Sunday, April 1, 2018

Nicolas Caito & Hervé Pierre of Atelier Caito for Hervé Pierre




Having spent the earliest days of my fashion career on 7th avenue, I have always been fascinated and intrigued by what happened “behind” the environment of the showroom or as we used to say … “in the back.” By that I mean the pattern makers, the cutters and the entire sample making process from sketch to reality...the transformative process of creating a garment.  This ongoing fascination led me to Nicolas Caito several years ago when he had his pattern making/sample making workspace on Chambers Street and my fascination was reignited with the magic and skillsets that his work requires and produces.
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Needless to say that when the announcement was made that he joined forces with Hervé Pierre, I was quick to send congratulations as well as offer this interview. Being able to put friendship ahead of my personal feelings did not take long to overlook an affiliation that, to say the least repelled me, but friends are harder to come by and loyalty has its place and value especially in business. So with all that said, here we have Nicolas speaking for he and his partner about their new and exciting venture … Atelier Caito for Hervé Pierre  
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I am of the opinion that it may just be time that women will again begin to wear clothes ...  not just gym clothes, jeans and sweats, but clothes… as in dinner dresses, cocktail dresses, luncheon dresses and formals that exude an elegance that has been lost along with the passage of time in some demented way of staying "relevant." These  two men combine old world skills with  modern design to create for a 21st century woman who wishes to stand out from the flock by looking slick, refined, chic, if that exists anymore, and above all wearing clothes utilizing the expertise and craft used by the greats of fashion.
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Jeffrey Felner: Can you give us a little history as to how you both met and how this venture came to be?

Nicolas Caito: We met here in New York City when Lars Nilson and Hervé Pierre were design directors at Bill Blass. They were looking for someone to manage the eveningwear sample room, that's when Francois Bouchet (the Premier d'Atelier at the time at Oscar De La Renta but also a dear friend of ours and mainly my mentor who trained me during 8 years at Lanvin ) put us in contact .

After 2 years at Bill Blass, Hervé went to Carolina Herrera to become the creative director of the brand, a position that he held for 15 years;  I went back to Paris to become the manager of the sample room at Rochas for 2 years while Olivier Theskeyns was the creative director. Two years later, I was back to New York City and the creation/birth of Atelier Nicolas Caito .

It is only recently that Hervé and I started working again together on special projects and private clients, until one morning in August, I woke up with this “calling” that we had to create a line together! We have the same education, the same kind of background and Hervé has such a respect, passion and love for craftsmanship that he is the only person in New York I could consider starting a new venture with!
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JF: Can you explain this collection in terms of target audience, the message of the collection and how clients can see it?

NC: I would say that this collection is really meant for an extremely elegant and very feminine woman, but also a woman that has an education on fit, craftsmanship and luxury! “The elegance of a woman that would rather be remembered than seen” Giorgio Armani
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JF: Why did you select NOW as the right time to inaugurate this collection? 

NC: We selected now as a time to launch because we think, believe and hope that all our planets are aligned ,but also because we can't conceive of  people waiting for it any longer for this union or marriage of talents.
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JF: Can you speak to how you see fashion at the moment and where you wish to fit in and why?

NC: I am only going to be speaking about fashion in New York City as this is the one arena that I know the most.  I think that fashion is moving away from its purpose which is to create nice garments in a creative way. The lack of education, of fashion history/knowledge, fabric and garment construction is impoverishing the fashion industry! The more followers you have today on Instagram, the more talented it makes you …. In theory! The image/visual has taken over the garment itself, the clothes themselves have become less important than the label/brand!

We wish to bring back the seriousness of making dresses, not in an austere way, but more about the commitment to design and craft! We also believe that the collaboration of creative talent and craftsmanship will translate our designs to real life. The actual creation of making a garment has lost its soul! Nowadays you email a sketch to China or Italy and you wait to get a sample back; the interaction between the designer and the pattern-maker, which a key interaction for us, is lost again when there is a void between sketch to sample! Both the designer and the pattern-maker need to challenge each other, they need to question themselves on what they do and why and how … this is how our craft stays alive and evolves!
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JF: Do you have any style mentors or icons that you have in mind when you design? And why have you chosen them?

NC: What is fascinating when I am looking back at fashion history is that every period in time always has a fashion icon , a woman or a man who shaped and influenced fashion in that very precise era … paintings , or movies can also play a big part in the search and creative process … so it all depends on my mood and my current state of mind; I can easily look at La Comtesse Greyffuhle, Carolina Herrera, a Visconti movie !!! or a Matisse painting for a color combination!
******* for more, visit their website ********  http://ateliercaitoforhervepierre.com/

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