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|Posted by Daniel Hernandez on October 31, 2016 at 7:50 AM|
The selected designer opening the Fashion eveninng at the Larz Andersen Museum Nov 14th 2016...
During Seasttle Fashion Week, DH Studios Inc had the honor of meeting Gustavo, here is an interview :
Introducing Gustavo Apiti Couture, a talented tailor and designer who creates a variety of custom craft pieces ranging from evening gowns to tailored suits. Born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gustave discovered his love for the fashion industry at the young age of six, where he styled and created clothes for his sister’s dolls. He was heavily influenced by his sister who worked in the industry as a devoted fashion designer and was taught how to sew at the age of eight. Due to growing political issues in the DRC, Gustave decided to move to South Africa where he could further pursue his dream as an international fashion designer. Gustave graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Apparel & Design from the Tshwane University of Technology. After graduating, he worked with some of the top fashion houses from South Africa including: JJ Schoeman Boutique & Strangelove. After establishing himself in Johannesburg, he traveled to the states and began working for Luly Yang Couture in Seattle, WA. At the end of 2014, he began working on his U.S. debut as an independent designer.
Please describe your work:
Our Men’s collection showcases a variety of different cultures and styles as expressed through men’s tailored clothing. Our collection is aimed to change the perception of men’s clothing by using accent details (i.e.: eyelets, piping, safety pins, etc.) shapes inspired by nature, and top quality fabric to enhance the ordinary garment. Our focus with this collection is to push the boundaries of simplicity. We are using traditional men’s silhouettes but challenging their boundaries by using shapes inspired by nature. For example, we were inspired by the shape of animals and created a suit that features a panel in the shape of an elephant trunk. We also substituted basic details on men’s garments, like buttons, for accent details that usually don’t serve this function.
Years in Business: since 2000
What do you love the most about Fashion?
I love the creativity aspect of fashion because this helps me to think in a way others can’t—it gives me a sense of independence. The way you can play with fabric, I feel like an artist that can create whatever I can imagine. I also love that fashion is for everyone-- whatever ethnicity, size, or shape. Everyone deserves to feel unique and fashion is a way of expressing it.
Describe your main inspiration behind your work?
My inspiration for my men’s collection mainly comes from the Asian cultures, particularly Japanese culture. As I was studying the Japanese culture, I found that their vigor and fight seen in battle was also expressed in the way they designed clothing. With this “second-to-none” attitude, great designers like Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto lead a fashion movement in Japan. They were heavily involved in using details, colors, and fabric to create one of a kind masterpieces. This inspired me as a designer to see how I can impact the modern men’s fashion industry by using a similar concept while using my own cultural upbringing to create a garment that is unlike anything anyone has ever seen.
Where would you like to be in 5 years? 10 years?
I’ve created my Men’s collection with a specific standard, and as I’ve spent time designing every piece I’ve imagined each one to be worn by the greatest leaders and representatives of our country. In 5 years I would like to see my brand go nationwide, presenting at the biggest shows in our country, like NYFW. I will launch my RTW collection and have flagship stores in Seattle, New York, and California. It is also my goal to be featured in prestigious fashion magazines and editorials.
In 10 years I aim to be an international brand, showcasing my collection in the biggest fashion events like Paris FW, London FW, etc. It is my goal to dress the most influential people in our world. I will have retail stores in major international countries.
What fashion designers do you admire the most?
Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto. I consider them to be the kings of detailing.
Describe your customer?
Politicians, celebrities, world leaders; these are the individuals that will resonate the most with my work. Our customer is someone who has great influence, whether that’s in business, art, or politics.
Describe what gives your products value?
The quality of the fabric and workmanship is what gives my product value. Every piece is dreamed up, taken through a process, and carefully executed to create what I think is the best version of itself.
What makes your work different?
My upbringing, international experience, and personal style differentiate my work from others.
Why should anyone support your brand?
They should support our brand because our pieces are unique and elegant. Everyone deserves to feel this way.
Are you affiliated with any charities?
We have worked with Seattle Foundation (Congolese Integration Network).
Full Name: Gustave E. Apiti
Phone Number: 206-557-2207
for tix to the show visit: