Christian Cota has just entered his late twenties and exudes, at first glance, a faintly dangerous, Mephistophelian allure. Tall, slender, with blue black hair, twinkly blue green eyes, high cheekbones, an aquiline nose and an aristocratic slouch, he could easily be mistaken for the spoiled boy star of one of Visconti’s historic Italian epics.
However, when he starts to speak, his soft, well-bred Spanish lisp is immediately apparent. So there’s nothing Italian about him after all. And in about five minutes, one can’t avoid realizing that there’s nothing even remotely decadent or wicked about Christian either. On the contrary, as Ana Oritz recently noted, he’s a really, really “good soul”, and, fortunately for female fashion followers everywhere, he’s currently one of the most talented, forward-looking young designers in America.
Some facts: Christian was born, bred, and still vacations (at Playa del Carmen) with his family in Mexico. He traveled to Paris to study painting… a life-long love… before enrolling in Parsons School of Design, from which he graduated in 2005. He started his own company, Christian Cota, in New York in 2007 and. that same year, was named by Style.com one of its “Ten Newcomers to Watch.” By 2009, Christian had won the prestigious Coty Rising Star Award. His work was selected for The Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s “Arbiter’s of Style Exhibit” and has been featured and praised in every important American style magazine. “Harper’s Bazaar” described his designs as “clothes that speak to no specific time and place” and went on to say they “will still be relevant ten years from now.”
Meanwhile, Team O.K.!’s Robert Verdi called the Cota dress Carrie Underwood wore to The People’s Choice Awards, “Modern evening wear. It’s innovative, it’s exciting, it’s sexy, but it’s still a classic.” Interestingly, Christian himself also seems less involved with the look of the moment than the inspirations for his designs: The timeless elegance of his mother and his sister and his love of the colors and forms of nature. “Growing up, my favorite school subjects were always chemistry and science. I was obsessed with science fiction –all of that. All my collections have a lot of experiments in them with nature minerals and stones.” He has stated that he wanted his women to look as though “they were blooming”, like flowers in the gardens he loves –hence the richly saturated prints he is rapidly becoming known for.
Naturally, we were curious to know a little more:
: What is your greatest fear?
: To look back at something and not have done it to the fullest.
: Which living person do you most admire?
: My family.
: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
: Starting my company.
: Where would you like to live?
: I love New York, but it would be nice to live both in Mexico and Spain.
: Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
: Who are your favorite writers?
: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Edgar Allen Poe, Michael Ende
: Rembrandt, Rodin, Paul Cezanne.
We also asked him which heroines of history he would most liked to have dressed, but Christian, comfortable in a favorite pair of jeans he likes to wear to work every day with an old cotton ribbed shirt didn’t answer. Perhaps he would like to have dressed them all.
Anna WintourMichèle Gerber Klein
and Christian Cota
at his Fall/Winter 2010 Presentation at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC.
and Christian Cota
at LA PERLA – Clandestine Interlude at The St. Regis Hotel in NYC.
Alexandra Lind Rose
and Christian Cota
at the NEW YORKERS FOR CHILDREN Sixth Annual Spring Dinner Dance - "New Year's in April: A Fool's Fete" at Mandarin Oriental in NYC.
, Christian Cota
and Michelle Ochs
at the INTERVIEW Russian Masquerade with Alex & Ani and Stolichnaya Vodka at SL in NYC.
and Zani Gugelmann
at his Fall/Winter 2009 Presentation at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC.