“It happened so spontaneously,” says the 28-year-old Paris-based designer Esteban Cortazar of the decision to reintroduce his eponymous womenswear brand this month. “Just as I was thinking of relaunching my line, Net-a-Porter came to me.” The reboot, which revives the ready-to-wear label Cortazar founded in 2002 at just eighteen before venturing off for a brief, creatively uncompromising stint at Emanuel Ungaro in 2007, will take the form of a small capsule collection available exclusively on the aforementioned luxury e-commerce site. It’s an unconventional, hyper-contemporary re-entrance into the fashion world, one that forgoes the time-honored platform of the splashy, all-in runway presentation in favor of a more immediate, small-scale, and consumer-oriented introduction.
“The traditional way of relaunching a line where you just see what happens the first season was not something that was interesting to me,” explains the Colombian-born designer, who approached the endeavor with a free-flowing, continent-spanning eye. “I actually sketched the collection before even thinking about references. I wanted to have a different process than I’ve used in the past, to have this spontaneous feeling of what came out of my hand from the very beginning.”
The result is a highly-edited, 25-piece compilation of largely asymmetrical, trans-seasonal skirts, pants, and cocktail gowns. They’re lightweight—crafted from thin wool cotton and double-face duchess sateen—built for layering, and sensual in a neutral palate of ivory, nude, and blush. Cortazar’s references—the light voids of artist James Turrell and the seductive vibe of Black Atlass’ “Hills,” to name two—are reflected in the sensual geometrics. “The dresses in particular are very, very sexy,” says the designer.
These pieces are designed for the cerebral globe-trotting consumer—and they’re meant to be worn. “It wasn’t about a particular season, because the buyers could be anywhere, and it’s not about a muse or the excitement of seeing a celebrity or actress or whatever wearing my clothes,” says Cortazar. “I’m really focused on real women. I want to make them feel beautiful and I want to give them dresses they can walk in, move in, and dance in.”
Esteban Cortazar is available tomorrow exclusively at Net-A-Porter.com.