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In celebration of tonight’s big event, WWD caught up with Joseph Altuzarra, Creatures of the Wind’s Shane Gabier and Chris Peters, and Suno’s Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty — the three Swarovski Womenswear nominees. Here, they chat about fashion lessons learned, good-luck charms and the suspense of meeting Rei Kawakubo.
WWD: Congratulations on your CFDA nomination. What are you most proud of in your career?
Joseph Altuzarra: Building an Altuzarra “family,” a team of people I have worked with since the beginning, and who all have had a hand in creating Altuzarra.
Shane Gabier: That we’ve been able to forge out a viable business while maintaining our aesthetic values. Finding the balance between concept-theory and commercial is really tricky. We’re still working on this, of course, but we’re happy that it’s taking form, and that we can do it our way.
Erin Beatty: Definitely Suno — our team, how we’ve continued to challenge ourselves to be better, and the way we do what we do.
Max Osterweis: I agree with Erin — building our team of talented and passionate people that everyday challenge themselves (and the world) to help make our vision a reality.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in fashion?
Altuzarra: Always stand up for what you believe in.
Gabier: Relatively speaking, we’re a young collection so obviously we still have a lot to learn, but what we have managed to work out is that it’s really important to be true to ourselves. As anyone involved in this industry knows, it’s an incredible amount of work, and if you aren’t doing what matters most to you, it’s really not worth it.
Beatty: To trust my instincts. Fashion can’t be forced — it has to feel right.
Osterweis: To always think long term even though fashion encourages you to think about the immediate.
There will be a lot of big names at the CFDA Awards. Anyone you’re dying to meet?
Altuzarra: Rei Kawakubo. She’s incredible.
Gabier: Of course we would really love to meet Rei Kawakubo. We aren’t sure if she’ll be there to personally accept her award, but if so, we’d be honored to meet her. Fashion as we know it wouldn’t exist without her.
Beatty: Rei Kawakubo.
Max: Rei Kawakubo.
What will you wear?
Altuzarra: An AMI tuxedo.
Gabier: We’re both wearing a mix of old things and new things. We bought one new piece each; they’re both really special, and we’ll pair them with other things that are already in our closet.
Beatty: Definitely Suno, hopefully something never seen before.
Osterweis: A YSL tuxedo and white shoes.
If you win, how will you celebrate?
Altuzarra: I’ll celebrate whether I win or not — I am thrilled just to be nominated!
Gabier: We always prefer a small gathering with our closest friends and families; definitely prefer an intimate dinner to a big party. And we do have a special place that we go for sushi when we feel like celebrating, so maybe we’ll go there.
Beatty: I haven’t even thought about it! Maybe I’ll take myself somewhere nice.
Osterweis: Maybe I’ll take Erin out somewhere nice, so she doesn’t have to eat alone!
Any good luck charms or superstitions?
Altuzarra: I might have a slice of Billy’s Bakery carrot cake. It’s what I ate before winning the CFDA Vogue fund.
Gabier: I have a necklace that Chris’ mom gave me. It’s a cotton cord with a small ring of old Masonic charms. I’m not particularly superstitious, but I do wear it every day, and the one day that I forgot to put it on I freaked out a little. I’ll be wearing the necklace for sure.
Chris Peters: I just can’t think about it too much. If I don’t speak about the night too much, that feels like good luck to me.
Beatty: Not really. Certainly none that have ever proved true.