Dynamic and authentic, Christopher Esber has solidified himself as an influential fashion authority.
Its innovative styles, poetic corsetry and daring cutouts have defined the eponymous label’s showstopping pieces, delivering a cool-girl’s wardrobe with a contemporary touch.
Here, the Australian designer cuts to the chase and shares what it takes to fearlessly seize opportunities, creating pieces that push boundaries and delivering work you believe in.
How has your eponymous label evolved since it launched in 2010?
When I first started, I was focused on the construction and technical elements of the garment… so there has always been a commitment to adapt and deconstruct clothing from their purest silhouettes, reimagining them with new disciplines or technicalities with meticulous attention to detail. Over time, I’ve become focused stylistically on how pieces can speak to each other, finding the magic between the dichotomy of tension. Even though the foundations remain embedded in construction, which is essential to the brand, my principles are more expressive with the use of different fabrications and obscure silhouettes.
Your signature cutout detailing and ruching are evident throughout your collections. How did they become your signature?
I am always on a quest to work with new materials and application of textiles in shapes that are not the conventional norm. When designing the collection, I always start with the tailoring as the foundation and experiment with negative space, construction, and deconstruction techniques. I am always looking for new ways to play with traditional forms through a modern lens.
Your metal embellished corsetry pieces have become a key addition. How does it feel to dress such strong, beautiful women worldwide?
It’s always about the wearer, how she feels, and wears the garment in her everyday world, knowing the day could take her anywhere. I also believe our customer has a deep appreciation for the craftsmanship and intentional design choices we offer.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Rihanna and Hailey Bieber are all fans of your work. Was there a celebrity moment that catapulted the brand into the zeitgeist?
There have been these big moments that all unfolded like a bit of a crescendo, one after the other. It certainly magnified the brand, having the advocacy of A-list stylists who were calling in clothes and organically placing these looks on these incredible women. It has been a super exciting journey, but what I feel comfortable with is that we attracted this attention organically, through the quiet strength of the clothes.
How has the brand adapted as it’s scaled?
As the business has evolved, so has my team multiplied in size, with new departments as well as the inner mechanics of how we do things. Scaling is a process, but it’s enabled us to explore new extensions like eyewear and bridal as well as collaborate with dream creatives.
What did building a business from scratch teach you?
Doing it yourself, starting so young – it exposes you to all corners of the business. Even the ones you are not skilled or experienced at. Everything is new, but over time, you learnt when to lean into experts and mentors, or when to stick to one’s own convictions.
How do you balance the creative and commercial sides of the business, and do you feel more drawn to one than the other?
As a creative I take refuge in the habitat and the people or surroundings that feed my inspiration. I am innately drawn to the creative side as a designer and creative director, but I have had to learn to wear both hats.
Do you see buying patterns globally or within the Middle East, and which pieces drive sales season after season?
Each corner of the world differs but can echo similarities. My collections have purposeful depth and are large, which offers different stores or buyers a tailored offering for their location wherever they may be. I love seeing what pieces the Middle Eastern customers select and how they style their Esber garments.
What advice do you wish you had received at the beginning of your journey to success?
Listening to your instincts is something I’ve always upheld.
“Fearlessness is a relentless pursuit of artistic expression.”
What’s next for Christopher Esber and how do you plan to evolve the Esber woman?
We are actually speaking as I am preparing for my debut on-schedule Paris Fashion Week show at the end of September. The fact that I got invited to do this by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, is the honour of a lifetime. It’s an incredibly exciting time.
This is The Fearlessness Issue – what does it mean to be fearless?
My aunt is a seamstress and taught me patternmaking and cutting early on. Being exposed to her craft and creation left an impact on me. She cut without a paper pattern. That kind of fluidity and fearlessness to push boundaries influenced me in just being able to try things, to experiment. Learning not to be afraid about cutting into this expensive cloth or fabric and going with it. Fearlessness is a relentless pursuit of artistic expression.
October – The Fearlessness Issue with Chaumet – Download Now
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