After six years with Armani Exchange, Argentine designer Lucio Castro is hanging out his own shingle. Unlike his former employer, however, Castro’s eponymous menswear label has a brazen emphasis on sustainable fabrics and artisanal techniques. His Spring/Summer 2012 collection, named “Nature is a language, can’t you read?” after a Smiths’ song, comprises clean-cut, minimalist pieces inspired, for the most part, by French filmmaker Fernand Deligny’s concept of “elevated simplicity.” A seemingly neutral charcoal cloth, for instance, reveals itself as a blend of neon fibers upon closer examination.
Castro litters several personal motifs throughout the line, such as metal buttons with abstract hand-engravings of his grandfather’s house in Argentina. (The house, built in 1937, was demolished in 2011, the same year Castro struck out on his own.)
Castro originally studied medicine at the University of Buenos Aires but later moved to New York to attend Parsons The School of Design.
The designer, who originally studied medicine at the University of Buenos Aires but later moved to New York to attend Parsons The School of Design, also seeks to streamline conventional silhouettes by eliminating unnecessary trappings, such as the vestigial “watch pocket” found in jeans. The results, he says, are “spare, sophisticated, and slightly unexpected.”
Complementing Castro’s tailored aesthetic is his refined taste for quality manufacturing. Most of the fabrics are organic, and from Japan, which Castro believes accounts for their quality. The label’s production is based in Sri Lanka, in small-to-medium-scale factories with rigid environmental and ethical standards. Eco-friendly hardware made from coconut and Tagua nuts, along with hand-crafted leather from his native country, are just a few of the fine touches that make the pieces so polished.