FOXYLAB NY – Urban Streetwear Couture and multimedia hub that connect art and fashion
24Fashion TV had a chance to get an interview with Oxana De Castro, founder of FOXYLAB NEW YORK
An established New Yorker, Oxana De Castro, has an extensive background in real estate and construction — that is until 5 years ago when she took a risk to change industries and kickstart herself in fashion, launching her artwear brand FOXYLAB NEW YORK. On top of creating an accommodative online shopping platform, Oxana turned it into a multifunctional multimedia hub fulfilled it with educational materials relevant for the brand’s target audience, such as interviews with industry talents, expert articles and talent features, as well as launching a YouTube channel featuring the professional video content. Today FOXYLAB NEW YORK platform serves not only for shopping, but also for inspiration and discovery for people of all creative minds.
In last two years, Oxana managed to present 5 collections, each made in mutual effort with a prominent artist, was featured on pages of globally recognized publications, such as L’Officiel, Elle, New York Weekly, Corriere Della Sera, Vanity Teen.
Oxana de Castro empowers FOXYLAB NEW YORK with her subtle creative vision, as well as rigorous feeling of the customers’ demand and just presented FOXYLAB’S new collection “Disclosing Artists Creativity” in collaboration with world professional athletes. She is a serial entrepreneur. Besides her main passion of art and fashion. She is a co-founder of a French Café in Florida (Le Petit Poussin) and runs her fashion manufacturing company.
24Fashion TV: Hi Oxana, and welcome to 24Fashion TV! We have a motto at 24FashionTV: “Always be fashion!” What do “Fashion” and “Style” mean to you? And what motto do you have?
Oxana De Castro: Fashion and style are two different things! Fashion is what are the current trends now. Something that is cool today, but probably not going to be cool tomorrow. Style is something particular to a certain individual, something that one can’t put a finger on, but seen and felt right away. To me style is much more important than fashion. Style is lasting and continues through all fashion trends. One can dress in all the latest trends and most expensive fashion items but still lucking of style. I stick to two personal mottos: “I improve the world by enjoying it” and “A grateful heart is the foundation for all other virtues.” Both reflect deep in me.
What inspired you to start your career as a designer? What gave you pause?
I don’t consider myself a designer. I can be in the role of designer, a manager, an artist, sales person, PR person and list is long. Generally, I don’t like to put any label on myself. But if I need to put one professional tag on myself that would be – “an entrepreneur”. I created FOXYLAB NEW YORK just because I have been always passionate about fashion and art, so in combining these together I found myself. I wanted clothing with the deeper meaning and now FOXYLAB is more than just a clothing brand but multifunctional platform for inspiration and discovery for all creative minds.
What was the most difficult obstacle you had to overcome in launching your brand and other businesses?
There are two most difficult obstacles for me. First is to find a passionate and qualified team – this is a high importance for any business. One can have many amazing ideas, however persuading those without reliable team is simply impossible. Second is to find a reliable and quality product manufacturer. It took me multiple mistakes and years to find it. This is a huge obstacle in the fashion industry.
Your latest collection,“Disclosing Athletes Creativity”, is incredible! How did you come up with the idea to collaborate with international athletes and artists and to release such a unique drop?
Our new collection was inspired by Tokyo summer Olympics. It was March 2021 and first post covid Olympics were coming. It was lots of conversations around it and this subject came up during the lunch with my team member. She mentioned that athletes are artists in their nature too. That was a start. That lunch led us to the idea to pare athletes who were coming to the Olympics with the international artists. So, they can create art in pair, and not just art but art with the meaning for both – artist and athlete. Each collaboration has a name and there is a meaning behind it. FOXYLAB monitored interaction between the pairs and helped to come to the desired art results. And as usual we used our t-shirts as a canvas for the final art of each pair.
What message do you think your style sends to your clientele? Who is your primary clientele?
