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Candy Perfume Boy – Behind The Scenes Video

Get sugar coated in Oscar Calvo’s Candy Perfume Boy Collection!

Oscar Calvo the male couture creative force is back with his sugar coated new collection ‘Candy Perfume Boy’. The new Tran-seasonal line will feature some winter pieces and a playful kaleidoscope of colour. Hot pink, candy and boxing title belts are the essence of this eclectic and adventurous collection. New York based model David Sciola returns to lend his razor sharp good looks, adding to the versatility of the line. With a long wrap sheet including Oscar Calvo’s 2011 Knitwear campaign and the face of Armani Collezioni worldwide. Sciola is set to bring ‘Candy Perfume Boy’ to life. Do not be mistaken, you won’t find him in your local confectionary isle.

To celebrate the launch of Oscar Calvo’s new collection we have fashioned a unique website and sizzling Behind The Scenes Video, staring the classically handsome David Sciola.

www.oscarcalvo.com.au
Follow @oscarcalvo_oc

Oscar Calvo

Oscar Calvo FASHION @ Fed Square – End of Year Designer Showcase video, November 2005

Oscar Calvo| WINTER 2006

FASHION @ Fed Square 2005 End of Year Designer Showcase

As part of MSFW (Melbourne Spring Fashion Week) 2005, Federation Square presented a wonderful Spring Fashion exhibition within the stunning Glass Showcase in the Atrium. The display highlighted the work of Oscar Calvo and other emerging Melbourne designers who showed at Fashion @ Fed Square events. The exhibition featured a collection of amazingly creative garments from over 15 new designers.

Calvo closed the show with a sneak preview of his winter 2006 collection and was awarded with the ‘Designer of the Year’ audience poll.

 


 

Oscar Calvo The Age – Boys on the brink, 21 November 2005, Pg. 1 & 2

Oscar Calvo | SUMMER 2005/06

The Age – Boys on brink, 21 November 2005, Pg.  the November 21, 2005, Pg 1 & 2

Creative & Media

Boys on the brink

An increasing drive for individual style is fuelling a local men’s wear revolution. Janice Breen Burns meets the young designers leading the pack.

SELLING frocks to women is hard enough but try flogging skinny green jeans and dropped-crotch sweatpants or embroidered shirts to a market that takes three seasons to calm down after switching its necktie stripes from diagonal to vertical.

That’s men’s wear. And, that’s the Everest being tackled by a new species of designers more adventurous and optimistic, if not more talented, than any that’s risen before in Melbourne fashion.

They are passionate fashion consumers themselves but most also have a vague sense of something momentous impending in men’s wear. “It’s a gut feeling and it’s international,” says designer Shandor Gancs, 31. He started his high-fashion anti-streetwear men’s label, Leopold, barely a year ago with partner Boyd Parry, 27, and a simple plan: “To give men more diversity within that (rigid) concept of masculinity; more that they could get away with.”

With a prayer and spare cash from their Element design consultancy, they introduced Leopold from a tiny stand in the Source exhibition at Australian Fashion Week in Melbourne.

They snagged enough media and stylists to whip up a minor frenzy, picked up a dozen stockists, were asked to design a range of sunglasses by Polaroid (which sold like hotcakes) and, by a stroke of luck, also lured the director of London’s College of Fashion to the buzz. He chose Leopold to be one of six world-class new labels for his own new business, “In pursuit of luxury”. In just a few months, Leopold’s world was transformed.

Gancs and Parry still prop up their income with consulting work but right now they are also snug in the knowledge that Mongolian cashmere versions of their knitwear are in production at the same Scottish factory used by Chanel and in a month will be racked in prestige stores in London, Tokyo and Stockholm with $2500 price tags – each. (Local versions in lamb’s wool will sell for a more realistic $400.)

The extraordinary Leopold scenario didn’t quite happen for another sharp young Melbourne designer, Oscar Calvo. But he is convinced it will – eventually. In the meantime, he washes dishes part-time to keep his self-named label of slick sportswear afloat, refine his supply chain systems, and pay for double-page ads in the right magazines.

