Chinese-French-American fashion designer, founder of luxury womenswear label Altuzarra & genderful cult-cool line ALTU
Joseph Altuzarra is a luxury womenswear designer and is widely recognized as one of the most talented and lasting of his generation.
Born in 1983, Joseph was raised in Paris by a Chinese-American mother and French father. His multicultural upbringing and avid interest in different facets of culture–ranging from film to literature to craft–are key influences throughout his work.
Having graduated from Swarthmore College with a major in Art History, Joseph gained experience within the fashion industry at Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler before apprenticing for master pattern maker Nicholas Caïto, further honing his technical skills in design and tailoring, before relocating to Paris as Riccardo Tisci’s first assistant at Givenchy.
In 2008, Joseph launched his eponymous brand in New York with the vision of building a modern wardrobe for women to feel confident and polished in their everyday lives. His debut collection consisted of a tightly edited capsule of fifteen sensual yet assertive looks, which was snapped up instantly by the likes of Barneys New York, Ikram Chicago and Dover Street Market, a remarkable feat considering the state of the luxury industry immediately following the financial recession.
Altuzarra made its runway debut during the Fall Winter 2009 season, attracting the attention of Vogue (Style.com’s Nicole Phelps said of Joseph’s first runway collection: “_Altuzarra's polished technique means he's an up-and-comer to take seriously._”) and Carine Roitfeld alike, who wore the coat from the opening look during Paris Fashion Weektwo weeks later. Since then, Altuzarra has become a wardrobe and red-carpet staple alike for the confident women around the world including Michelle Obama, Kamala Harris, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Cate Blanchett, Priyanka Chopra and Nicole Kidman.
Having applied his singular vision for the Altuzarra woman across categories including ready-to-wear,leather goods, handbags, and shoes, Joseph has also collaborated with the likes of Repossi, Etsy, Maisonette, Audi, and the New York City Ballet.
In 2011, Altuzarra was crowned the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Winner, receiving the support and endorsement of the American fashion industry at large. Since then, Joseph has received numerous accolades for his work, including Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Swarovski Award for Womenswear Design, the Woolmark Prize as well as Business of Fashion’s #BoF500 for seven years running.
In 2014, Joseph was named by the Council of Fashion Designers America as the WomenswearDesigner of the Year and in 2017 the Accessories Council’s Designer of the Year. In 2018, he received the American Image Award for Designer of the Year. Most recently in 2020, Joseph appeared as a judge on Amazon Video’s ‘Making the Cut.’