Fashion

Get to Know Christopher John Rogers, New York's Favorite New Fashion Designer

Christopher John Rogers talks to L'Officiel USA about his grandmother's penchant for jewelry, and styling the latest Tiffany collection on his muse Alek Wek.
Reading time 4 minutes

Christopher John Rogers is fashion's new king of color. A fashion designer on the rise, he's become a favorite of influential women like Michelle Obama, Rihanna, and Cardi B for his use of bright hues and his unabashed love of glamour. His vibrant, over-the-top runway shows have attracted significant attention, and he was recently named 2020's American Emerging Designer of the Year by the CFDA. 

L'Officiel scouted the globe for über talented up-and-coming fashion designers, and we asked each of them to interpret jewelry collections from the iconic American jeweler Tiffany & Co. Rogers' modern vision and love of glamour is the reason why we at L'Officiel knew he had to be a part of this special collaboration. We visited Roger's design studio in New York City's Soho, where film director Lisa Immordino Vreeland captured him styling the supermodel Alek Wek in his fall collection, and mixing in yellow diamonds and the newest Tiffany T1 collection.

Along with Angel Chen and Antonin Tron of Atlein, Rogers interprets the timeless elegance of Tiffany jewelry. Read below to meet the emerging talent - and to see his vision of modern glamour come to life in 'Styled to a T.' 

Lisa Immordino Vreeland: When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?

Christopher John Rogers: When I was in elementary school. My friends and I used to draw comic books and make little characters all the time. 

I started to investigate what clothing and costume could mean for a character and their personality, and how it could imbue them with some new powers they didn't have before. That's when I started thinking about fashion as a medium for expression.

After that moment, I started going on YouTube and looking up old fashion shows. McQueen shows from the 90s and early 2000s, and John Galliano. I got really enraptured with the idea of creating a world and performing theater. Really creating entire fantasies, not just the clothes.

Is there a woman in your head that you have as a reference? 

I think the women or the people that I always reference end up being my closest friends, who are always their own person. 

It’s really about a person who mixes and matches different things, who isn't beholden to one type of aesthetic or reference, and who creates their own world—not to impress anyone, but solely because they enjoy the journey of getting dressed.

You have to be super self-assured to feel comfortable in these clothes. I also hope that even if you aren't, the clothes can help you muster that within yourself.

You clearly love color. What does color mean to you?

Color is the way that I see the world, more than any specific reference, any decade, or type of garment, or silhouette. 

It's a way to make people feel happy. It's what has always made me feel happy. My fifth grade school picture was me in head-to-toe yellow, which looking back, was hilarious. And my mom was like, "I don't know what you're wearing." 

What is your personal relationship with jewelry like? 

My grandmother had a ton of jewelry and she definitely loved it, loved it, loved it. She always dressed monochromatically and presented herself in head-to-toe one color, so whether it was costume jewelry that was red that matched her red suit, or it was diamonds that she wore with an all-white ensemble, it was really for her about self-expression and not really taking it too seriously. That aesthetic and that point of view has manifested itself into the work that I do.

How was working with Alek Wek on this project? What kind of story are you telling together?

Alek is one of my top inspirations. Whenever I think of high glam and high fashion, I think of Alek. And that’s definitely something that we’re all about here at CJR is self-expression, taking up space, being glamorous wherever you go. So whether it is a black tie event or you’re just walking down the street to grab a carton of milk, fashioning yourself in a way that allows you to be most yourself. 

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