An Interview with Fashion Designer Guillaume Cardoso de Sousa

Califonia-based fashion designer Guillaume Cardoso de Sousa has recently unveiled an inaugural womenswear collection with the name ‘Los Angeles Reflections’ that has caught the attention of The Style Examiner.

Born in 1983 in Marseille, France, to a Portuguese father and a French mother, Cardoso de Sousa started his career in Fashion at the Lycée Colbert in Marseille. While he was there studying fashion design, draping and sewing, he secured an internship in Paris with Jean Paul Gaultier. In 2003, he moved to Paris permanently to do a two-year apprenticeship with the house of Kenzo while attending the draping course of La Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.

Three days after graduating, he started working with Ricardo Tisci as a freelance draper at Givenchy Haute Couture. After this period, he went on to work for seven years with a number of designers, including John Galliano at Christian Dior Haute Couture, Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga, and at Yves Saint Laurent, Hermès, Chloé, Isabel Marant, and Maxime Simoens.

In 2008, during a trip to California, he fell in love with Los Angeles, its creative energy, and the extraordinary potential that the city offered to the fashion universe. After pondering his relocation from France to the US, Guillaume made the permanent move to Los Angeles in July 2010.

Inspired by the contemporary architecture that he has been witnessing since he settled in Los Angeles, Cardoso de Sousa’s collection of 13 pieces mixes contemporary forms and shapes with the traditional manufacturing processes and techniques of French Haute Couture in a colour palette comprising black, ivory, white, and nude tones. Luxurious fabrics sourced around the world such as Zibeline, Silk Chiffon, lacquered wool, silk crepe, leather, vinyl, silk gauze, and French lace are draped, pleated, incrusted, gathered, fringed, lacquered, and reinforced in order to explore the potential of ancient sartorial processes.

We interviewed Guillaume Cardoso de Sousa exclusively for The Style Examiner to find out more about his creations, influences, and future plans.

Where do you find your inspiration to design?
I constantly collect all kinds of images, without having a specific purpose or knowing what to do with them. I gather all sorts of pictures, including landscapes, film shots, architecture, animations, equipments, etc. I keep all these images in books, and then I put them together to create stories and develop concepts with my sketches.

How much of your success do you credit to where you studied?
La Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne , where I studied , taught me the rigor and the precision of haute couture. These two elements were my best allies to create my first collection .

Whose work do you admire the most?
I admire the work of Nicolas Ghesquiere for pushing the construction of a garment to its limit.

Now that you are based in Los Angeles, how close are you to other Californian designers?
I’m actually closer to future Californian designers. I met a lot of young designers in LA who have graduated recently and I help them as much as I can to present their work .

What do you think of the fashion currently produced by American designers?
To be honest, I don’t really follow up what’s happening on the runway, but I like the roughness and edginess of some local designers in Downtown LA.

Where do you see your career going next? What are the commercial plans for Guillaume Cardoso de Sousa as a brand?
I’d like to open a Haute Couture house in Los Angeles. In addition to the made to measure service that a Haute Couture house offers, I’d also like to develop collections for the ready-to-wear market.

Where do you sell?
The collection is available anywhere in the world through my website, where people can order by selecting the look they like.