We're excited to introduce Hong Kong based label C A R L O C A R L O now available in our online store and stocked exclusively at Butter in Australia!
Sydney-born stylist turned designer, Juan-Carlos Aquino debuts his first collection “01” under his semi-eponymous Menswear label C A R L O C A R L O. Founded in Hong Kong, the first collection consists of contemporary basics, melding the grit of the underground with the sophistication of high-end fashion, giving the brand its unique identity.
The collection blends various distinct influences, mainly drawing inspiration from the 90’s and minimalism. Showcasing oversized and elongated looks made from quality fabrics with a strong emphasis on finer details, easily recognisable through the signature stripe panel running down the back on each garment. C A R L O C A R L O uses it’s inspirations to create it’s own aesthetic, elevating the simplest of classics.
Probably around 8 or 9 years old to be honest. Growing up I played a lot of sports so would always ask my parents for new Nikes or baseball jackets, but it wasn't till probably the mid 90's when I really took notice of what myself and others were wearing. My style developed over the years from there.
What made you take the next step to being a designer, having been a stylist for quite some time?
There's always been apart of me that wanted to do it, but it was actually out of frustration when I really decided to give it a proper go. I basically would go to stores and see some dope pieces I'd want but the price would be super expensive. I couldn't justify spending $100+ on tee's or $500+ on jackets anymore but also couldn't find anything I liked with a reasonable price tag. This spawned the idea for me to design something new and contemporary that myself and others would dig, while also being super affordable.
You've lived between Sydney and Asia and now based in Hong Kong, how has it influenced your style and designs?
Hong Kong has quite a clean aesthetic when it comes to fashion, I've definitely been influenced by this as the brand has quite a minimal vibe, but also growing up in Australia my own style was quite street and casual which also plays a big part too. I've found a balance that I think speaks to both East and West.
The 01 collection is monochromatic, is there something in particular that draws you to just using shades in the range?
I've always been into monochromatic looks so this has been an influence with the label, each piece is actually designed to be easily worn with the others from the collection so being the same shade makes it much easier to achieve this.
How did you approach the design process for this collection?
I wanted to make something that I would personally love to wear that was high quality, contemporary and affordable, as well as something that the everyday customer would appreciate too. I looked towards my favourite designs for inspiration from growing up to now. As well as classic pieces that everyone would or should have in their wardrobe. I started to think how I could elevate these classic staples into something new and unique.
How would you describe the CARLO CARLO wearer?
Guys with an interest in fashion and streetwear culture, music, sports etc, however this evolved as I began designing some unisex styles so that females could wear them too. It's actually quite a broad customer, I designed the collection so there would be something for everyone!