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"Beauty is an ambiguous mix between life and death."
Born in Lecce, Italy, designer Ennio Capasa spent his childhood surrounded by glamorous couture clothing. Growing up in and out of his parents upscale boutiques, Capasa initially disliked fashion but the attraction to design was just too hard to ignore. After graduating from the Milan Academy of Fine Arts in 1982, Capasa relocated to Japan where he spent three years working with renowned Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto learning to drape, cut and sew. With the prompting of Yamamoto Capasa returned to Italy in1986 to establish the label ‘Costume National’ with his brother, Carlo. His edgy-chic, sexy and lean silhouettes quickly captured the attention of both the fashion press and female celebrities Nicole Kidman, Scarlet Johansson, Cate Blanchett and Cameron Diaz to name a few.
In 1993, after seven successful years of designing womenswear, Ennio Capasa expanded his label to include a menswear line, ‘Costume National Homme’. By challenging the status quo, Capasa was an immediate sensation and male celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves and Mick Jagger have since been spotted wearing his line. In 1998 he opened boutiques in Milan, New York and Tokyo; which were followed by openings in Rome, Los Angeles and Paris. In 2002, Capasa unveiled his first perfume called ‘Scent’ and a year later he introduced an eyewear line. In 2004 he launched an innovative lower priced, youth oriented line, ‘C’N’C Costume National’; complete with accessories and shoes for both sexes. In 2005, Capasa partnered with Italian motorcycle company Ducati to design a limited edition collection of jeans, sneakers and tees. Two years later, in 2007 he launched a line of deluxe shoes, ‘Costume National Active’ and a unisex perfume, ‘Costume National 21’.
Ennio Capasa’s inspiration for the name ‘Costume National’ was an antique book of uniforms. In 1999 for the ‘Rosso Vivo” exhibit, Capasa helped redesign the interior of Milan’s contemporary Art Pavilion.