American fashion designer Christian Siriano is a dynamo.  Only a few years in the industry and he’s already partnered with Puma, Starbucks, Victoria’s Secret and Spiegel for various collections, proving that not only is he a creative force, but extremely business-savvy. We caught up with Christian Siriano, asking him questions about fashion, life and what’s next for his charismatic brand.

What influenced your fashion sense growing up?

My sister was really inspiring growing up. She was a ballet dancer and I loved being backstage, watching her get ready to perform. It was so interesting to see all the mothers sewing costumes and doing hair and makeup. I just loved the fantasy world each performance showcased.

What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?

I’m not sure actually, but I know it was some type of dress. Probably in stretch fabric because I didn’t know how to put in a zipper correctly so I just made what I could.

What inspired the upcoming Fall 2012 collection?

My inspiration for Fall ’12 are bats, specifically the ’30s film The Vampire Bat.  These flying demons of the night intrigue me with their creepy, dark and dramatic presence, the intricate details of their veins and bone structure of their wings. I found beauty in the wings of the bat. These details will translate into clothing details like leather appliqués, ethereal flowing silk crepe dresses ,tops and capes taking flight for evening gowns. The black and white ’30s film featured lead actress Fay Wray, who was very elegant and sophisticated wearing beautiful blouses tucked into long evening skirts in black and white — a look juxtaposed with the core horror content and backdrop of the movie. The film also inspired the color palette, and the prints of the collection, which came from the static of old film, turned into modern.

What are some of your favorite places in the city…to eat, to shop, to relax?

I love so many places in New York. Antique shopping on weekends is always fun to find something unexpected and I love to eat out. Some of my favorites are La Botega in the summer to sit outside, Abe and Arthurs, and the Standard Grill. I try new places when I can but I visit these places the most. The Vault at Pfaffs is a great place for cool cocktails, and the Electric Room at the Dream for a fun night of dancing.

What do you wish people would understand about working in the fashion industry?

That it is a 24 hour job, seven days a week. Creating a collection has so many different parts to it. You need to design for the customer, buyers, editors, the celebrity client. And of course, be true to yourself and your vision of the brand.

If you weren’t designing, what would you like to be doing?

I think I would be in the beauty industry or working in interior design.

If you could base yourself in any city beside New York, which would it be?


What’s next for the Christian Siriano brand?

I have a lot of exciting things coming up for the fall season and the next spring collection. I have opened my first retail location concept store which will officially launch on September 5th. I wanted a place where my customers would be able to shop the full collection and have more options. We have separates, evening, accessories, shoes and home. It’s very exciting. If you’re in the mood to shop, please stop by 252 Elizabeth Street, New York City!

I also may be working on a new jewelry collection and diffusion collection with a great retailer, but that is still in the process.

RfR proudly stocks Christian Siriano in our collection.

Jay de Belen, RfR intern