Featured Designer: Joseph Altuzarra

In his own words, before his runway show presented by Nordstrom at the Seattle Art Museum Supporters Spring Into Art event

Tell us a bit about your youth; when did you feel a spark that would lead you into design?
I was born and raised in Paris, and lived there until I was 18. My mom is Chinese-American and my dad is French, so I grew up in a very multicultural household. From a young age, I was fascinated by the transformative power of clothing and how clothes can make you feel empowered, confident.

You studied art history at Swarthmore, how did that education influence your career?
Studying art history shaped my understanding of the role that fashion plays in the broader cultural landscape. I developed an appreciation for the way that clothing and style can be used as a form of self-expression and as a reflection of the cultural values and trends of a particular time period. I was particularly drawn to the work of artists and designers who challenged traditional notions of beauty and gender.

What influences show up in your designs and/or process?
As a designer, my designs and creative process are influenced by a wide range of sources. I draw inspiration from everything from art and architecture to film and music, and I'm always seeking out new ideas and perspectives that I can incorporate into my work. It is really an extension of me and what I am interested in at the moment.

One of the key influences on my designs is my multicultural background. This unique cultural perspective has given me a deep appreciation for the beauty and diversity of different cultures, and it often shows up in my designs through the use of rich colors, intricate patterns, and unexpected details.

Another major influence on my work is my love of nature. I often incorporate natural elements into my designs, such as floral prints or earthy tones, and I'm constantly inspired by the way that nature can be both beautiful and powerful.

I work closely with my team to develop each collection, and I'm always open to feedback and new ideas. I'm also very focused on the fit and feel of each garment, and I'm constantly experimenting with new fabrics and techniques to create clothing that is both beautiful and comfortable to wear. 

You’re the featured designer at this year’s SAMS Spring Into Art Event, what does that partnership with SAMS and Nordstrom mean to you?
I am so honored to be the featured designer at this special event. Nordstrom is such a valued partner for the brand, so when the team brought the opportunity to host a fashion show in partnership with SAMS at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, I was excited to be able to participate in an event that not only supports the arts but also supports Asian history and tradition. I am so happy to be able to collaborate in this way. 

How is your women’s main line continuing to evolve? What can we expect to see in the latest designs?
Ultimately, my goal as a designer is to create clothing that empowers and inspires women, and I'm constantly striving to push the boundaries of what's possible in terms of design, craftsmanship, and innovation. I am really excited for you all to see the exciting projects we have coming up – stay tuned!

As you continue to evolve as a designer, what do you aspire to achieve in the coming years?
I am truly so grateful to be able to do what I do and work with incredible people. I hope my curiosity about the world will continue to inspire me and my future collections. I feel Altuzarra as a brand has really hit its stride and I am excited to see the journey it leads us.

"I draw inspiration from everything from art and architecture to film and music, and I'm always seeking out new ideas and perspectives that I can incorporate into my work."

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