What made you want to embrace this career path and what were the main challenges at the start of your journey?

From a young age, I’ve always searched for ways to express my points of view. I went through several disciplines and finally landed on fashion. Fashion sets me free from having to express myself through my own body while giving me the freedom to share my vision. This also comes with the challenge of being misunderstood in the way you wish to share your story. I’ve had to learn that my vision will not always translate to someone else’s understanding and situation.

As a designer, what is your mission to achieve for your artistic vision?

My brand focuses on telling queer stories. I believe there are too many stories that are wasted away in some library, never to be told. We always focus on the same 10 stories, but what about the queer kid that grew up in the ’60s, who never rose to fame? Is their life of less value? What did it mean to stand in their shoes? I always want to find these stories and let them soar through my research. I’m extremely research-based and want to build worlds and the galaxy’s around my next characters.

How do you describe the vision of your designs or brand?

I want to let go of the idea of masculinity in my upcoming work. I’ve always focussed on the idea of redefining masculinity, but what if I fully let go? This brings up so many questions about the function of gender expression. So for now, my vision is a question
mark, and I love it.

What are the criteria for choosing fabrics? Why do you use certain fabrics?

For trilling, I only use deadstock materials, for the final pieces I only use natural fibers. This is an easy way for me to keep an eye on my footprint.

How would you describe the labor process of your clothes?

All items are extremely labor-intensive. I’m at a point where everything is made in-house and with extreme detail. Some items take weeks to finish due to different phases of dies, paints, and embroidery techniques.

What is your collection about?

Claude is a love letter to queer beauty, researching the idea of the performance of being a queer person. What are the necessities to remain hidden or express oneself to the fullest? Living as a queer person can mean moving through stages, reinventing oneself, undressing, and re-dressing. It can be fragile and powerful, beautiful and hard to look at. What would one wear while dressing for the next performance on the stage of life?

How do you describe the vision of your designs or brand?

My vision is that queer people are the future. As queer people, we have been propelled into a society that at this point is not made for us. That has made us adaptable and has ensured some of us grow up really fast. We’ve had to think outside of the “box” because that’s the way we’re born. I wish to develop a space and voice for this point of view in my brand.

What do you think about circularity, and do you incorporate it in your productions, if so what is your take on that?

Circularity is of the utmost importance to ensure that our planet will keep existing. It sounds rather strange coming from someone who designs pieces, but we have enough stuff. We don’t need more things. I’m currently working on repurposing and reviving materials in sculptures and new textile research. There is so much stuff, it’s shocking.

Are there any other designers you look up to that maybe share your same creative perspective?

Arturo Obegero from Paris makes wonderfully queer items out of deadstock materials. It’s sexy and sophisticated. A dream!

What is freedom for you?

Being able to be unapologetically myself. That fluctuates every day and embracing that and being able to embrace that feels like the ultimate f*ck you to society.

Joiah Luminosa