He has already had department store buyers liken his label to Paul Smith, Polo Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss but that’s not enough. “For price point and quality, my label’s with Boss, my fabrics and workmanship, my details, buttons, zips – everything’s top end. But, I don’t have strong enough branding yet.”

Some of the canniest small-store buyers have picked up the Calvo collection but what he really needs now is a big breakthrough order.

“There’s been a great build up,” says Calvo of his first year on retail racks. “A lot of noise and racket; some great editorials in fashion journals and street magazines.”

His optimism is relentless, despite setbacks such as a $10,000 Sydney order that soured and after a quick flick through his smart striped cotton polo tops and picky-finished casuals, you can understand why.

“I know the product can sell, is selling but it’s got to be branded better,” he says.

It’s a common obstacle for new manufacturers. Men shop for clothes less often and more cautiously than women. And they respond to obvious signals, such as a recognisable logo, to assure them a garment will give them status and that they got a good deal. It’s a rare bloke who will pay top dollar for clothes by a label he doesn’t know.

But between men who stick to corporate suits or jeans-and-T-shirt combinations, there’s a market that’s changing. “More men are becoming alternative and open-minded,” says Mario-Luca Carlucci, 21, an industrial design graduate and partner in one of Melbourne’s star labels, Trimapee.

With Peter Strateas, also 21 and a communications design graduate, he built the label from a hand-printed T-shirt business that helped fund their studies, into a sophisticated range of high-end shirts and tailored separates.

In the tough times, Carlucci says, they drew inspiration from labels such as Kwamee by Francis, a Melbourne-based label of peerless quality high-end fashion tailoring and sportswear with classic undertones, and Mjolk, also a slick high-end local with a distinct, European bent. Mjolk’s Swedish partners, Fredrik Jonsson and Lars Stoten, chose Melbourne as a springboard into Asia. They split their company time and production between Australia and Europe and sell around the world.

Carlucci and Strateas have a similar trajectory in mind. They design their collections using a computer-aided drafting program, are sticklers for fit and quality, and base their collections on a different theatrical theme each season.

Currently, a vampire theme is lending an artful, offbeat, slightly wicked bent to the brand. It’s a complicated, clever ploy, and, Carlucci says, it’s getting their name out there: “We’ve made a lot of sacrifices and we still work part-time and do freelance design work to support (Trimapee) but we’re slowly cutting back on that.”

Carlucci says he and Strateas began designing for themselves but wound up attracting an older market in their 20s and 30s as well: “Architects, designers, musicians but also trades people, plumbers . . .”

‘The will to express something more creative than membership of a corporate army is increasingly common.’

It does appear, according to the new men’s wear designers here, that no particular demographic has a monopoly on high-end men’s fashion. Work boots and corporate suits enter some of Melbourne’s most adventurous shops: Husk, Fat, Cyberia, Urban Identity, Cactus Jam, Sandonista and David Jones’ designer floors.

The will to express something more creative and personal than membership of a corporate army is, apparently, increasingly common. Designers Stephen Ristefsky, 31, and Vincent Macheda, 27, of the RistefskyMacheda label, hope that it doesn’t end at a bloke’s front door.

“We figured that if you’re wearing a beautiful suit all day, you don’t want to wear just an old tracksuit or jeans when you come home,” Ristefsky says. The pair’s idea, to fill a niche market for men’s “loungewear”, found instant rapport with a David Jones buyer, and all they had to do was work out where it should go on the store floor. “We agonised over that and thought in the end, with pyjamas and dressing gowns,” Ristefsky says. “There’s that fluidity and freedom, even though it’s more fashion.”

Ristefskymacheda’s dream run over the highest hurdle for fashion fledglings, the department store order, came at a cost: a full year to prepare their management systems before they even sketched the first sample.

They now supply four David Jones stores with soft ruched pants, detailed tops and jackets that are as comfortable as pyjamas but also fitted for a range of body types and presentable and fashionable enough for entertaining casually at home or mixing with a Sunday cafe crowd.

