Sat, May 22, 2010 at 11:59AM
It's hard to go one-on-one with fashion royalty and remain unaffected, but we somehow managed to write our interview with legendary designer Carlos Falchi (shop our sale today) without (completely) going into fangirl mode. Simply put, there's almost no career milestone Falchi has not reached. As a costumer, he has outfitted icons such as Mick Jagger, Miles Davis, and Elvis Presley. His coveted handbags reside in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, and have been carried by both the old guard (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Tina Turner) and new generation (Cate Blanchett, Mary J. Blige) of stylephiles. And, as an arbiter of exotic skins, vivid prints, and creating functional accessories that work just as splendidly as they look, the elegance and richness of his pieces are acclaimed the world over. We talked to the master craftsman about music gods as muses, the beauty of his native Brazil, and just how does one successfully incorporate those beautiful prints of his into a wardrobe.
What is the most extraordinary/unusual muse you've had?
I had two. Miles Davis and Tina Turner.
You have an esteemed background as a costumer, especially for renowned artists such as Elvis Presley, Tina Turner, and The Rolling Stones. How have those experiences influenced your design?
I love music and to be able to work with my heroes was amazing. They appreciated my work. Just as they express themselves through music, I express myself through my designs.
What is your most memorable story from your years in that world?
Seeing Miles Davis wearing my snakeskin pants at Carnegie Hall.
Brazil is a country known for beauty: in its people, places, and culture. How, if in any way, do you see it reflected in your work?
Everywhere. I am Brazilian. Exotic runs in my veins. Brazil is magic, colors, textures and exotic, which is reflected in all my work.
You're known for vivid prints and textures. What advice do you have for how to successfully incorporate these elements into a wardrobe or outfit?
Mix them up. The more the merrier.
What advice do you have for aspiring handbag designers who would like to be the next Carlos Falchi?
Never give up. Work, work, work. Repetition is the name of the game and there are no rules.
Given your status as a master handbag crafter, what's in your bag? What do you always have when you leave the house?
I carry all kinds of bags. The tote, the satchel. I’m always test driving my bags. I carry fun and personal things, like pictures of my daughters.