Mix together the diligence of a classically trained pianist and a healthy dose of business savvy and you have fashion designer Charles Youssef.
FASHION DESIGNER CHARLES YOUSSEF is like a rare bird. He doesn’t sport colorful plumage or squawk an unusual song, but his mix of creativity and savvy business sense is a rare quality for a new designer. Youssef, who studied at Parsons and Central Saint Martins before being personally emailed by Gareth Pugh to join his design team, launched his namesake label in 2014 in New York. He had already formed a solid business plan before his inaugural collection hit the floors, choosing to focus on structuring a viable business and securing investors before indulging in his creativity. The result was an instant partnership with Barneys, who picked up Youssef’s first collection and has been stocking him ever since (another rarity for a young designer).
When it comes to the actual designing part though, Youssef has already narrowed in on his strengths. He loves details (particularly zig zags), geometry and architecture, possesses a talent for creating beautiful, feminine silhouettes, and has a special place in his heart for tailoring and fit. Just take a look at the pleated sleeve detail on one of his white shirts, the volume in a pair of wide leg trousers, and the combination of fabrics in his sheer white dresses. In essence, the Charles Youssef woman is confident and striking. She knows what she wants, and she isn’t afraid to show off her feminine side. In fact, she celebrates it. She knows the importance of a tailor, and seeks out special details in her clothes, like interesting cutouts and slightly hidden pleating. Her taste is quiet beauty, except for the occasional loud print.
The Charles Youssef woman is confident and striking. She knows what she wants, and she isn’t afraid to show off her feminine side. In fact, she celebrates it.
Now celebrating his third year, Youssef is concentrating more on the fabrication and development of his garments. His fall/winter 2016 collection took inspiration from precise and manicured Japanese gardens (Japan often plays as inspiration for Youssef), and Yakuza bosses—members of the Japanese mafia, who are often covered in dozens of tattoos. This attention to detail is a classic example of Youssef’s approach to his designs. Nothing is overlooked, each element is taken into careful consideration, and attention is paid to every detail. Who wouldn’t want to wear clothes made from a designer with such passion for his product?
Follow Charles Youssef @charlesyoussef
A strong cup of coffee and lots of water.
2. What's the last thing you do before you go to sleep?
Say goodnight to my partner.
3. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Being able to manifest anything I want instantaneously.
4. What is your spirit animal?
My hairless sphinx cat, Fussie.
5. What is your greatest creative achievement?
My first presentation during New York Fashion Week.
6. If you could swap lives with anyone in history (alive or dead), who would it be?
7. What is your favorite song?
Currently obsessed with Adorn's remix of "By This River."
8. Favorite artists?
The architect Tadao Ando
9. If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A black t-shirt and black trousers.
10. Any hidden talents?
I'm a classically trained pianist.