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2009 October 29

Catching up with Cortazar

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Esteban Cortazar Esteban Cortazar
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(NEW YORK) The delectable Esteban Cortazar needs no introduction--just a phone call from time to time. The Daily gave him a ring.

How have you been?
I just got back to Paris yesterday! I was in Colombia visiting my family for the past five days. I am back home now and very happy. I am really excited about all types of projects being developed. While everything is so new and I can’t talk specifically at the moment, I can say that great stuff is happening in New York and Paris with many cool opportunities in both cities. The industry has been extremely supportive with so much great, positive energy.

Any highlights from your trip home?
I try going to Colombia as much as I can. It’s my place to disconnect. I haven’t been since New Years and so it was so nice to return after a year and see my grandparents, mother and father. I went to this amazing beautiful farm house that was an absolutely breathtaking paradise.

It seems like you have hit the ground running again!
Since leaving Ungaro, it’s been much easier to manage my schedule and I’ve kept myself very busy. I’m not big on downtime these days. But I have been going to art exhibits!

Can you speak a bit about your thoughts on the fashion industry in this economy, especially in light of recent layoffs.
I think in the end it boils down to passion. Those who are extremely passionate will be the ones who keep going. It’s a struggle now with the economy, but there is always something. When you get started it’s a struggle, and even when you’re successful it’s still a struggle. I think we’re learning a great lesson. The state of our economy is making everybody think about priorities and do everything we can to keep this industry a terrific one. Everyone has gotten it more together than ever before. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Either you have that mentality or you don’t. I have to think that way, or else I’d be in trouble!

Any hotspots you look forward to hitting upon your return to Paris?
Cavier Kaspia. I just recently went there for dinner, and it’s incredible and very old-school. Great seafood! That’s on the fancier side, but I also love little bistros and cafes. I go to the Place des Vosges to read, sketch and just stare! Now it is a bit chilly, but I still like venturing outside for the flea markets.

What’s a dish you just can’t get in New York?
Streak frites is something that is such a landmark in Paris. I also love steak tartare and croque madame. So, so amazing. I’m in love with the city. Paris has changed my life and made me grow so much. It made me realize how much I love this city.

Have you seen Coco: Before Chanel?
Funny you should mention, because I actually just bought it and I’m staring at it right now. My sister is coming into town from Denmark and we are going to watch it together. I think I’ll also watch this documentary on Yves Saint Laurent. She’s not into that whole scene, so it will be great to show it to her. Let’s make it a fashion weekend, no?

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