“We’re feeling very enthusiastic and positive now,” Ristefsky says. “We’re defining our niche,” Macheda adds. “We also know that people will follow us into this and we have no problem with people copying us; we’re already developing a cult following and our market knows we were here first.”

KINGS OF THE CATWALK HOT LOOKS FOR COOL MEN

OSCAR CALVO

Established: 2004, by Oscar Calvo, 27, in Richmond. Self-named label of Kangan Batman TAFE fashion graduate and former area manager for Barbara Wilson, Oscar Calvo. High-end, fresh-coloured sportswear in exclusive European fabrics including fine wool and cotton. Casual combed cotton, raw-edged polo tops, retro cotton polo knits with nautical stripes, quirky printed tees with contrasting panels. Trousers range from classic soft Italian wool to straight-leg cotton drill versions with intricate stitch detail.

Manufactured: Current range is split evenly between Australia and Hong Kong. Winter 2006 will be made locally.

Targets: Young men, 16-35 years. Price range: $150-$500. Twelve stockists including Husk, Loft, Bolis, Urban Identity, Exentrix, Village Idiom and Browse.

Future plans: For now, the first Oscar Calvo flagship store.

info@oscarcalvo.com.au

http://www.oscarcalvo.com.au

TRIMAPEE

Established: 2003, by RMIT industrial design graduate Mario-Luca Carlucci, 21, and partner Peter Strateas, 21, RMIT communications design graduate, in Ivanhoe. Alternative, high-quality original designs and artwork for a broad market. Flamboyant and eccentric, based around a different theatrical theme each season but within the bounds of good design. Spring/summer inspired by the circus. A vivid palette, unexpected patterns and fabrics, intricate linings, detailed embroidery, darted collars, large cuffs, pleat detailing. Trousers are cut low, T-shirts hand-printed and feature unexpected necklines. Blazers are re-invented in explosive colour.

Manufactured: Locally

Targets: Men, 20-40 years. Price range: $99-$495. Thirteen stockists including Husk, Rich, Shuba, Oska, Jorj, Alchimia, Bolis, Charlie & Co, Sammy T, Toyah.

Future plans: Local consolidation, then export.

trimapee@iprimus.com.au

http://www.trimapee.com

LEOPOLD

Established: 2004, in Prahran by partners Boyd Parry, 27, La Trobe University arts/business graduate and designer of Mank women’s wear label and Shandor Gancs, 31, Swinburne University design graduate, director of Element design collective, and veteran of commissions for Liberty of London, AG men’s wear, Roy and Aesop. Bright, lightweight fitted cotton knits for summer, and for winter 2006, chunky hand knits. Investment fashion.

Manufactured: 90 per cent made locally.

Targets: Men, 20-45 years. Price range: $90-$600. Nineteen stockists including Husk, Sandonista, Charlie and Co, Urban Identity.

Future plans: Local market consolidation, then “global domination”.

info@leopoldsempire.com

http://www.leopoldsempire.com

RITEFSKYMACHEDA

Established: 2003 in Carlton. Partners Stephen Ristefsky, 31, commerce graduate, and designer Vincent Macheda, 27, employ a full-time press officer, John Ibrahim, and pattern-maker, Jo Grima. Casual, soft and easy innovative lounge-wear including woven cardigans, low-cut V-neck tops, ruched pants, athletic shorts and underwear.

Manufactured: 80 per cent locally and 20 per cent overseas.

Targets: Men, 18-38 years. Prices range from $40-$65 for underwear and $140-$220 for lounge-wear. Stockists include David Jones in the city and Chadstone.

