Sportswear inspired urban mens clothing
by Australian fashion designer Robert Rigutto
View Citizen Deconstructed Clothing collections on Australian Fashion Review Blog.
Robert caught up with Australian Fashion Review Blog for a few words on his boutique menswear label (interview conducted June 2011).
Please introduce Citizen Deconstructed. What does the brand specialise in?
The label is called CITIZEN DECONSTRUCTED. The name behind the label is Robert Rigutto. I studied Fashion Design at East Sydney TAFE, left Australia in 1989 and went to work in New York City. I started working for Barneys NY, Calvin Klein, Donna Karen, P.Diddy and Kenneth Cole as a Men’s Design Director. I returned to Sydney, Australia in 2006 .
Citizen Deconstructed specialises in ‘Pure Urban Vintage Inspired Sportswear’
What is the inspiration behind the label?
Citizen Deconstructed was started because I felt there was a lack of exciting menswear that was affordable. It was started in 2010.
The things that inspire the label include: College & Institutions. Uniforms and traditional Sportswear. Industrial looks, Preppy elements & Functional work wear.
Any future plans?
Expansion into the domestic & global market especially China.
Name the ideal celebrity that reflects your labels style, or if celebrities have already worn the label – who are they?
If I had to pick a celebrity type it would be singers and rock stars, although I don’t really think about celebrities to be honest. I think it’s just important that cool people like your clothes. Whether they are in the arts or performers – it doesn’t really matter, as long as they are people that have a point of view.
Current stockists of Citizen Deconstructed?
The label is currently stocked in Arida, Attic, The Grand Social and department store Lane Crawford in Hong Kong.
More about Robert Rigutto below (words provided by Robert)
Robert Rigutto was born in London in 1965 then moved to Sydney Australia in 1972. He attended East Sydney College where he studied Fashion Design and received a Bachelors degree.
Robert began his career in fashion industry at 21 when he moved to Melbourne after graduating from East Sydney College to work for the International Company called “CHERRYLANE”. He was the head designer of the company’s men’s line called “WEAVERS” & after working there for 3 years Robert was looking for a more challenging role and decided that he would look for this overseas.
In 1989 Robert moved to NYC and began working for the up market
Specialty department store BARNEYS NEW YORK, and their in house label “BASCO” as the Head Designer of the men’s collection line which consisted of all men’s categories & was sold all over the U.S and Japan.
After 3 years working for BASCO Robert was approached by John Varvatos (Who was head of all menswear at Calvin at the time) and asked if he would be interested in working for the newly relaunched CALVIN KLEIN MEN’S COLLECTION line as the sportswear designer.
So in 1992 he jumped at the chance and started work at CALVIN KLEIN at the time of the launch of both the Collection and CK diffusion lines. During Roberts 7 years at Calvin Klein he was promoted from the head designer to Design Director working directly with Calvin & overseeing The Sportswear, Collection and CK Clothing and furnishings lines.
During this time the line expanded and became very successful worldwide, opening flagship stores in NYC, Paris & London and winning the CFDA Award for Best Menswear in 1993 & 1999. In late 1999 CK was up for sale & Robert was offered another amazing opportunity, to be the Men’s Design Director for NYC’s most famous female designer Donna Karen.
He started at Donna Karen In 2000, it was the millennium and a time for new direction and change. Robert took hold of the Men’s Collection & Signature lines and combined them into one cohesive line. Sportswear, clothing, furnishings and licensed products were all under his umbrella of design. In 2003 LVMH bought the Donna Karen Company and closed numerous divisions including the Men’s Collection and focused on the diffusion line DKNY as well as the women collection line.
Robert then went on to become the Design Director for Hip Hop mogul Sean John ”P DIDDY combs. Working on the Collection line as well as the core basics line, which consisted of Denim and fleece basics, and urban clothes for the American market, which were at the height of popularity. Sean John also won the CFDA Award for Best Menswear in 2004.
Robert decided to leave after 1 season at Sean John, he felt it was not a good match and the company lacked the corporate culture and infrastructure that he was so used to, so he finished the Fall line to production and decided to have the summer off.
Robert then started freelancing & designing the Men’s Collection line at Kenneth Cole Setting the tone, Direction color and image of the line for both men’s and women’s.
Robert was in the mood to freelance so he jumped at the chance and designed 4 successful and well-coveted collections working in conjunction with the Women’s designer in creating & updating the brand image of Kenneth Cole.
It was around this time in Roberts Life that he yearned to be with his family back in Sydney Australia. He was ready for a change so he decided to move back and began working for local company Sportscraft in Sydney. He started working there designing the Men’s line but wasn’t enjoying the job so after 12 months Robert decided to leave and freelance as well as pursue other interests in Design like interiors and Furniture as well as renovations.
The Fashion Industry in Australia is very small and different to the U.S.A and Europe so after freelancing for Frat House as well as other small lines Robert decided to start his own sportswear line “ CITIZEN DECONSTRUCTED” a utility, vintage & sport inspired collection for Men
He hopes to expand domestically as well as overseas and sees this as a natural progression for someone who has been in the industry for over 20 years as well as for someone who has such a passion for design.