Camila Castillo Neumayer was born in New York City to gallerist and art curator parents which instilled in her the love for the arts at an early age. After initially studying graphic design, she turned her hand to fashion, and her work has now been featured in numerous international publications, including Vogue and Elle. Sculptural, graphic and theatrical, her work celebrates innovative materials and strong characters.
Her intricate pieces have been showcased in gallery shows around the globe, including Red Vatican, London, Contemporary Costumes for the 21st Century, and The Next Generation, Moscow, Russia. She lives and works in the United States of America.
"The inspiration behind everything I make are the women that are going to wear it, but my creative process starts with the material, whatever material it may be. I play around with it, see how it behaves and then the idea for an outfit will come up."
Tell us about your passion for fashion, and why you decided to pursue a career in fashion after studying graphic design. I was brought up by very art oriented parents, especially my father. When we moved to Venezuela he founded an art gallery which represented the constructivists, or rather, cinetic artists in Latin America at the time. I remember always being fascinated by their art conversations. I learned to speak through art.
When I was older, I went to graphic design school in order to master the knowledge of geometry and learn how to turn my ideas into concrete things.
After that my dad bought me a mannequin. He said, ok, if you want to make dresses for real woman, not flat figures in a drawing, you have to learn how to make mock ups, just like architects or sculptors do.
What are the inspirations for your avant-garde and edgy design creations? I think it's very obvious the inspiration behind everything I make are the women that are going to wear it, but my creative process starts with the material, whatever material it may be. I sort of play around with it , see how it behaves and then the idea for an outfit will come up.
I cannot come up with ideas if I don't have the materials I will use. And being brought up with the scarcity of materials in Venezuela, I just learned to use whatever materials I could get my hands on.
It's like they used to say in The Bauhaus: "There are no good or bad materials, only well used or poorly used ones." What cause is particularly important to you? I think Justice encompasses all of the rights I feel so strongly about. Human rights, civil rights, animal rights. I think at this time simple dignity and respect for life is getting harder and harder to find. Justice definitely is pivotal for me.
What is your favorite part of the day? The night.
What is the biggest learning experience you have ever had? Failure.
What is the biggest compliment you have ever received? That I never give up.
What song can you listen to on repeat? All of Daft Punk's score for the cheesy remake of the Tron movie of 2010.
What would you say is making you feel positive these days? Change.