Future plans: Local market consolidation then export to New York and London.

pr@ristefskymacheda.com

https://www.ristefskymacheda.com

 

Fashion Journal #70 – Oscar Calvo Sailor polo shirt, October 2005, Pg. 57

Oscar Calvo | SUMMER 2005/06

Fashion Journal #70 – Oscar Calvo floral shirt, October 2005, Pg. 42

Oscar Calvo | SUMMER 2005/06

Oscar Calvo Fashion Journal #70 – 1/2 page summer 2005/06 advert, October 2005, Pg. 28

Oscar Calvo | SUMMER 2005/06

Fashion Journal #70 – Oscar Calvo the untouchable, October 2005, Pg. 18

Oscar Calvo | SUMMER 2005/06

Fashion Journal #70, October 2005, Pg. 18

OSCAR CALVO THE UNTOUCHABLE

When checkin’ out the gear on the streets, you can’t help but notice the dull and over-used colour combos everywhere. 2 words: Oscar Calvo. Problem solved. With colour and fabric combinations previously unseen, the Oscar Calvo range can best be described as casual glam, fun and a mix of combinations that merge intentionally to excite. The summer ‘05/’06 range will feature new and original raw-edged polo shirts made of exclusive imported fabrics, classic soft Italian wool panel pants and quirky comic-panel tees. Oscar Calvo: chic yet versatile.

Oscar Calvo| SUMMER 2005/06

Oscar Calvo Ragtrader magazine – All hail the hermaphrodude, 7 October 2005, Pg. 12 & 13

Oscar Calvo | SUMMER 2005/06

Oscar Calvo Ragtrader magazine, 7 October 2005, Pg. 12 & 13

ALL HAIL THE HERMAPHRODUDE

Easily the most overlooked of all clothing sectors, menswear has sharpened its manicured toenails and is preparing to kick back.

A tentative Sue Cartledge takes a peek.

IF YOU BELIEVE respondents to a recent Ragtrader category survey, men are taking fashion more seriously. Stubbies and RM Williams have been confined to the wardrobe, replaced instead with sharper, more stylish and infinitely more colourful, fodder. It seems the hermaphrodude (who replaced the metrosexual) is alive and well.

At present, the Australian menswear retail sector is believed to be worth about 4.4 billion annually. However industry sources say this figure is set to soar as more men get increasingly picky over what labels they choose to buy.

“Today, men are interested in looking good,” says Melbourne designer Oscar Calvo. “The trend can be attributed to many things, including an increase in men’s style magazines, influential male celebrities in the media, and more designers catering to male customers.”

This ties in with advertisers and marketers finally waking up to the “new man” of the 21st century. The future of men, co-authored by Marian Salzman, from advertising agency JWT Worldwide, focuses on smart, positive portrayals of the modern man.

“Instead of relying on lowest-common-denominator, stereo-typical solutions, we are striving to depict ‘balanced men,’ ‘men of the world with conscience,’ and other positive portrayals of men,” Salzman says.

“[menswear is] a sleeping giant. It’s not so subject to fashion trends as womenswear so it’s a lot safer stockholding.”

It is a theory Myer menswear business manager Andre Reich also agrees with.

As the biggest retailer of menswear in Australia, Myer’s share of menswear pie “is in double digit figures” Reich says. The estimated value of this is merely the tip of the iceberg, he says.

“[menswear is] a sleeping giant. It’s not so subject to fashion trends as womenswear so it’s a lot safer stockholding. Rather than changing with every season, it’s more an evolution.

“But men are becoming more fashion conscious than ever before – they are coming into the store more frequently and they are staying longer. They’re thinking more about what they’re wearing – how they look, how they present themselves. This extends to cosmetics, fragrances [and jewellery], as well as clothes.”

Reich cites role models such as Russian tennis player Marat Safin as leaders in encouraging men to wear more jewellery. He credits Safin and his mates as also being responsible for the interest in looking fitter and wearing shirts and polos that better show off their physique – whatever that may be.

“We are selling more slim-fit business shirts than ever before. Men want a shirt that presents their body shape more, rather than the standard business shirt which has quite a lot of fabric. Polo Ralph Lauren spotted this two years ago; now Country Road and Nautica are also offering slim fit versions of their polos.”

Reich says the trends towards slimmer tailoring, brighter colours and mix and match patterns are more prevalent in the youth category than elsewhere, but declined to define the age at which youth stops.

