All Eyes on Carlos Campos
Coming off a CFDA/Vogue 2011 Fashion Fund Award nomination, Carlos Campos is taking a breather. Ok, well not really. The Honduras native is already off to work on his Fall 2012 collection, where he cuts his own patterns for both mens and womenswear, works hands-on with the sewers and manages production. Even though he didn’t walk away with the grand prize (Joseph Altuzarra took the cake), the Fashion Fund race has pricked more than a few years in Campos’ direction. With a newish store in the Lower East Side, the soft-spoken designer and Fashion Institute of Technology alum is set to make some noise. Here he talks with FashionSalade.com on his background, future and how his New Year’s is looking sunny, if not bright.
FashionSalade: Where did you grow up?
Carlos Campos: I grew up in a city called El Progreso, in Honduras, and came here to New York when I was a teenager.
FashionSalade: Did growing up there influence your style?
CC: Absolutely, my collections are always influenced in some way by Central and South America – in the colors for sure, but in Spring 2012 in particular, by some of the looks commonly associated with the working man’s uniforms and styles
FashionSalade: When did you come to New York? Why did you move the city?
CC: When I was a kid, I used to help out in my dad’s tailor shop, and I would look at fashion magazines there. Even at that age, I always knew that if I wanted to make it in fashion, I had to be here… just like Senor Sinatra said.
FashionSalade: Now with the CFDA Fashion Fund race out of the way, what are you working on now?
CC: Working on the next collection, Fall 2012, and some really exciting potential collaborations.
FashionSalade: What have you been inspired by lately in your designs?
CC: Certainly film and literature. Fall 2011 was inspired by the great Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, but also music and musicians, art – it’s all a continuum. To be able to translate this into fashion, and seeing someone wearing my looks and making my designs their own – that’s also a big inspiration.
FashionSalade: Do you have a favorite time of day to design? A night owl perhaps or an early riser?
CC: I love being in the studio both times, because it’s quiet, and I can be at peace without the phone ringing!
FashionSalade: Who are some designers that you look up to?
CC: Certainly my contemporaries in the CFDA Fashion Fund, I feel like we’re all kindred spirits. I love guys like Robert Geller and people like Tommy Hilfiger and the great Alexander McQueen.
FashionSalade: You cut your own patterns, which is often not the case in this industry. What are some advantages of being able to do that?
CC: Well for one it saves on a pattern maker! But seriously, I love being able to be involved in all aspects of creating. I enjoy this process immensely.
FashionSalade: Where is your favorite place to unwind from work?
CC: I love riding my bike on the streets of New York. And I love going out to eat in New York to my favorite restaurants like Casa Mezcal across from my store on Orchard Street and to Yerba Buena on Avenue A.
FashionSalade: Any travel plans for the holidays?
CC: I’ll be spending New Year’s in Hawaii!
Carlos Campos Store is located at 75 Orchard Street in New York City.
All Spring 2012 runway images courtesy of Carlos Campos
By: Bee-Shyuan Chang