We sit down with renowned designer Christopher Esber to talk signature style, showing at Paris Fashion Week, and the art of building a legacy

Despite having recently made his Paris Fashion Week debut, Australian fashion designer Christopher Esber, and his eponymous label, have been adored by the industry’s most forward-thinking proponents for nearly 15 years. Renowned for creating clothes that flatter the female form and reimagining classic ideas through a more contemporary, experimental lens, Esber has long been a trailblazer in his field and now, he has the international clientele to prove it. Here, we speak to the lauded designer as he reflects on his impressive journey at fashion’s frontier and looks towards an exciting future. 

Whether you own something designed by Christopher Esber or not, you’d be hard-pressed to attend an event where no one is wearing one of his signature pieces, so ubiquitous has his eponymous brand become. From the iconic Esber cut-outs to the deconstructed denim and dresses that can be changed at the flick of a button or the switch of a tie, to the drapery and fabrics that, fastened with sculptural hardware, hold one’s form just so, Esber’s design language is both experimental and structured, and is as much about evolution and forward thinking as it is about craft, clever fabrication and timeless ideas. And while Esber’s eponymous label has certainly enjoyed immense popularity over its impressive 14 years, there is certainly nothing commonplace about his designs. And therein lies the magic. 

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Olivia Vincent-Healy, owner of Muse (the exclusive stockist of Christopher Esber in New Zealand) has been working with Esber for over a decade, bringing his signature pieces to her discerning clientele for whom the brand has become a season-to-season staple and a cornerstone offering at Muse. “We’re so honoured to be the exclusive stockist of Christopher Esber in New Zealand,” she tells me. “It’s been so amazing to see his evolution… I still wear a few of the pieces I collected from our very first buy and most of my clients own a pair of his bias cut satin pants… his tailoring is exquisite, nothing compares!” 

Esber, it seems, has built his success on creating clothes that balance universal appeal with unique edginess in a wholly original and truly earnest way. His designs come from a place of genuine curiosity around how to push the envelope while remaining true to his convictions, carrying through his vision of creating bold collections that empower his customers to assert their individuality. Because (and I speak from experience here), even if you find yourself in a sea of Esber-wearing women, you still feel as though your piece is your own — that no one else could wear it like you do. Such is the simple power of Esber’s designs. 

“I love things that challenge our eye and our perception of what is ‘appropriate,’” Esber tells me. “Women respond to our clothes because we offer a relaxed approach to this in a nuanced way… and there is a science that surpasses the ‘convey and conceal’ balance of our cuts… it’s the touch of a fabric, the feel of it on your skin,” he pauses, “and the way you feel in a garment is everything because I believe confidence leads, first and foremost.” 

There is an art to creating clothes that imbue confidence in the wearer and for Esber, this skill seems to come from a similar quality he has found within himself. “One of the most significant things I have learned since starting my brand is knowing when the right opportunity comes along and to strike with conviction and back myself,” he says, “sticking to one’s own values and convictions will always supersede trends.” Indeed, Esber has never been one to rest on his laurels, or move with the ever-shifting tides of the industry in which he has become such a significant player, and the trajectory of his brand is a testament to both his strategic approach and his dedication to reimagining the status quo. 

“Development and innovation are ingrained in our business ethos,” says the designer, “approaching a new idea such as how we treat a fabric to achieve a specific shape ultimately sets the tone and energy for a season, and it’s the most exciting part of the design process.” For Esber, every new season offers a fresh opportunity to experiment with creative concepts, the continual evolution a driving force of his success and longevity. He starts with fabrics, draping them to create new silhouettes, before exploring hardware and metals and how they might give a piece shape. Esber tells me, “Pieces are always considered and designed with intent, as I look for ways to create negative space… new ways to conceal and reveal the body.” He continues, “a slit, a cut-out or a juncture anchored by hardware is there for a reason, whether that be form or function.” 