“We define youth as starting at 16, but it’s really a mindset. We’re seeing men buying brands we class as youth, and wearing block stripe polos or printed tees with board shorts and thongs, where before they would probably have worn tailored shorts, short –sleeved shirts and sandals.”

By far the most influential trend has witnessed men becoming more adventurous with their use of colour.

“Men’s fashion is all about colour and not so much about fit. We’ve seen a strong uptake in the pink palette over the past two seasons. It works well with the blues and browns they probably have in their wardrobe already, and it suits most skin types, so it’s accessible.

Oscar Calvo | SUMMER 2005/06

“In fact, last summer we couldn’t keep up with the demand of pink business shirts – business shirts would be the most conservative category – and we couldn’t meet the demand.”

Calvo agrees colour is important, both in tailored wear and streetwear. In its attempts to get livelier, the male segment has moved to hot pinks and neon shades as their colour of choice, he says.

“Pink is easy to coordinate with almost any colour in your wardrobe. It goes fabulously with greys, tans, black, navies and other blue tones.”

Reich predicts that now the pink hurdle has been cleared, the colour will move into lilacs, purples and plum shades for the winter. The other new colour is green – crisp apple green and softer pastel shades.

Stressing Myer targets the mass market in “aspirational males,” Reich says there’s a strong uptake in patterns, stripes and, to a lesser extent, bold checks.

“Stripes have been very strong for the past four seasons – stripes are very easy to wear. We’re seeing diagonal striped ties with striped business shirts, which once was never worn. Bold checks are coming back; the early adopters are wearing them already.”

Calvo says the patterns and colours are moving out from niche seasonal trends to mainstream, combining retro and euro trash – “vintage tees, floral and patterned fitted shirts, knit tops with skinny hipster trousers, or torn prewashed denim jeans teamed with diamond adornment and colourful euro shoes.”

The layered look

The other big trend blurring the age groups is layering. The demand is growing for lightweight and more fitted garments that can be layered. “They can wear a fitted shirt with a light-gauge knit and than a shell jacket over the top for the cooler states, instead of a heavier knit sweater,” Reich says. With a lightweight blazer and a checked or striped shirt and a light knit, they can wear the blazer and the shirt, the knit and the shirt or just the shirt. It gives them more options to dress up or dress down.”

However, he warns the layered look creates potential traps for retailers and customers alike.

“It’s exciting, it’s a big trend – but it also comes with a risk. You can sell all the items for layering, but you have to trust that your customer can put them together the right way. So you have to help him not to make mistakes. If the look is not coordinated, he might not look as good as he’d hoped, and then he won’t come back.”

The models in Myer’s menswear section are all dressed in the layered look, showing how to put more extreme patterns together – a striped tie with a striped shirt, a printed tie with a checked shirt. “My primary goal is to improve the dress sense of the Australian male. If he looks better, he feels better, he has more confidence, and he comes back and buys more.”

The Suit is back

Melbourne-based menswear manufacturer Berkeley Apparel argues the return to masculine styling seen in Milan earlier this season, indicates the suit is back in mainstream wardrobes the world over. Berkeley marketing director Robert Morris says there is a definite consumer shift to something more valued, with more emphasis on differentiation.

“Consumers want a modern feel, look, great fabrics, styling and cut.”

To try and cash in on this global trend, Berkeley is launching three new locally produced suit brands for the Australian market – Tallia Uomo, Oscar Jacobsen and Kenneth Blake.

“These new brands follow the emergence of Paul Smith, London tailoring and the influence of New York as a design and fashion centre, and enable us to offer this sophistication in this new brand portfolio,” Morris says.

“Consumers want the modern feel and look, great fabrics, styling and cut but at mid-level prices,” he argues.

Young men will be wearing fitted dark suit jackets in cord or velvet according to Calvo, who predicts the dress code for the younger suit wearing guy will be a leaner look, but not overtly tight. “Shrunken single or two button tailored suit jackets with high-hip skinny trousers and slip on shoes in dazzling colours.”

“My primary goal is to improve the dress sense of the Australian male. If he looks better, he feels better.”

