Joseph Altuzarra is familiar with straying from the status quo. In 2017, the designer pulled his eponymous ready-to-wear brand from New York Fashion Week in favor of showing in his home city, Paris. But then, in 2021, he returned to NYFW flushed with ideas of change and reinvention. As such, his Spring/Summer 2022 collection held a central concept of rebirth — seen most visible in the designer’s reprisal of a shibori print, a Japanese hand-dyeing technique first included in Altuzarra’s 2016 collections. And now the ingenious creative is once again welcoming renewal: Meet ALTU, Altuzarra’s new genderful brand that subverts traditional style basics through exploration and curiosity. (Per a press statement, Altuzarra defines genderful as a space that “encompasses the plurality of an individual’s presented identity and encourages positivity within the spectrum of gender presentations and expressions.”)
ALTU doesn’t haphazardly pepper womenswear elements into its designs, and it certainly doesn’t occasionally “borrow from the boys,” as the outdated adage goes — it’s an entirely new approach to non-gendered design, one that employs a purposeful and wholesome methodology. The nascent brand “reimagines and challenges traditional notions of dress through the lens of adolescent curiosity and uninhibited gender expression,” reads the press statement. “Simultaneously equivocal and expressive, [ALTU] symbolizes a realm of possibility where vulnerability and angst, doubt and desire, idolization and isolation can coexist.”
ALTU’s first collection, launched on Dec. 1, contains a range of strategically minimalistic wardrobe essentials — including hooded sweatshirts with a double-layer design and knit dresses adorned with hip cutouts. “The styles incorporate traditionally masculine and feminine sartorial codes, but are designed to be worn by all people, subverting the concept of gendered clothing,” the press release reads. ALTU’s leather pants particularly embody the line’s versatility. The brand offers two different styles of hide trousers — one in a straight-leg skinny design, the other in a baggy mid-rise silhouette — to ensure all will find a pant that fits them and their desired aesthetic best.
The brand’s collection is available now on altu.world and will be available on matchesfashion.com shortly (the exact date the drop goes live on the London-based retailer is TBD). As for sizing, ALTU’s offerings range in genderful numerical sizes starting at zero and going up to seven. You’ll find ALTU’s pricing is similar to the designer’s main line: prices range from $500 to around $1,000.
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