From his days as “Project Runway” season four victor, there has yet to be a challenge that Christian Siriano has shied away from. As one of today’s most recognizable names in fashion, he’s accomplished more in the past 10 years than some designers have in a lifetime. From book deals and red carpet styling to creating wedding attire for the cast of “Orange Is the New Black” — Siriano’s sought after designs have superseded his status as a reality TV personality.
The designer’s eponymous fashion line made its debut during NYFW in 2008 and was later picked up by Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. Following his initial success, Siriano went on to sign deals and partner with other well-known retailers including Puma, Lane Bryant and New York’s most famous bridal boutique, Kleinfeld. In 2012, Siriano opened up his first flagship store and in 2013, he was inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). However, Siriano’s much-desired designs have expanded beyond just clothing—delving into the world of shoes, eyewear, makeup, handbags and even bedding. His award-winning clientele spans from Sarah Jessica Parker, Kerry Washington, Christina Hendricks and Leslie Jones—to name a few—and have garnered him a great deal of attention after speaking out publicly regarding diversity and body positivity in the fashion industry.
Most recently, Siriano put his design skills to the test for his collaboration with Italian wine company, Ecco Domani. For the past three years, Ecco Domani has enlisted the help of high-fashion designers to craft their limited-edition Designer Label Pinot Grigio bottle. Succeeding last year’s selected stylist, Zac Posen, VUE had the chance to chat with Siriano about his latest venture and his budding relationship with Ecco Domani.
“Part of why I signed on for the project is because I think it’s super important to work with companies that are not only supportive of the fashion industry, but also young brands,” Siriano said. “What’s great is that Ecco Domani has been a huge supporter of young, aspiring designers and we really need more of that.”
Fifteen years ago, Ecco Domani founded and began sponsoring the Fashion Foundation Awards, a design competition which has since contributed more than $1.8 million to the success of previous winners which include Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Alexander Wang and Derek Lam. “When Ecco Domani asked if I would be interested in designing for them, I immediately just loved the idea. It was an interesting and different experience for me and I just wanted the wine bottle to feel very cool and special.”
Siriano’s Designer Label took cues from 1960s Palm Springs, an era and location that served as inspiration for his own Resort 2016 collection. “I really love that vintage and whimsy quality. Everything was really light and effortless at that time,” Siriano explained. The bottle itself mimics the bright, fruity flavor of the wine by highlighting hues of citrus and fuschia, and nods to Palm Springs with wrap-around leafy accents. Siriano also stressed the importance of trying to create something that was going to be very textured and vivid, sure to catch the eye of those scanning the shelves.
When it came to the design process, Siriano approached it the same way he always does—as if he were designing for himself. He explained, “Ecco Domani’s label tends to be more classic and traditional so I wanted to compliment their aesthetic but at the same time make it modern and fit it into my world.” Siriano recalled sending Ecco Domani close to 10 different options that they then rendered on the computer in order to make the final selection. “The Ecco team was really amazing to work with and they were open to anything and everything I sent. I’m sure the process for them took a lot more work but for me, it was easy. I’m constantly being inspired by things every single day so that helps.”
For years, Ecco Domani has been committed to supporting personal style, putting innovation and artistry at the forefront of everything they do—a sentiment that hits close to home for many fashion designers, including Siriano. “It’s nice to partner with a company who is so open to creativity and lets you do your own thing. That’s always exciting when you’re working on a collaboration.” Looking forward, Siriano hopes that his creations continue on to reinvent the rules of fashion. Whether designing the Oscar’s next ‘it’ gown or dressing Ecco Domani’s latest wine bottle, Siriano’s accolades have proven that no challenge is too big.