“It’s been so amazing to see [Esber’s] evolution… most of my clients own a pair of his bias cut satin pants… his tailoring is exquisite, nothing compares.”

Olivia Vincent-Healy, Owner of Muse

Clearly, his methodical way of working has paid off. The beauty of Christopher Esber is the way in which each new season feels like a conversation with its predecessor. Cast your eyes over the extensive Esber archives and there is a cohesive story being told. Whether you bought into it back in 2010, or as recently as last year, the brand feels anchored in the zeitgeist even as it seems to transcend fashion’s notoriously fickle fray — a difficult dichotomy that has allowed the designer to remain firmly ahead of the game. 

Unsurprisingly, Christopher Esber’s appeal has long surpassed the boundaries of antipodean audiences alone, thanks in part to the number of influential celebrities who have touted its pieces. (British Vogue hit the nail on the head with an article a few years ago titled, ‘How Christopher Esber became Catnip for It Girls’.) Personalities, models and actors like Zendaya, Bella Hadid, Hailey Beiber, Solange Knowles, Greta Lee and Dua Lipa have been spotted wearing signature Christopher Esber pieces, and a few months ago when JLo unveiled the exclusive vinyl for her highly-anticipated new album This is Me Now, it featured a photo of her wearing the Christopher Esber Salacia Wire Column Dress on the cover — an iconic moment. Although Esber tells me that getting his designs on some of the world’s most respected names in fashion and pop culture was never a strategic decision. “I’m grateful to dress women on any platform,” he says, “but it has all just happened in an organic way, which is nice because none of it feels pushed or forced.” 

For Esber, the women he dresses carry the same qualities, whether they have millions of followers or not. “The Christopher Esber woman is strong and intelligent,” he tells me. “She asserts herself through her wardrobe and she is put-together and considered, but not to perfection.” He says, “she’s a woman who can go from wearing a tank top and jeans, to being the most captivating person in any room with nothing more than a lick of lipstick and a simple dress.” 

Alongside his burgeoning popularity with the glamorous fashion-week set, Esber’s cache in the industry’s upper echelon has been steadily evolving too, culminating in the designer being invited to show at Paris Fashion Week last year, a goal he had been working towards his entire career. “The months leading up to Paris were intense,” he says, “all the planning, the creative energy, the challenge and knowing that it was the biggest stage we had ever shown on… but it was so rewarding, and now, we will continue to show in Paris every year.” 

Underlying all of his achievements, Esber is a designer who proves that longterm dedication to craft coupled with a methodical, consistent work ethic really does pay off. Rather than falling into the category of ‘It’ designer (a fine but often fleeting title), or allowing the accolades that come with dressing celebrities to influence his course, Esber has remained laser-focused on his vision, something that he continues to carry with him as he moves into the next chapter of his brand. “Our focus now is on maintaining momentum,” he says, “we ticked so many boxes last year, so 2024 is about cementing the hard work, expanding the vision and pushing the brand in new ways.” He also hints that exciting collaborations and ventures into new markets are on the horizon for the coming months, although details remain firmly under wraps. In the meantime, we will continue to delight in his exceptional designs courtesy of Muse’s curated offering, season after season.

“One thing that has remained true throughout the course of the business is my commitment to finding new approaches to traditional design ideas,” says Esber. “We are a global business now, with a global customer base, and really, we’re in the business of selling ideas not products, so it’s important to continue to evolve and always look forward.” 

Denizen’s Seasonal Picks

Christopher Esber Side Cowl Waist Tee from Muse
Christopher Esber
Racquet Apex Blazer from Muse
Christopher Esber
Minette Veil Heel from Muse
Christopher Esber
Silk Parchment Denim Jean from Muse
Christopher Esber
Carved Split Dress from Muse
Christopher Esber
Tempest Twist Shirt Dress from Muse
Christopher Esber
Talus Tailored Coat from Muse
Christopher Esber
Encompassed Looped Bodice Dress from Muse



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