Oscar Calvo | SUMMER 2005/06

Streetwear

Calvo predicts casual wear will be “more conservative”, but at the same time have a mix and clash effect. “You could almost say eurotrash hits the street,” he says. While he hopes the “overkill of printed raw edge tees” will die, he predicts the graphic component will remain strong. Pale wash denim torn hipster jeans and pants that look demolished will continue to be big. At the same time , the leaner , skinny look will apply to tops, with tailored, fitted floral and patterned shirts, low v-neck knits showing a bare chest, and “inspired nerd knits in stripes” worn with skater sneakers in bright colours.

Accessorise-wise

As well as splashing out on colour, patterns and florals, today’s man is comfortable choosing jewellery and accessories to emphasise his look. Both Reich and Calvo point to the influence of sports stars such as Thorpie, English soccer international David Beckham and Safin driving the “massive interest” in men’s jewellery. However, Reich says most accessories (apart from ties) have a technological edge or feel to them. “We’re seeing stainless steel bracelets, leather wrist straps, and those rubber charity bands. Men are wearing multiple charity bands; it gives them the feel for wearing bracelets. Necklaces are very strong, in bold leather and raw metal ingots, or heavy metal crosses.”

Reich says satchels (shoulder bags for men) are growing increasingly popular. “They have pockets for the mobile phone and the iPod, plus enough room to stash that extra layer for when the days gets cool.”

The old-fashioned cufflink is also back with a twist – as a collectable. “There’s a big resurgence in cufflinks. They’re an inexpensive little trinket that men can collect.”

Performance counts

Underwear is big in Australia, and Australia, and Australian underwear is big overseas. At least that’s the opinion of aussieBum director Sean Ashbury.

“Australia has the biggest ranges and diversity than any other country. Go into [UK department stores] Selfridges or Harvey Nichols and you’ll see maybe six brands, where in Myer or David Jones there are 20 to 25, even if several are from the same company.”

Ashbury believes the big push in underwear is heading towards lycra or microfiber instead of cotton blends, with a sporty look that promises “performance.” Knitted microfiber with no seams is part of the trend towards more comfortable underwear, the hype around the new styles suggest comfort isn’t based on being crammed into a sweaty bus or train and sitting in an air-conditioned office, he says.

“The new sporty styles, from Jockey, modeled by sprinter Matt Shervington, offer ‘wick absorption,’ antibacterial and hypoallergenic properties and sun factors,” Asbury says.

The move to lycra in men’s underwear is a natural progression from its use in women’s intimates. Ashbury says at Lyon Mode City recently, Lycra was the biggest fabric in menswear.

While there will always be white and black for the traditionalists, men’s underpants now come in pink and next season probably apple green, as well as other colours. Digital printing has enabled mare patterns to be printed on Lycra and Ashbury predicts next summer will see men wearing hibiscus and other floral prints on their jocks. He argues knitted stripes in different colours will make a come-back in microfibre and other knits.

“Victoria’s Secret encouraged women to wear more intimate apparel, and now men, know they can get into intimates too,” he says. “They don’t have to stick to the one brand and the one style.”

 

Oscar Calvo Attitude magazine #48 – Street Style, September 2005, Pg. 12

Oscar Calvo | SUMMER 2005/06

Oscar Calvo Attitude magazine #48, September 2005, Pg. 12

OSCAR CALVO

Men’s fashion don Oscar Calvo finishes our sentences…

If I wasn’t a fashion designer I would be… a graphic designer (artist).

The soundtrack to my spring/summer range is… Electric Six – Danger! High Voltage!

My current favourite saying is… it works.

My favourite fashion icon is… Madonna. Her evolving look has influenced imitations on the bodies of women everywhere around the world over the last three decades.

The biggest fashion mistake made by guys is… not accessorising or coordinating looks.

The inspiration behind my spring/summer collection is… colour and fun, styles that clash (Fun Factory) and being wild and alive! The collection is strictly for the wildest imaginations. Look out for the technicolour nautical stripe polo knits.

