Fashion designer Robert Rodriguez is back after leaving Halston with a new sustainable luxury eveningwear company that promises to “create a common thread between art and fashion.”
Robert Rodriguez’s Koltson was born out of a desire “to do something more meaningful than making clothes,” Halston’s former chief creative officer explains in the show notes, while offering sustainable evening wear that supports artists and artisans through partnerships and collaborations.
For the inaugural Fall/Winter 2023 collection, Rodriguez has collaborated with New York-based abstract expressionist Vicky Barranguet on a series of seven canvas paintings titled “Threads,” along with fashion illustrator Pepe Muñoz and architect fashion Geri Gerard. Barranguet drew inspiration from Rodriguez’s mood boards and overall vision, while Rodriguez reinterpreted her artwork in the forms of prints, foiling, silhouettes and embroidery throughout the collection, and Muñoz translated Barranguet’s art into the dresses.
Regarding the collaborations at the heart of his new label, Rodriguez said, “I am honored to be surrounded by such amazing artists who inspire me to push the boundaries further in my work. Through collaborations my vision comes to life.”
Robert Rodriguez’s Koltson debuts at NYFW
Kolston will also focus on sustainability, with Rodriguez choosing to work only with certified and natural fabrics. For the first collection, the viscose used for the flannel is FSC certified and the cotton and voile, sourced from Italy, are woven in a family run mill that meets the highest European standards using non-toxic dyes and responsible manufacturing. The line also features silk, which Rodriguez notes was chosen for its natural and biodegradable properties.
Rodriguez also adds that sustainability is about more than fabrics, choosing to produce his line locally in New York to reduce the brand’s carbon footprint and ensure shorter delivery times and better quality.
“I want to support the garment district and the local suppliers, sewers and artisans here,” Rodriguez explains. “Local production also enables better quality control, ensures workers are paid fairly, shortens delivery times to enable on-demand production and facilitates a more sustainable supply chain that minimizes transport emissions. We hope to play a small role in reviving manufacturing in the US, specifically here in New York.”
There are 32 looks in the first AW23 collection, with reinterpretations of the iconic kaftan at its core, from a sheer silk double layer georgette caftan dress with embroidered feathers to a crepe mini dress with an ostrich feather neckline. Other key styles include a gold metallic backless jersey dress with a draped back, a black cotton poplin bustier with gold leaf, and slim-fit corset trousers in silk jersey paired with a cotton poplin kaftan jumpsuit.
Prices will start at US$279 for uniforms, which will be sold separately. Evening gowns will range from US$695 to US$895. Cocktail dresses will start at US$995 and go up to US$1,595. and evening gowns will range from US$1,595 to US$3,995.