Interview: Octavio Aguilar creates fashion that brings attention

PROJECT RUNWAY -- "Couch Couture" Episode 1908 -- Pictured: (l-r) Octavio Aguilar, Prajjé Oscar Jean-Baptiste -- (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Bravo)
PROJECT RUNWAY -- "Couch Couture" Episode 1908 -- Pictured: (l-r) Octavio Aguilar, Prajjé Oscar Jean-Baptiste -- (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Bravo) /

While he might have a signature look, Octavio Aguilar stands out in a crowd and commands attention. Although some Project Runway Season 19 viewers might have predicted a longer run for the successful fashion designer, the reality is that he made a memorable impact on the Bravo fashion competition. More importantly, the opportunity widened his reach similar to those oversized looks that walked the runway.

Before Bravo watchers learned about the designer with the red mustache, Octavio had success in the fashion world. From celebrities wearing his looks on the red carpet to his fans on social media, he was known within important circles. Still, he found it important to join the Project Runway experience.

Specifically, Octavio said, “I joined the competition in order to show my talent and reach a bigger audience. After being on lockdown for a year where I was only making and selling masks, I thought this would be a good way to get my brand back out there and off the ground.”

As seen in Project Runway Season 19, the mix of designers seems to be bringing out the best in everyone. For Octavio, he appreciates the blend of accomplished and new designers in the competition.

Octavio believes, “The mixing of designers is a good way of showcasing what we all have to offer, we all have different aesthetics, backgrounds, and clientele. I think showcasing new and raw talent is what makes the competition even more interesting.”

Given that all the designers are very different, it has been interesting for viewers to see how each specific aesthetic fits into each challenge. For Octavio, he never wavered or adapted his approach, regardless of the challenge.

When asked about his approach, Octavio said, “As a designer, finding and knowing your aesthetic is very important in the fashion world. I went into this competition knowing who I was and who my clientele is. I wanted to let people know in every challenge what that was while giving them a taste of what my final and future collections would look like.”

Even though the crown was not his to wear, Octavio appreciates the Project Runway experience. He shared, “My mentality going into the competition was that we are all on our separate journeys, and my journey on the show was to do exactly what I did and that it was supposed to end when it ended.”

Although his words ring true, the reality is that many people were fascinated with Octavio’s looks. Even if those designs might not be seen at a casual dinner, the reality is that the wearer can and should see how that design approach could work in their lifestyle.

When asked how people can incorporate his looks into their wardrobe, Octavio said, “That’s totally up to them, I just design and make the pieces and put it out into the world, after that each piece I design has their own life. It is now up to them (the buyer) to decide how to mix, style, and wear them. “

While there is an aspect of individuality, each look does make a statement. Octavio believes, that “I think anyone wearing one of my pieces is special, they like being the center of attention, they are confident and they know they aren’t gonna look like anyone else in the room.”

From the crowd at Art Basel to the NYC fashionista, Octavio has a wide audience that is looking to make that statement. Looking back at the Project Runway competition, he empathically said, “Absolutely no regrets! Everything happened the way it was supposed to happen. I’m very grateful to have been given this opportunity.”

And, what is next for Octavio Aquilar? The sky is the limit. “I see BIG things happening for DOPE TAVIO. As I mentioned when I left the show “this is only the beginning”. Stay tuned or how Bravo says “watch what happens”.

Be sure to take a look back at those impressive looks on Bravo’s Project Runway Season 19, which is also available to stream on Peacock.

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