Marilyn Monroe, Frida Kahlo, and Ruth Ginsburg are just a few of the many icons that inspire Camila Ximena Castillo Neumayer. With no formal training in fashion, Neumayer showcased her collection of very explicit pieces at Vancouver Fashion Week. “They have a lot of artistic hand work put into them, folded, cut, works of art but sexy,” the designer explained. “Focusing on woman’s rights and, of course, impossible for me to ignore the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, which was addressed in the visuals specially made for the show.”
Born and raised in Manhattan, New York, Neumayer is the eldest daughter of an art gallerist and artist. Brought up surrounded by art, artists and literature, she was shown that being a woman was an advantage as she could do anything as well as a man. “I was a very avid student and quite a high achiever as a student, but also, a rebel at heart.” She quickly left design school so she could pursue her interest in fashion. Her first dabble in fashion was her high school prom where she made her own dress. “I proudly entered my prom feeling and acting the part of the sex bomb and much to my and all my girlfriends surprise, my male classmates responded,” she said. “That was the day I learned the power of dressing the part, the power of fashion and above all, the power of sex.”
Her lack of experience in fashion didn’t stop her, nor did her father’s eye rolling. Her garment making process is quite unique. “I make everything myself,” Neumayer started. “Once I have resolved a shape, usually sexually daring inspired as I strongly believe that if you dress very daringly but with a piece that has been working with such care and expertise and time, that it is a work of art.” Neumayer added that it also validates the material as well.
While the brand started in 2012, she is yet to find a retailer that is a good fit. “I have any online shop where you can get pieces, but they are mostly sample size,” she said. “I would like to change that too as I believe the sexual power of a woman’s body and spirit is not determined by her size.” Neumayer wants to expand her brand by reproducing pieces that can be available to a wider clientele.