Antonio Ortega’s boutique
Antonio Ortega’s boutique in Montreal – Between Haute Couture and Prêt-à-Porter
The famous Mexican designer has chosen the city of Montreal to open his first flagship store where two universes live as one. In perfect synergy, high fashion is joined by a high-end prêt-à-porter capsule collection that can be worn together in the same outfit. For a unique experience, you can access the special bespoke service where the fashion designer himself offers his experience and expertise to his clients, so that they may be fully satisfied and certain that they’ll be wearing absolutely unique pieces. The store could not but convey strength, character, and audacity, and both architect Jaime Bouzaglo and Antonio Ortega thought of embodying theses characteristics through the image of a needle, the most representative and indispensable object in the world of couture. Made of wood by the Ecole d’Ebenisterie d’Art de Montréal, it is a 13-meter tall, true work of art that hangs from the ceiling of the boutique. Antonio collaborated with the architect so that every tiny detail in the store would reflect his philosophy and creativity. The result is a timeless space where every desire can become reality.
Antonio, tell us your story as a couturier. When did you discover your passion for fashion?
I discovered my love for craftsmanship and an attention to detail at the age of 8. I was born in Morelia, a city in Mexico, renowned for its culture and crafts tradition. I am the last child of 15.
I started out very young using my mother’s sewing machine in secret, since, it was difficult for me as a boy to do it in other way. I made my first dress from a pattern found in a magazine.
I found out that working with my hands was the perfect way to express myself, and so I discovered other artistic ways, also to feel freedom… dancing, singing, theatre, music, so I did them all.
Fascinated by my way and I can say now… talent, I was naturally attracted towards studying design. My first school was in Mexico. I finished and started to work with the Mexican Arts and Crafts Centre, and there I learned ancestral techniques and know-how in braiding, weaving, embroidery, and openwork: characteristic techniques that can be still be found in my creations.
I have always believed in myself and my feelings, so I let my curiosity take me to Paris to discover the roots of Haute Couture and study at the Chardon Savard design school.
I can say with affirmative identity, my career was driven by passion, discipline, and tenacity. And my dream became reality.
And The dream continues.
What about the symbol I see in one of the boutique pictures? Is it a mountain cat? Why have you chosen this animal?
It is a Panther. This feline represents me. It exists in Mexico. It represents my personality. Panthers are sophisticated, they have a laud discretion, a lot of presence, they are fearless, ready to attack.. and very sensual. I feel very much attracted to them.
The needle hanging in your boutique is an art masterpiece. Another symbol you love for your new shop?
Yes, it is an art masterpiece. The needle represents my work, the passion of craftsmanship and knowledge, and the button represents the last element, when a handmade piece of clothing is completely finished. Of course, it is symbolic. So. I decided to have it made my artisans, 13.5 mt long.
Your boutique is a great finishing line. Do you think it can also be a starting point?
It is definitely a starting point. I feel settled, it is a feeling of accomplishment, a release. My voice as a designer will be there, and finally, any kind of client can live the experience of my work.
Could you tell me your future projects?
To continue presenting at Haute Couture Week in Paris twice a year, having high-end ready-to-wear, collaborating with artists to create new pieces and ideas, doing photo shoots, thinking of creating a life style, shoes, accessories, showing that my philosophy is more than man or woman but any kind of human sexual orientation, which is very important, nowadays.