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Global Designer Spotlight: Kostume from Buenos Aires, Argentina


Kostume Fall/Winter 2013-14

Kostume Fall/Winter 2013-14



True Identity


By: Hina P. Ansari


Camila Milessi and Emiliano Blanco not only are partners in business but also in life and it’s with that infectious energy that they decided to launch Kostume in 2001. Now with a decade under their belt they are regarded as one of Buenos Aires’ popular labels and a fixture at the Buenos Aires Fashion Week scene. This dynamic duo recently showcased their Fall/Winter 2013-14 collection  as well as took time-out to chat with us about their fashion vision and the hazards of living in a ‘copy and paste’ world.



Co-designers of Kostume: Camila Milessi and Emiliano Blanco

Co-designers of Kostume: Camila Milessi and Emiliano Blanco



What made you decide to get into the fashion business?


We both love music and music image and videos.

Movies, art books, every design in general.

And this love became luck [in the] fashion business.



How did the partnership begin?


We use to work together in a big commercial brand.



Who inspired you when you were just starting out?


Many things [like] architecture, [David] Bowie, geometry in general, Iggy Pop, Bauhaus School.

Bayer graphic designs, Joy Division, movies like 2001 Space Odyssey.

The character of Cate Blanchett in the movie Elizabeth. Etc. Etc. Etc.



Who inspires you now?


We are in loooove with architecture, Mies van der Rohe, most of all.



Kostume Fall/Winter 2013-14

Kostume Fall/Winter 2013-14



Has your sources of inspiration changed in any way?


We have new and old all the time.

It happens that maybe one day we discover the movie Alphaville..and [then inspiration] changes again and again.

If you pay attention the world it’s full of things you love!



What part of the day best inspires you?


The afternoon.



From where do you gather your inspiration?


Photos that we take [of] some place.




Maybe part of an old building.



What is the story board/inspiration behind your latest collection for Autumn/Winter 2013?


We can talk about abstract use of color + some glam shine.

New poncho + unisex + multiple ways to use clothes + you can play with it!



Kostume Fall/Winter 2013-14

Kostume Fall/Winter 2013-14



Your pieces are gorgeous. It almost has a Jil Sander/Helmut Lang spirit about them. But also has a very Japanese type of approach to asymmetry. Can you expand on that design philosophy?


In 2001 when we created Kostume.

We have the idea to make a brand of design [which is] functional, and pure.

Simple ideas that works for you.

Since the beginning, geometric resolutions are natural for us, so Japanese design [is] near to our soul.

Or course we love Jil Sander and Helmut Lang (more the originals).

[Their} way and spirit of see[ing] the world

It’s simple  – if the idea is not strong enough it [falls] down.



How do you unwind?


It’s not easy because we are partners and a couple too!

But relax[ing] is something we really need now!



What makes the fashion scene in Buenos Aires so unique?


We have the feeling that “if you can make here, you are going to make anywhere!” (Like the song!!!)

The rules changes every minute and you are like surfing in the air!!!!

Creativity saves us from crisis, from [the] boring ‘copy’ [and] ‘paste’.

If we were superheroes “identity “ is [would be our] secret power.

It’s all we have!



How does (if it does) the Argentinian fashion consumer from Buenos Aires differ from other consumers?


Just a few people [are] train[ed] in a special design [field] and the rest of the common people live in a world that [is] a big ‘copy and paste’  brand [world] – [where all you have to do is] choose your taste and that’s all.

That’s why we are like home with tourist from all over the world.



Kostume Fall/Winter 2013-14

Kostume Fall/Winter 2013-14



What makes the Argentinian woman/man unique?


They pay attention to details, quality and marketing.



What are the challenges of the Buenos Aires/Argentinian fashion scene?


The real challenges is to create a space in between big brands an experiment design. That could be ‘design brand’, or ‘everybody’s design’.

Buenos Aires needs something in between.



How does social media play a part in your overall branding?


Social media is still cold [here] compar[ed] to other countries.

But it is a cheap [and] useful tool.

You can move every day your material to a big amount of people.



What advice would you give to up-and-coming designers and design students who are interested in following this career path?


Do it with passion and good luck!!!!


What is the best advice you’ve received and still treasure today?


Don’t be afraid.

Be clever.


You can connect with the designer in the following ways:

Skype / kostumeemiliano

Website: http://www.kostumeweb.net

Blog: http://kostume.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kostumeBA

Twitter: @kostumeBA


Photography courtesy of Buenos Aires Fashion Week 

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