An outsider, a quintessential gentleman, a downtown rebel – these are just a few words to describe the fashion designer, and founder of his own label, F.E. Castleberry. Not afraid to challenge the status quo of fashion and embrace youth culture, whilst simultaneously giving a nod to history in his timeless tailored suits, Castleberry blurs the lines between opulence and playfulness with his bold use of color and mishmash of references and muses, from Jacques Costeau to Pablo Picasso.
We felt very lucky to get the chance to have a peek inside his beautiful studio in the vibrant neighbourhood of Greenwich Village on Manhattan. Full to the brim with objects, art and curiosities – the maximalist interior sums up Castleberry’s personality in a nutshell, and a perfect backdrop of inspiration behind his eclectic style and label.
“I’m a maximalist and an eccentric one at that. I have tragically expensive taste…but with a wink. It is a product of the blurred line between upper class opulence and downtown irreverence.”
Art plays a central theme in the life of Castleberry, both in his work and also his home. When we asked him what makes him feel at home, he tells us:
“Time. I’ve lived in my New York apartment for as long as I’ve lived in New York: Ten years. Also, hanging art and pictures the moment you move in.”
Cinema is another recurring theme in his work and huge source of his inspiration:
“Old films (French New Wave), American auteurs (Wes Anderson, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson), and new films (Spencer, House of Gucci, Borg vs McEnroe) form a sartorial pastiche that continues to inspire with each repeated viewing.“
“Two men preceded me…one grandfather a sculptor—an artist who worked in the medium of bronze—and another grandfather a tailor; I am the son of my forefathers.”
His creativity it seems is in the blood, with one grandfather who was a sculptor working in Bronze, and the other a tailor. The fusion of these two ancestral worlds has led him to become who is today, and perhaps the reason for his obsession for beautiful things. He shares some tips with us about where he finds his impressive collection of furniture and objects, which come from different antique shops, resale sites such as Chairish, and the shop Olde Good Things in New York. He also loves old wooden furniture, which works perfectly together with the rugs from the Campbell Rey collection, Folding Ribbon and Climbing Vine.
“I love that Nordic Knots was created by and is helmed by a husband and wife. It’s run on passion and a love for the product.The folding ribbon rug is a favorite of mine as I’m partial to pink.”
Photography by Mike Karlsson Lundgren.