Casey Cadwallader is well aware that he is the fifth designer to take on the creative director position at Mugler since the eponymous founder retired from fashion in 2002. “Many aspects are quite challenging. , but now it’s a fun home to work in, and that’s thanks to him,” said Cadwallader, who is bringing back the buzz of the long-established French fashion house and dressing stars like Beyoncé, Cardi B , Megan Thee Stallion and Kim Kardashian say. “[Manfred Thierry Mugler] come up with something provocative and bold, exciting and make people feel glamorous and chic and they’re seen. It’s very different from many other houses, and that’s why I want to take it very seriously, because I want that torch to burn.”
Manfred Thierry Mugler, who founded the house in 1973, has played a role in defining 1990s fashion like several others, since the 1993s. Indecent Proposal the dress – worn by Demi Moore, which has made millions of copies – for George Michael’s 1992 “Too Funky” video, starring a host of supermodels including Linda Evangelista and Tyra Banks. Mugler, whose design combined sex and empowerment, died unexpectedly of natural causes in January at the age of 73. “It was a surprise, no doubt; I was expecting to mingle with him a little bit more,” Cadwallader said. “I now feel this responsibility to maintain my job, but it’s a weight I carry with pride.”
Cadwallader, 43, said he’s also discovered things about himself since becoming the house’s creative director in 2018. “Casey in Mugler is not something Casey would have done on her own. “Fortunately, I love the codes of this house, and you really have to educate yourself and know the archive. Maybe I’m a little behind him at S&M – and then I look at some of the work I do and think, ‘Probably not.’ “
Cadwallader’s process begins with what he defines as “the Mugler silhouette: a broad shoulder, a tight waist, and a curved hip. While each season offers its variations, that’s the heart of it. The house doesn’t follow a traditional fashion calendar, so the latest watch-now-buy-now collection, Spring/Summer 2022, launches in June and emphasizes pieces like jackets with razor sharp shoulders, body-hugging skirts. and slave-inspired jumpsuits with straps.
The collection debuted with a video featuring a variety of stars including Megan Thee Stallion, Bella Hadid, Amber Valletta, Shalom Harlow and Chloë Sevigny. (Cadwallader also designed one of three dresses that Sevigny wore to her May wedding.) Other recent projects include performance outfits for Cardi B and Dua Lipa: “The Things Musicians Do. need has become an important part of what we do,” says Cadwallader.
Another musician called earlier this year: Beyoncé, who requested a bespoke design to wear for her latest album, Renaissance; Cadwallader’s assembled dress with built-in metal lining (inspired by one of Thierry Mugler’s famous robotic looks) is seen in promotional activities for the album, including a trailer for video “I’m That Girl”. “It was a great piece of work, because I was ready to play my role with the robot Mugler, to start approaching that part of the archive. Beyoncé was super responsive to that, so we worked around that idea and came up with different proposals,” says Cadwallader. “A lot of my fortune and success at Mugler is due to these special relationships.”
Expansion is also a lot of priority. “We’ve got more going on than ever before, and I think that’s a sign that Mugler is really going somewhere new,” Cadwallader said. “We have a lot of new product categories coming out, lots of new babies ready to introduce to the world.”
Is he worried? “Fear is a good thing,” he said. “Mugler is very interested in taking risks and putting yourself out there.”
A version of this story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter September 16. Click here to subscribe..