[April 7 2021] : Magazine
photography by OLIVIER ZAHM
interview with designer CASEY CADWALLADER
style by SHEILA SINGLE
shot at an abandoned hotel built in 1969 by the modernist catalan architect josep lluís sert in the north of ibiza, where stefan brüggemann installed his conceptual wall posters.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Where are you from?
CASEY CADWALLADER — I grew up in New Hampshire, near Boston. New England. Very conservative. Very white. But at a young age, I started going to New York City. I only wanted to go to there because I was gay, and I knew I needed to. That’s when I started to learn about other people and other cultures.
OLIVIER ZAHM — So, Casey, at Mugler you’re inspired by the legacy of Thierry Mugler and his aesthetic, of course, but you’ve pushed it somewhere else, and you’re opening new possibilities for fashion.
CASEY CADWALLADER — Yes, when I first arrived at Mugler, my impulse was, “These are really big shoes to fill” because what he did was so powerful. But this brand became what it is because Mr. Mugler did not give a shit about the rules. I’m not Mr. Mugler, I never will be, but the one thing that I can take from him is that spirit of doing what you believe is right. There’s something really special about this place, and as a new designer who’s never been a creative director, there’s a sense of freedom…
OLIVIER ZAHM — Because it’s the first time that you’re really in charge.
CASEY CADWALLADER — Right — of what it represents, the casting, etc. I also feel a synergy because he really believed in diversity. He believed in powerful women, but also powerful gays, powerful transgender people. He was totally into butch women, super femme women, feminine men, butch men, and all of the different in-betweens. And that’s also true for me.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Already in the ’80s.
CASEY CADWALLADER — That’s the thing. In the ’80s, he was presenting these amazing new identities to the front-row Parisian bourgeoisie, which I think is so great to look at in the old shows. There’s this amazing performer walking down the runway, and in the front row, you have all these rich old women with their eyes wide open. And they loved it.
[April 2 2021]
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