‘I can’t wait to see Nepali models on the runway’With a career spanning well-over two decades, designer Andres Aquino has gone on to establish himself as a powerhouse in the world of fashion. The CEO of the celebrated Couture Fashion Week New York, Aquino has spread his wings to do shows in fashion hubs all over the world.
With a career spanning well-over two decades, designer Andres Aquino has gone on to establish himself as a powerhouse in the world of fashion. The CEO of the celebrated Couture Fashion Week New York, Aquino has spread his wings to do shows in fashion hubs all over the world. A well-travelled designer, Aquino, among other A-lister events, has been a special guest at the reputed India International Fashion Week. Now in Kathmandu, for this weekend’s ‘The Kathmandu Post Presents Couture Fashion Nepal’, the multi-dimensional Aquino spoke to The Post’s Alisha Sijapati about the highly-awaited fashion show, his first impressions of Nepal and his hope for the Nepali fashion industry.
Is it your first time here in Nepal?
Yes, this is the first time I am here in Nepal. Hopefully, it won’t be the last. I am really enjoying the experience. Nepal is a unique place to explore. It’s just been a day but I am in love with the country. The culture, the fashion and everything is one of a kind here. Interestingly, the country’s heritage is something that attracts me the most. I am looking forward to seeing the art, architecture and designs here. Having interacted with many Nepalis over the years, I definitely feel the country’s assets are its people. The hospitality and the welcoming nature have really charmed me.
How excited are you about ‘The Kathmandu Post Presents Couture Fashion Nepal’?
I am very, very excited about Couture Fashion Nepal. Having produced and designed clothes for Couture Fashion Week New York for 24 straight seasons, we want to branch out the Couture Fashion Week all over the world. I have seen pictures and videos of few of the Nepali models and although they are a little smaller for the runway, they are pretty and I am sure it’ll be fantastic to see them on the runway. I am definitely mesmerised by their beauty and I am looking forward to meeting them. Also, the Nepali fashion industry seems to be booming and a lot of fashion shows have already been taking place here. It would be a great platform for the Nepali-based fashion designers and models to interact with us and vice versa. We want people to know about Nepal and personally, I believe the fashion industry here has so much potential to be recognised globally.
What about your designs?
I have bought few of my designs here and I am looking forward to showcasing them in the fashion show on Saturday. I believe the show will signify sophistication. I was talking to someone here about the Pashminas in Kathmandu and I hope we could incorporate that in our international fashion shows. This way, Nepal will also find significant promotion abroad. We all know Nepal for its serene beauty and trekking destinations and having met so many talented people in the fashion industry already, they definitely do need some exposure globally as well. I heard a lot of things are handmade here and this is the start—start of couture.
How do you think that the Couture Fashion Nepal will contribute to the fashion industry in the country?
Well, I think the contribution we want to give is an exposure to the designers and models. They can use this platform to be recognised internationally as well. There already is an established Nepali fashion designer (Prabal Gurung) who has reached heights in no time and has gained a brand name for himself. You never know how things can change drastically for someone. We have received so many texts and e-mail from so many Nepalis and it’s such a welcome encouragement.
Have you prepared any special design for the Couture Fashion Nepal?
I haven’t necessarily prepared any special design for this event. Honestly speaking, we had a very little time to prepare. Instead, I bought a global type collection, which is embraced everywhere. These days, fashion and styling is already small due to social media. However, my designs project modernity—especially, for women of today’s age. I am sure the designs flaunted at the fashion show by the Nepali-based designers will give justice to the event. A combination of different things is what makes a fashion show outstanding.
Having worked as a photographer, theatre artist, RJ, show producer and a fashion designer—have you ever tried your hand at styling people?
Well, in few fashion shows I have tried my hand in being a make-up artist and even a hairstylist. Thankfully, the models didn’t hate me for it. I believe I did a great job. For a second, I even thought, I am good at these things. I love any sort of art and entertainment. My passion for them was inevitable.
Do you have any message for the fashionistas of Nepal?
Believe in yourself. If you flatter and love yourself nothing else matters. You can wear and do anything you want but remember to flatter yourself no matter what people tell you.