De Castelnau: Fashions With Comfort

Linda Miller Published: February 16, 1990

LOS ANGELES When he was a child growing up in France, Christian de Castelnau dreamed of becoming a star.

His dream became reality, but it wasn't movies that brought stardom.

De Castelnau's fame is linked to the fashion industry, where he is known for designing easy, comfortable clothes, the kind that quickly become favorites in a woman's closet.

"I designed when I was a kid," de Castelnau said. "I didn't plan to make a profession of it. I wanted to be in the movies."

But he isn't complaining.

Last year his company recorded a 70 percent increase in sales. He has a store on Madison Avenue in Los Angeles and one in San Francisco.

The plan is to open 25 stores in the next four years.

Though de Castelnau has worked in every aspect of the business, he prefers designing. And he has some definite ideas about what customers like.

"I think people want to feel comfortable in what they buy and wear," he said during the California Mart's spring press previews.

That's why he prefers cotton jersey and rayon blends in unconstructed shapes and styles.

For spring, look for tropical prints in hot colors and ethnic themes in earth tones.

Though his clothes reflect the easiness of California's lifestyle, de Castelnau said his influence comes from the street.

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