The interview, featuring photographs by Lena Knappová, was created for BLUE PAPER magazine No. 18. David Ševčík from Pigmentarium conducted the interview with the fashion designer.

A graduate of the prestigious Saint Martin Art School in London, he dived into the free but stormy waters of creating for his own eponymous fashion brand in Paris after a brief stint at Lanvin. To date, he has presented nine couture collections, heavily influenced by favorite themes such as the Neo Noir movement, surrealism, and dramatic productions. He keeps to the sidelines while also standing in the midst of the fashion metropolis’s hustle and bustle. With respect, or rather an understanding of contemporary fashion trajectories, he reintroduces elements characteristic of the twentieth century into his work. High craftsmanship, uniqueness, and personal creative vision. Three years ago, he first presented his collection at Paris Men’s Fashion Week and that same year launched his first perfume under his brand. The inception of this perfume was as much a stroke of luck as it was an openness to new things when, in a spontaneous and initially non-committal conversation with the founder of the Czech perfumery house, Tomáš Rice, they agreed on the idea of collaboration. Thus, in Pigmentarium, a limited-edition perfume named Azabache (obsidian in Spanish) was created based on Arturo’s creative brief. The perfume, also worn by Arturo’s favorite client and customer Róisín Murphy, is an example of how Arturo’s ease and readiness lead to further milestones on his creative journey. From the position of a young creator at the start of his career, he has already accomplished the creation of the famous red sequined jumpsuit for Harry Styles, which marked the promo of his last album. Recently, Adele and Beyoncé also decided for the distinctive elements of his authentic work.
We spoke with the designer before his Prague fashion show during MBPFW, as part of the broader program for launching the new Azabache Chapter 2 perfume. 

“First impressions” play a crucial role in how we perceive others. Now is your moment! What could you say about yourself in one sentence (okay, a few sentences) to captivate the readers? 
Hmm, I don’t like to define myself. I think people always answer these kinds of questions by saying how great they are. I’d rather let readers form their own impressions. However, I think because of the drama and “elegance” of my work, people usually have a different idea of me and are surprised when they meet me. I’m usually the complete opposite! 

What’s currently stirring up the Paris fashion world? 
I hope it’s me, especially after unveiling my new collection in June! 

Fashion creators’ goals have evolved over time. Women once liberated themselves from corsets and wore pants. There was a search for new functional solutions. What, in your opinion, is the main theme of fashion today? 
Fashion reflects our world and aids in societal development. Unfortunately, it has also always been an elitist realm enjoyed by only a few. Fashion used to be more political and authentic to your personality. When you saw a punk on the street, you knew their values and what they stood for. Now, it’s like a mood board. You can walk into any store and become a punk in 5 minutes, so I’m not sure if fashion can be political and radical today… Are clients interested in the message behind the clothing, or do they just care about how it looks in a photo? 

Personally, I believe today’s main fashion themes are diversity and sustainability. Especially the latter, because if we don’t care for our world, there soon won’t be anything to care for or fight for. And neither should be used as a marketing tool. 

What defines your own style? What’s your theme? 
I strive to create romantic, seductive, and sophisticated clothing with soul, that leads people to dream. Clothes in which they look and feel better, created responsibly and with love.


Recent decades of marketing have changed the perception of what constitutes luxury in fashion. Today, it seems, a mere logo can be considered luxury. What, in your opinion, gives real value to a garment? 
I think the definition of luxury is changing. Just because something is expensive doesn’t automatically mean it’s luxurious. Our generation grew up with designers like Alexander McQueen, where incredible craftsmanship and a dramatic story were poetically woven into his collections. Today, many brands are doing so many similar things. I believe storytelling is crucial to creating clothing with soul and essence, otherwise, it’s just another pair of pants. 

As for marketing and logomania. I miss the times when high fashion looked like high fashion, and not like merch. However, that’s the result of today’s obsession with unlimited growth and reach. 

What’s better in today’s fashion world than ever before, and what have we perhaps lost (and might return to one day)? 
It’s a complex issue. On one hand, I love that fashion is now open to everyone, similar to how it was “opened” to me through the internet at one point. I remember growing up in a small town where no one cared about or knew fashion. I would watch Nicolas Ghesquière’s shows for Balenciaga or Riccardo Tisci’s for Givenchy, without anyone to discuss or comment on them with. But now, fashion is fashionable, and when something becomes mainstream and industrialized, it tends to become superficial and driven only by numbers. I think we’re in a time of marketing saturation with a lack of genuine fashion. There’s too much of everything, and everyone is trying to achieve that empty viral moment or celebrity/narcissistic personality. However, that’s the era we live in, and we must adapt to thrive. But I miss when clothing spoke for itself. 

Dressing a remarkable personality is a dream come true. Let’s not pretend otherwise. We’ve seen Beyoncé, Adele, and Harry Styles in your designs. Don’t take away our illusions, but could you give us a peek behind the real backstage? 
Honestly, it’s hard for me to believe it as well. I’ve been working on my brand for just 4 years, and to have already dressed some of my favorite artists is a dream come true. 

It’s truly a collaborative process with the artist and their team. For example, with Beyoncé, everything happened thanks to Michael Handler (Beyoncé’s PA). He reacted to my stories from the Renaissance concert in Paris and we immediately hit it off. I sent him about 5 PDFs full of illustrations and ideas, and together with Beyoncé, they picked and marked what they liked, what was needed for her to perform on stage, etc. The design process took about a month and then we had 2 weeks for realization. They confirmed she would wear it an hour before she went on stage. I’ll never forget that moment, my mom and I were screaming into the phone!!! 

Since 2021, you’ve been collaborating with the Prague-based perfumery house Pigmentarium. Following the first jointly produced limited scent comes Azabache Chapter 2. What illusion is the new fragrance intended to evoke? 
When we were preparing AZABACHE in 2021, we wanted to create an exclusive perfume that would be the ultimate seduction weapon. We aimed for it to be fundamentally romantic with a combination of “male” and “female” olfactory notes that would enchant you like a love potion. 

After the success of AZABACHE, we wished to continue our collaboration and write further chapters of this story, like in a novel. For AZABACHE CHAPTER 2, we wanted to retain the original romantic aura but push some elements further and play with more balsamic notes, to make the fragrance more “relaxing” and “meditative.” 

What are you currently working on? 
I’m currently working on our upcoming AO collection, which will be presented in Paris during the upcoming men’s PFW on June 20th. It’s the tenth collection I’ve created in my career, and definitely my best. I can’t wait to show what we’re preparing!