It’s not easy to find looks for work that serve the professional purpose while being super stylish, colorful and fun at the same time. This is where Cultro sets itself apart. Founded by Amy Newton who serves as the brand’s Head Designer and Creative Director, the line elegantly mixes culture with contemporary style offering a fresh take on versatile looks that easily transitions from day to night and weekday to weekend. Newton shared the story behind her line’s inspiration and the brand’s cultural influences with us.

Culturo designer
Amy Newton

With the name of the line itself, it’s clear that culture plays a large role in shaping your designs. Why and how did you come to establish the look and feel of your clothing?  Coming from a mixed heritage background myself, I’ve always had a love of diverse cultures. My father is Jamaican and my mother is half Nigerian/half Irish. Incorporating different cultures into clothing is something I like to do to express myself in a corporate environment.  I found that there was a niche in the market for these types of prints on chic womenswear, specifically cultural prints that have a universal appeal. I wanted to overlay these prints onto modern silhouettes that were appropriate for work and play. And it was important that the looks were under $500.  I found that unless you were buying top designer garments, there was no way to buy durable, good quality clothes that were as unique as I wanted.

It’s obvious that each collection has a unique, destination-specific vibe to it. Tell us why you chose New York as this season’s inspiration.  I focused on New York because it’s the city that constantly gives me something new.  I really like how each neighborhood in NY offers a different look and feel, along with the people that live there. The Upper East Side is the polar opposite of the Lower East Side, for instance. There is no other area that I have traveled to that is this diverse within its own city.

Where do you find the most inspiration for your designs? All over.  Women on the street, women I work with, landscape, cities I have traveled to….the list goes on.

Is there one culture or area you’re looking forward to delving into and exploring for a future collection?  Japan. I am planning a trip to Tokyo this summer and I’m excited to see what comes from it.

It’s no secret that you’re designing for the career girl who likes to have fun with prints and colors. Who do you design for in mind?   Definitely a woman who has a career, is independent and doesn’t mind spending $200 –$300 on a good dress that will last.  My woman most likely works in entertainment, media, fashion or the arts, where a navy dress and black blazer doesn’t have to be her uniform. She likes to have fun with her wardrobe and wear outfits that make her happy and allow her to express herself.

Have you had that AHA moment when you knew that this was what you were meant to be doing?  Yes, I would say that moment came during my first fashion show in Spring 2013. The audience gave me such a warm reception that I realized this was what I wanted to do.

Is there a fashion designer that you look up to for career goals?   Stella Jean, Vivetta and Preen dresses.

What do you hope to most accomplish with Cultro?  World domination.  Just kidding!  I’d like for every stylish woman in the world to have at least one CULTRO piece in her wardrobe.

Liz HazardAuthor: Liz Hazard