Sunday, June 6, 2010

Costello Tagliapietra for Uniqlo: An Interview with The Fashionable Matilda

On the morning of May 20th, The Fashionable Matilda joined the line of fans waiting for the launch of Uniqlo’s collaboration with the New York-based design team, Costello Tagilapietra ( Uniqlo’s last Designers Invitation Project, +J with Jil Sander, offered shoppers a collection of smart, lean, well-tailored looks for men and women. Costello Tagilapietra’s collection — a line of chic dresses in a palette of urban neutrals and subtle colors — feature the soft draping and distinctive silhouettes that are their signature. From what we witnessed, the smart, stylish dresses attracted women of all ages. At an ultra-affordable price point, no dress tops $39.99. During these lean times, what more could a budget-conscious fashionista ask for?

The shopping was fast and furious, with the Uniqlo staff restocking the racks at regular intervals. The Fashionable Matilda staffers made sure we had secured our purchases before approaching Costello Tagliapietra for a quick interview. Just before we spoke to the charming, friendly design team, we spied them taking a moment to adjust a few of the dresses so they draped properly and showed well. Well-hung or not, seconds later, they were snatched off the rack!

Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra, of Costello Tagliapietra

The Fashionable Matilda: Is this the same collection for Uniqlo that's in London and Japan?
Robert Tagliapietra: Yes, it’s launched everywhere and so this is the last launch. It’s been doing really well.

FM: So, is it satisfying to do the last launch in New York?
RT: Yes, in a sense.
Jeffrey Costello: It’s our hometown.

FM: Well you’ve had so much success with the line, so I guess this is just icing on the cake. Do you think you’ll do more with Uniqlo?
JC: We’d love to.
RT: Yes, we’d love to, we’re totally open to it. I think it was such a good match.
JC: A good partnership.

FM: It sounds like you've got the right person in mind for this line — well, based on my shopping…
RT: It’s sort of like the girls who… (There’s a pause when a few fans ask for pictures.) Our dresses, although we like to think about them as day and night, most women wear them at night because it’s a little more special. We wanted to think about this as — what the girls we’re around all day, what they would wear during the day — what that Costello dress looks like for daywear, but still treat it the same way, with the same respect. We did the patterns, we wanted that same feel of our brand.

FM: It’s very distinctive -- the cuts are beautiful, and they fit very well.
RT: Thank you.

FM: And the colors too, for a practical girl...
RT: Yes, but there are moments where you'll find the Costello colors that we’ve pulled from past seasons.

FM: Was pattern something you wanted — for the universality of the line — to keep out of the collection?
RT: It was the first one (collection) so we wanted to have a clean statement.

FM: Let the cuts speak for themselves?
RT: Yes, because Uniqlo didn’t really have a dress collection in house yet, so we were defining that moment for them. We’re minimalists at heart — although we’ve been working with patterns lately, that clean statement is always a good fresh statement, and a good first statement.

FM: Well, thank you very much! And now your public is waiting for you, so thanks!
RT: Thanks, so nice to meet you!
FM: Thanks for the collection!

Thank you Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra, for taking the time to talk with The Fashionable Matilda! Congratulations on your smashingly successful line for Uniqlo!

Dresses can be found online within Uniqlo’s “New Dress Everyday” campaign, (

- Julie Yee

Photos: Julie Yee

1 comment:

raven said...

Wow. It's always extremely interesting to see the actual 'designers' behind a brand. They have such clean, sophisticated, yet unique + casual cuts to their line. If I saw this duo walking down the street, I wouldn't have EVER guess they created such an amazing line! That interview was short + sweet. You got a great understanding of how down to earth these fellas are. I had never heard of them or the brand before now, but most of their dress not over $39.99 - I'm sold! Thanks for the post - I look forward to more ;)