Catherine Casias is a designer/artist making her mark in fashion industry through her bold, unique, custom-designed prints. Hailing from Texas with a degree in Philosophy her background includes competing in the Olympics. Her point of view is refreshingly different. IRK caught up with Catherine to learn more about her debut collection.
I found it interesting to hear that you were in the junior Olympics as a child.
Tell us what the experience was like and how it relates to your fashion career now.
I grew up traveling around the United States playing volleyball. So while most of my classmates in middle & high school were enjoying being teenagers I was practicing after school and traveling most weekends. I loved it. It instilled a high level of discipline and work ethic that has allowed me to achieve my goals as a fashion designer.
As well, you majored in Philosophy in school….Again does this play into your fashion work now? What was the deciding point for you to begin your label?
Philosophy is a great foundation to build upon in academia. I learned metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics and logic. All of which have helped me gain an understanding of the theoretical and helped aid in analytical reasoning. It has helped me in fashion work through the process of coming up with a concept and seeing it to completion. It can be challenging taking something abstract and then give it a meaning or a form. Philosophy helped provide the mental tools for me to do so.
The deciding point for me to start a label was meeting my business partner Kinda Lincoln. She really believed in me and saw potential in what I was doing. Sometimes you just need someone who has your back creatively.
From your debut collection what stands out are your unique prints, do you design them and if so what is your creative process?
I design all the prints. I start from my own photos, drawings and paintings. Then I cut them all up and collage them back together to create an overall narrative.
Tell us your inspirations?
I am very inspired by film. It really starts there and that helps sets the mood. I then just try to think of the collection as an interpretation of that.
Will you continue to base your company out of Texas? If so what do you feel that Texas brings to your collection, any influence?
It felt right to start it here with the support of my family. I have lived in Seattle and New York for so many years. It wasn’t till I came back to Texas that everything aligned. We will see what fortune has in store for the company and if it keeps us here or not. There’s a deep love for film and music in Texas. Film was always a big part of my life as a child going to the movies and video store and record store culture. I have always been very inspired by the landscape as well. I think the film Paris,Texas did a great job conveying the beauty of that and epitomizing it’s majesty.
Your collection is very artful, who are your favorite artists?
My favorites would include; Francis bacon, John Stezaker, Paul Klee, Diane Arbus and modern artist like Tomoo Gokita, Neo Rauch, Yayoi Kusama, and Lisa Yuskavage
Who is the ideal Catherine Casias client, what celebrity would you most want to see wearing your collection?
I want potentially any woman to feel like she can be a client. My goal is to make clothes that bridge the artful and conceptual into something that feels easy and wearable. The celebrity I want the most to wear my clothes would be Solange.
Who is your style icon?
Selena Quintanilla-Pérez. Selena Forever!
Will you be participating in NYFW? Many designers have been trying to figure out a new path in showing their collections instead of the typical runway show…...What are your thoughts on presenting?
We participate with our look-book that we debut during the NYFW schedule. I think that it’s tricky some things can be antiquated and outdated but there’s also something great about the tradition of it all. However, there is no stopping technology and information. It has a way of breaking apart tradition and forcing a new path. It seems that that is naturally happening and I will follow that natural flow.
Fashion is the convergence of so many artistic mediums and I want to explore a way to showcase this in the best possible way. I have tricks up my sleeve. We will see!