How your short time in banking furthered your interest in men's fashion. FEC: My stint in Texas banking meant suiting up every day. It reintroduced me to the power of the suit. Most important aspect in creating the image and ethos of F.E. Castleberry. FEC: Taking the time to get it right. I took the time to establish the boundaries of what we were and what we were not. Everything since then (product, imagery, communication) has been coloring between those lines. Thoughts on being a designer from Texas. FEC: I love being from Texas. Texans just have a way in which we take on the world. It's the Wild West, and it requires true grit. When I came to New York a decade ago to design at Ralph Lauren, I think my Texas roots gave me a leg up and allowed me to look at things a little differently. In creating F.E. Castleberry five years ago, I channeled all of the grit I had and began designing a label for the creative class — those who don't have to wear a suit but choose to. In fashion, it feels like there's a new collection every few minutes. Thoughts on the fashion cycle? FEC: The current dizzying pace of fashion is, by all imaginable metrics, unsustainable. We utilize a pre-order/ made-to-measure model for most of our product in order to make a concentrated effort to reduce the preposterous amount of waste that fashion brands produce then destroy. Each year, an estimated 100 billion items of clothing are made. Approximately 20 percent of that goes unsold, destined for incineration or landfills. Our conviction, from the beginning, has always been to buy less, but buy better. The importance of narrative and of creating your own world. FEC: Because I love movies, I've realized that I have a cinematic point of view … Clothes are infinitely more interesting when they tell a story, when they reveal something about the characters wearing them. It's also entertainment. My aim is to entertain with marketing. Telling stories is ingrained in our DNA. I almost want the clothes to be an afterthought. The importance of listening to your own voice when it comes to creative decisions. FEC: Developing a voice is paramount. Having something to say, and then saying it over and over again. I don't think too much about industry trends, what the market wants, or where it might be going, but I do a lot of looking and listening. I spend the most amount of time thinking about and designing, first and foremost, what turns me on. What is luxury, really. FEC: In this day and age, we believe luxury isn't about spending the most money. It's about having what no one else does. The atelier of F.E. Castleberry in New York. Men's suiting, shirts, aviators and snaffle-bit lug loafer, here and left, all F.E. Castleberry 61

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