Warrick Gautier is a designer extraordinaire. With his impeccable designs that feature magnificently tailored tuxedo jackets and crisp shirts, Warrick dresses elegant women like celebrities Bonang Matheba and Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi to chic women who prefer discretion.
Warrick’s career in fashion runs over three decades – he’s worked with great icons such as Karl Lagerfeld during his tenure at Chloé as well as Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton. There’s no doubt that he has carved out an illustrious career.
Gautier’s career actually began with a love for art and architecture. He was keen to become an architect or landscape architect. Born into a family already in the fashion industry, Warrick developed an innate sense of taste and a love for fashion. “My grandmother and mother were a huge influence with their own sense of style, and my great uncle Paul Gautier was revolutionary in the 1970’s. He brought French style and fashion for men to South Africa. My great uncle Paul had men’s stores in Cape Town and offered them a unique French style that was not available in South Africa at the time – some of his clients are even still talking about it today. I guess the passion for the fashion industry really runs in my family,” explains Gautier.
Life At The Villa Collection
Having created countless collections, from Fabiani to his eponymous label, Warrick’s brand DNA stems from a sense of flawless and precise tailoring, with an ease of draping.
“The Warrick Gautier client is a woman of immense substance, kindness and style. She is powerful and successful at whatever she puts her mind to. She’s a global player who shapes the world around her and is a passionate and sensual lady,” says Gautier.
His latest collection was inspired by his friend’s wonderful villa in Italy. “ Villa Astor is on the Italian coast. I also wanted to mix this with the African wildlife and flora elements that are around us in South Africa, and create real African luxury,” affirms Gautier. Due to the implications of Covid-19 Gautier does not have an upcoming collection yet.
Staying top of the game
The fashion industry is a tough industry to break into and staying at the top and sustaining success can be challenging. Gautier’s resilience and sheer determination to consistently reinvent himself comes through his work, in which he is creating clothes that women are going to fall in love with over and over again.
“To stay relevant and have longevity you need to adapt – you need to stay true to your own influences and style however the world is changing. Through this change and adaptation, one also needs to push the boundaries too – never be boring! And that doesn’t mean creating silliness, nobody wants to look strange, after all, women want to look beautiful,” asserts Gautier. He also credits order and structure as essential as the fashion process and fashion life is very creative and can be extremely unstructured.
Fashion in a pandemic
With everyone in the fashion industry feeling the wrath of Covid-19 as a result of businesses downsizing and even shutting down, Gautier has had his own fair share of challenges with running a fashion business currently. “The Pandemic has impacted business negatively. With very few to no events and the general poor economy, we’ve had to look at other areas of revenue and create relevant mini collections for our clients’ needs during this time.”
With all that’s going on in the world from an economic recession to the seemingly never-ending pandemic that is Covid-19, Warrick isn’t deterred from his purpose. He’s extremely optimistic about what lies ahead. His love for creating a fashion brand that affirms poetic elegance and a sophisticated approach to dressing surpasses all that’s happening around him.
“As soon as we can, once Covid-19 is under control, I want to resume and have my Paris showroom up and running again. This together with the launch of Warrick Gautier Prêt à Porter which will be available in all major department stores and boutiques globally and online. I’m determined to make luxury accessible to a broader client base and market – it’s my dream. Most of the groundwork has already been done on the project pre Covid, so hopefully, we can re-ignite this again as soon as possible,” concludes Gautier.
We can’t wait to see what lies ahead for this talented designer extraordinaire.
Check back tomorrow to see our exclusive shoot with Warrick Gautier.
All images supplied by Warrick Gautier.
Words | Sibusiso Mkize Instagram: @sbuthestylegeek
Editor | Nikki Temkin Twitter: @nikkitemkin