Our gender fluid seasonless streetwear styles bring the message of the freedom of expression coupled with a sense of belonging to the art community. We are artwear clothing brand and go to online source for inspiration and discovery how art and fashion coexists together. Our primary clientele are talented, courageous, free creatives and those who appreciate art. People with a street culture attitude and those who see fashion beyond just clothing, but instead as a part of the lifestyle.
Who are your favorite designers, fashion houses? Which of their creations do you like? Who wore them, when, etc?
I have few favorites. Schiaparelli early and nowadays creations are one of my very favorite. For me this fashion house is the founder of art in fashion. Schiaparelli turned the fabric into a painting canvas and was first to collaborate with the best artists of those days. I love Schiaparelli’s lobster dress and shoe hat in collaboration with Salvador Dali. I know that for those times, these designs were shocking. Nowadays Schiaparelli didnt disappoint either and continues to flourish in fashion and art. I adore their iconic cone bustier.
Iris van Herpen creations are another favorite. Iris is an artist, a fashion legend who uses the best craftsmanship combined with the best digital technologies of today. Multiple world museums keep showing her work which is just another prove that everything she is doing is art. I love vintage Dior dresses with full skirts. It is less of art for me, but extra gorgeous haute couture that I have a weak spot to. It inspired me to create our “tailored to measure” dress. It stands out from all our pieces and was created for a special upcoming project. This dress was already worn by few famous people.
Do you think the fashion business follows standard business cycles or does it have a periodicity of its own? What part of the cycle do you think we are in now?
Fashion industry follows the standard business cycles with the same old formula steps - introduction of the trend, then trend rises, reaches its peak, and follows by decline. The only difference from the past, is that now the life span of the cycles became significantly shorter. This is the saddest part for me.
Trends rise and fell with the extremely fast speeds due to large competition, improved design technology, marketing tools and of course social media. We are in the unfortunate “Catch 22” situation – there are many trends but they all start feeling mainstream very fast. So, the companies keep creating, competing, people keep spending, fashion brands doing more collections, there are more fashion weeks. We keep exhausting the system, ourselves and also keep carelessly treating the environment.
How recession-proof do you think the fashion industry is? What about your niche of the industry?
Fashion is not recession proof, but the luxury fashion niche is recession proof. Those items are passed through generations and always in demand. People who have money still have them during the recession and are able to afford luxury items. With the recession it will be a decline in a consumer spending for fashion, less international trade. It will be more early markdowns and recession is definitely tough on already difficult business of fashion. Including our niche.
Do you like social media and being in the public eye? Are there good and bad things about it and about the effect it has on the public?
I don’t mind social media. For professionals Instagram became a LinkedIn of our days and a great marketing tool. You are the one to choose how much and what to post about your life, so you can create any desired image. Social media is time-consuming, I am a true believer that one should balance its use just like everything else in life. Too much of anything becomes damaging. Plus, our generation should always be conscious not to compare perfect Instagram images to the real life. It is never the same.
What’s next for you? New collections, collaborations, shows? What should we expect from you next?
I want to grow my baby and my passion - FOXYLAB NEW YORK platform. I am shooting to release new clothing drops in collaborations with different artists, more inspiring interviews and content with the rear talents in art and fashion industry from all over the world. As a parallel, me and my team are working with young designers to help them with developing and manufacturing a fashion product. And don’t forget about our LPP (Le Petit Poussin) French bakery café – my favorite place to have my meetings!
24Fashion TV viewers are extremely varied, but we have a lot of new fashion designers on our platform. What message would you give to them? Do you have any advice for them?
Give yourself enough time to prepare for what you aiming to. Experiment, check demand, analyze and then go for it! Find the right balance of not rushing into the things, but also not to be a procrastinator.
You still will make your mistakes but forgive yourself for that. That is where your grow is. Don’t dwell on it, keep going ahead with a grateful heart. Life is the game, have fun playing it!
Thank you so much for the interview and we are looking forward to seeing your future collections!
Official website: www.foxylabny.com