Since first appearing on (and winning) Bravo’s Project Runway as a bold personality and unparalleled young talent back in 2007, designer Christian Siriano has captured the hearts of some of the world’s greatest celebrities with his eye for style and inclusive point of view. Siriano launched his namesake collection in 2008 and it almost immediately became a success, raking in over $1 million in revenue by 2010, and establishing Siriano as a designer with longevity. The 33-year-old has become a fixture on red carpets for the daring and the clever, and in 2018 was named as one of Time’s Most Influential People.
One of Siriano’s latest designs (that could’ve very well have caused a few seizures from all the camera flashes) was the tuxedo gown that actor Billy Porter wore to the Oscars in February 2019. “What I did for Billy Porter this year at the Oscars; I think that was very influential in our world because it was a man in a dress, but it wasn’t just me, obviously Billy had to be onboard with that,” Siriano says of the gown he created, offering credit to Porter for making it work so well. “I always have a really good feeling when I know something is going to work or not, and I just knew. And I also don’t really care either,” he says of the potential backlash following an awards show. “Whatever happens happens.”
Luckily for Siriano, his defiant attitude and love for pushing the boundaries (only when the client is up for it, obviously) have served him well. When asked if there are any stars he has yet to dress that he dreams of, he candidly responds with, “I really get to work with everybody that I really want to and love. Maybe like Cate Blanchett or Nicole Kidman.” He adds that he tries not to put so much pressure on himself about clients because then it feels like organic, and there are more nerves.
From competing on Project Runway to becoming the mentor, alongside host Karlie Kloss, Siriano spills his approach for guiding the designers. “I treat them like my design team. I try to get them to dig deep. Especially when it comes to like, red carpet challenges where I’m like, okay I just dressed nine people, I know something about this,” he says.
So, in between dressing Michelle Obama, whom he also credits as influencing him with the work she has done, and mentoring the next class of up-and-coming designers, Siriano has been busy with a boutique store of his own, dubbed The Curated NYC. An elegant and welcoming atelier located in Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood, Siriano’s store is celebrating its one year anniversary in May 2019. “[The store] really just evolved into other things. We thought the customer would be different than she is and we’ve actually noticed that it’s literally all walks of life shopping, which is really cool,” Siriano says reflectively. The Curated NYC features Siriano’s brand along with several others and he is hoping to expand into menswear brands, shoe designers, and more. “I hope people feel comfortable that they can come in and literally buy something that’s like a $30 t-shirt but then obviously we have amazing gorgeous pieces that are 10 or 20 thousand dollars. So I think the range is what is interesting to people,” he says.
“I really feel like you’re playing dress up in a closet,” he adds of how people feel when stepping inside The Curated NYC.
Visit The Curated NYC at 5 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019