Behind the scenes of one designer fashion’s most pivotal moments of the last century was a young Australian born stylist. Whilst the designer taking the bows after the recent Louis Vuitton Menswear Collection in Paris on June 21st was none other than Virgil Abloh, it was Australian fashion editor and stylist Christine Centenera backstage who helped style, cast the models and guide the collection.
Christine Centenera was born Down Under into a family of no less than 5 sisters, her parents came from the Philippines. Her father, businessman Jose Sebastian Centenera, is from Naga while her mother, Cristina Maria, is from Manila.
Despite her relative geographic isolation as the fashion director of Vogue Australia, Centenera has risen to find herself at the centre of a very influential group of celebrities and fashion insiders, including Virgil Abloh, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Justin O’Shea. A report published by the Sunday Telegraph, suggested that Ms Centenera is paid an eye-watering $1 million retainer fee to dress Kim Kardashian West.
Ms Centenera, who is a certifiable international style icon in her own right, and a Fashion Week regular, worked her way up the fashion magazine ladder, she was formerly the fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar Australia, jumping ship to Vogue Australia after 10 years.
Serving as the fashion director of Vogue Australia, Centenera was also stylist to some of Hollywood’s most notable names, including Cate Blanchett, Naomi Campbell , Cara Delevingne , Elle Fanning, Gisele, Kim Kardashian, Miranda Kerr , Lara Stone, Kate Upton and Gemma Ward, among several others.
Notably, Centenera styled Kim Kardashian’s cover for Vogue Australia shortly after the reality star gave birth to her second child. Regularly photographed by the likes of the Sartorialist and Garance Dore, Centenera is increasingly admired for her own impeccable wardrobe and collection of designer heels.
During the last year Centenera relocated to New York with designer and partner Josh Goot. Goot, an award-winning designer, was intent on reviving his label in new, global surrounds; Centenera on continuing her work as fashion director for Vogue Australia, while continuing her consulting to the likes of Abloh, Kim Kardashian, and Kanye West.
But 18 months ago Goot approached Centenera with something a little out of left field: a joint brand. More than that, a brand that tackled the issues facing the industry at large, notably excess consumption and disposable fashion. And — god forbid — one they hoped would simplify fashion and dressing for men and women of all ages.
The result? Wardrobe.NYC, a pared-back collection of just eight styles each for men and women, featuring classic tailoring with a fashion edge, and luxury foundation pieces. This is very much about conscious consumerism at a luxury level.
“They say some of the simple ideas are the best,” Goot told The Australian. “They also say sometimes they’re the most complicated to execute, and we’ve certainly found the latter.”
“The idea came from how Josh and I both dress and get ready each day,” adds Centenera.
“We both have busy lifestyles, we’re doing a million things and we rely on this uniform more often than not. Josh asked if I would be interested in working alongside him on it, given what the two of us could bring to it, with strengths on both sides.”
The brand also has a disruptive difference in its execution: you can’t buy items individually. You can go all-in for the whole eight-piece collection for $US3000 ($3922), or a predetermined pack of four ($US1500). Each piece comes in just one colour — this time black or white — and collection pieces in both packs work together to create total looks, or can be the anchors of your wardrobe.