Oscar Calvo | SUMMER 2005/06

Oscar Calvo Ragtrader magazine – Learning to fly solo, 9 September 2005, Pg. 38

OC OSCARCALVO | SUMMER 2005/06

Oscar Calvo Ragtrader magazine, 9 September 2005, Pg. 38

Learning to fly solo

As a child, menswear designer Oscar Calvo hated sharing a bedroom with his older brother. It wasn’t until he launched his own label that he learned to appreciate just how comforting it was to have someone watching his back, as Tracey McEldowney reports.

OSCAR CALVO’S future was sewn up almost from the very minute he took his first breath. Born the youngest of two in a middle-class Spanish family, he learned from an early age to appreciate the correlation between hard work and quality clothing. While other kids were playing footy in the streets with scuffed shoes and ripped t-shirts, the young Calvo worked tirelessly at his afterschool job, hoping to bank enough money to fund his penchant for exclusive, and therefore expensive, high street fashion. He made his first garment – a long sleeve cotton jersey top in lime – at age 12 and, by his own admission, has succeeded in looking “pretty cool” in his own attire ever since. Though, when pushed, he will attest that he didn’t always get it right. “My biggest fashion faux pas was in the ‘80s. Imitating [English boy band] Bros, wearing 501 faded, ripped jeans with a 501 metal buckle and steel cap Dr Martens.” Last year, having completed a threeyear stint studying fashion at Kangan Batman TAFE followed by a spell as area manager for race wear specialist Barbara Wilson, the ambitious 25-year-old swallowed hard and made the brave decision to start his own self titled menswear label. It is a gamble that has clearly paid off. A finalist in the 2005 Mercedes-Benz start-up programme and a veteran of last year’s FASHION EXPOSED preview show, the Oscar Calvo label is now stocked in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra in boutiques ranging from Husk to Parliament Clothing. Positioned at the higher end of the market and fashioned from pure merino wool and cotton blends imported from Europe, Calvo’s range of tailored hoods, pants and tees are priced at between $120 and $300 – a deliberate move which Calvo claims “reflects the quality and exclusiveness” of the label. While the 25-year-old freely admits his spring/summer 2005/06 collection draws heavily on the influence of his favourite designer Jean Paul Gaultier, he claims as a brand, Oscar Calvo has developed its own distinctive flavour in somewhat of a niche market. “It’s funky directional fashion with attitude and quality, styles that clash and [is] strictly for the wildest imaginations.” His range is presently manufactured in both Hong Kong and Australia, but eventually, Calvo says, he would like to get all manufacturing done at home.

OC OSCARCALVO | SUMMER 2005/06

He cites production hold-ups in one of the least enjoyable aspects about working in the sector, along with not making money and enduring long hours.

“The biggest challenge I have faced is going out on my own. You are responsible for all areas of the business from design to sales and marketing. You have no one to motivate you or pick up your shit when you hit a brick wall.”

“I hate delivering late, especially when it’s out of my control.” Calvo admits that as a relatively new player in the fashion business game, he has had a rather hard and fast education. Not all of it enjoyable. “I guess you have to throw yourself in the deep end and do it hands on to really understand every facet of running a business. The biggest challenge I have faced is going out on my own. You are responsible for all areas of the business from design to sales and marketing. You have no one to motivate you or pick up your shit when you hit a brick wall. I’m so tired [but] I overcome all obstacles by keeping positive and ambitious even when I look and feel like crap” The odd grumble aside Calvo, who has always shown a strong interest in fine art and design, says it is his passion for fashion and people that keeps him coming back. “I admire all the young ambitious designers out there working the long hours and hand-to mouth jobs to keep their label alive. What I like most about working in this industry is being surrounded by other talented, creative people. It’s an ongoing network [where] I’m continually meeting colourful people in all areas of the arts. It’s encouraging on a personal level to work with and see other amazing talents.” And his advice to would-be designers thinking about venturing out on their own? “Don’t, just kidding. Stay focused and motivated and do not lose sight of your dream. Things fall into place if you work hard.”

 

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