Francisco Costa and Moda Operandi's Indre Rockefeller on How Tech-Savvy Shoppers Are Changing the Retail Game

Francisco Costa ended New York Fashion Week with a pared back, deconstructed bang via his 10th anniversary collection for Calvin Klein. Tomorrow, the collection becomes available to buy on Moda Operandi (yep, they're fast!), so we chatted with Costa and Moda's Director of Ready to Wear Indre Rockefeller about the inspiration for Costa's collection, working together and how a Moda Operandi trunk show actually comes about, which pieces are Moda's favorites, and how tech-savvy shoppers and retailers are changing the industry.
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Francisco Costa ended New York Fashion Week with a pared back, deconstructed bang via his 10th anniversary collection for Calvin Klein. Tomorrow, the collection becomes available to buy on Moda Operandi (yep, they're fast!), so we chatted with Costa and Moda's Director of Ready to Wear Indre Rockefeller about the inspiration for Costa's collection, working together and how a Moda Operandi trunk show actually comes about, which pieces are Moda's favorites, and how tech-savvy shoppers and retailers are changing the industry.
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Francisco Costa ended New York Fashion Week with a pared back, deconstructed bang via his 10th anniversary collection for Calvin Klein.

The collection is now available available to buy on Moda Operandi (yep, they're fast!), so we chatted with Costa and Moda's director of ready-to-wear Indre Rockefeller about the inspiration for Costa's collection, working together and how a Moda Operandi trunk show actually comes about, which pieces are Moda's favorites, and how tech-savvy shoppers and retailers are changing the industry. They also shared some pics of their collection walk-through in Milan.

"The Moda Operandi customer appreciates exceptional quality and innovative design, which is why they gravitate towards Francisco Costa’s collections for Calvin Klein," Rockefeller told us over email.

As a buyer on a bigger time constraint than most, Rockefeller got to both attend Costa's New York show, and walk through the collection shortly thereafter in Milan. As for how she decided which pieces to choose, she explained, "I worked closely with the Calvin Klein team to decide which pieces to feature, but the goal was to give the Moda Operandi customer as many choices as possible to shop from the runway. There are some incredible works of art in this collection that won’t be easy to come by otherwise." Her personal favorites? The Jean-Michel Basquiat-inspired pieces. "There is a feel of raw, colorful '80s graffiti fused with pristine time-honored craftsmanship that make these looks both modern and timeless."

Indeed, Spring 2014 was an inspired and unconventional outing for Costa. Read on for our interview with the designer to find out where that inspiration stemmed from.

Fashionista: What does 10 years at Calvin Klein Collection mean to you? Francisco Costa: The fact that I have been with Calvin Klein Collection for a decade feels like a major accomplishment. I am very thankful for my team and the support the company has given me, which has allowed me to do what I love and continue to push the brand forward.

What were the inspirations for your Spring 2014 collection? Can you speak to how this was expressed in your fabrics and construction? This season we felt very free and optimistic, and I wanted to think outside the box. I opened the show with a series of canvas looks and then started to layer on the color with elaborate thread work and embroideries. The collection continues to unravel with raw edges and frayed details – it is an evolution that progresses to the eveningwear, which was completely deconstructed, yet sophisticated and elegant.

Art is also a big influence for you--what artists influenced this collection and how? For my Spring 2014 collection, I was inspired by the primitivism of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Pablo Picasso’s works, which translated to the urban tribal aesthetic of the collection. The season’s multi-color palette was influenced by the layers upon layers of rich hues used in Cecily Brown’s paintings. From Gordon Matta-Clark, who was known for slashing and cutting buildings in bold forms, I drew inspiration for the deconstructed clothes and raw edges.

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How did you create that deconstruction? I wanted to feel that intimacy and organic nature of the clothes this season. All of the fabrics were woven by hand, which gave the clothes this personal quality and created eccentricities in each garment.

Moda Operandi allows customers to pre-order the runway collection, how are pieces made and chosen for the runway different from what is actually sold? When you put together a runway collection, you are building and layering a story. Editing is a crucial part of the process – you have to dissect the line-up and remove any looks that do not quite fit in. While those pieces may not make it down the runway, they may still work as part of the larger picture for the season and become a part of our commercial collection.

How has the tech-savvy shopper (someone who uses Moda Operandi) evolved your design approach over the last 10 years? Today there is a sense of immediacy in fashion, because of advancements in technology and how we communicate. In response to this fast-pace, we deliver eight collections a year now to adapt and meet the needs of the modern woman’s wardrobe and shopping habits.