KCFW Q&A: Amanda Casarez

Latina designer Amanda Casarez’s philosophy is to be unapologetically herself: “I am my own muse,” reads her website’s bio. Inspired by her own story, she merges streetwear with high fashion, aiming to serve the modern woman’s everyday needs with “classic cool” and “tomboyish flare.” Not only does Casarez hold degrees in both fashion design and biology, but she’s is also an alumna of the 2015 Washington D.C. Fashion Incubator at Macy’s, where she developed her eponymous clothing line as a designer-in-residence. Since launching her brand, Casarez has presented at fashion weeks in Phoenix, Washington D.C., Omaha, and Kansas City. Casarez will show her F/W 2019 collection at KC Fashion Week’s closing night.

Your brand ethos is “feminine details with a borrowed-from-the-boys attitude.” How does blurring the line between menswear and womenswear manifest in your designs?

It took some time and a lot of exploring to develop my aesthetic as a designer, because in the end I want it to reflect me and my personal style, and it was even harder to learn how to explain it to people. In the beginning I was so focused on designing for a specific target market that I lost my creativity to the business aspect of fashion. It wasn’t until about three seasons ago that you can see a definite change in my designs — at that point I started to design for myself, and I am the subject I know best. I am not girly at all, I rarely do anything to my hair, and only wear makeup when I have to, yet my outfits are very well thought out, with one idea in mind: effortlessly cool.

Last year’s F/W collection featured empowering messages, like “I am mine” and “rEVOLt.” What inspired your designs?

I am inspired by many things, but in the end, fashion is my art and my art is a reflection of myself and what’s going on inside of me. I don’t talk feelings, but I sure do ‘wear’ them. My life has not been easy, I’ve had to work really hard for everything that I have and who I have become, so this collection was all about Amanda owning herself, not just being physically free, but also emotionally.

Your clothes have striking outlines and shapes. Could you talk about the process of creating these silhouettes?

My process always begins with a theme, which usually begins to manifest itself in my mind way prior to the collection being started. I decide on a colors and fabrics. This is very important because my mind goes into overdrive when I have fabrics in front of me. I can see a garment even before I pattern or sew it by just looking at fabric! My style has always been very linear. I’m very attracted to architectural lines, so I can see this reflected in my work.

What can we expect from you at this season’s KCFW?

My A/W19 collection is Self Destruct. It is very bold and graphic, a lot of grays, blacks, and yellows. It’s high-fashion meets streetwear, with a little grunge. as well as pieces with self painted fabrics.

What’s next for Amanda Casarez?

The next step is getting the brand into stores. The goal is to make Amanda Casarez a national brand.

Amanda Casarez

Saturday Night Runway Show
March 30 at 6:00 p.m.

The Grand Hall at Power & Light
1330 Baltimore Avenue
Kansas City, MO, 64105