Elizabeth Castellon


Elizabeth Castellon personally chooses to draw only menswear, a big challenge where the opportunities of body explorations are more limited. “I welcome the challenge of designing the unfamiliar within a limited space. The secret is to know where to draw the line between fancy dress and fashionable,” Castellon says.

​This young and talented fashion designer, originally from New York, moved to San Francisco to attend the Academy of Art University, where she recently graduated. “At the Academy I was encouraged to go in depth, to overcome my fears and to go beyond my way of thinking. I needed to strengthen my talent and my self-confidence.”

​It’s this awareness, cultivated through her challenges and effort that helps her to be clear on her future projects. “Now, I would like to create a look book of my latest collection and publish it,” she says. “I am also looking for a job in a small fashion company, even if my dream one day is to open a store front where I would sell my clothing, for men and women.”

​Her latest collection is a combination of futuristic visions and past trends. “I took inspiration from futuristic looking architecture, building interiors, and sculptures, as well as 1930s men’s sportswear. I wanted to include the classic tailoring elements that embodied menswear along with an abstract futuristic appearance.” Her work includes such classic detailing as floral woven upholstery fabrics, double collars, and pockets on the sleeves. Castellon says that for inspiration, she turns to books and in-depth research: “The research is an important part of my job and my creativity process. It is in those moments that I start to understand what kind of man I am looking for. Once I identified what kind of man I want to see on the catwalk, I begin to imagine his story, his name, his face, what he does for living, where he lives, what kinds of friends he has. I give him a personality that reflects what he wears.”

​As a kid, Castellon used to spend her afternoons cutting old t-shirts to create doll’s clothes. “I grew up in the Bronx and my mother, for fear, didn’t let me go out so often. So I had to find something to do, besides grammar and math homework. I think I started to develop my skills at that time. I am grateful to my mother – she taught me to follow my passion.” Although New York is the fashion capital at the moment, Elizabeth doesn’t plan to move back. “I feel I have to be in San Francisco right now. The city is calling me and I am happy to reply to her call.” Besides the wearable tech trends that are affecting the fashion system, most of all in a city like San Francisco, Elizabeth seems unconcerned. “My fashion icons belong to the tradition like Chanel, Givenchy,” she says. “Collections and garments that you can wear forever, even if fashion is changing.”


Text by Anna Volpicelli