For many, their passion is realized later in life. For designer Johanna Castillo, her love of fashion began at an early age and blossomed into a career as an adult.
Castillo’s style is in part influenced by her country of origin, Honduras as well as her Arabic and Cuban background. Having lived in Switzerland and Miami, visited Italy and France, Castillo said her travels opened her eyes and allowed her to have a new respect for different cultures and draw inspiration from their fashion.
Born and raised in Honduras, Castillo said it was a vacation in Switzerland that made her gain a new sense of confidence.
“It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and really changed me because it got me out of my comfort zone and put me into a new environment,” she said.
She was continuously buying fabric and designing dresses for herself for various modeling gigs and international events. So much so, that the woman who sold the fabric told her that one day she would be a fashion designer.
While in Germany, Castillo met a woman who had her own boutique in Europe and says that speaking to her made her realized that as soon as she got to Miami, she would start booking appointments and creating clothes for others. As soon as she landed in Miami a day later, she began designing.
Castillo is now focusing on her boutique located in Honduras, which she travels to frequently.
Mixing modern and classic styles, Castillo’s online shop will offer clothing for women, girls, and also dogs.
She sites nature and Marie Antoinette as the source of her inspiration.
“I honestly love to mix classic, trendy, and modern styles. I like sexy clothes and I like to add a classic and romantic spin to it,” she said. “I get inspired when I see dresses with a mixture of modern times with a touch of elegance from past times.”
The pieces selected to be sold on the online boutique are designed and created with the finest fabrics and cater to various women. You’ll find very brightly colored pieces with floral embellishments and other nature inspired aspects.
“As far as designing for women, it comes very natural to me,” she said. “I take into account the person’s skin color and silhouette when I design for them.”
Describing her clothing as very feminine, Castillo’s top concern when creating any article of clothing is making the customer happy and more than that, creating an item that makes them feel confident.
“To make the perfection combination between the woman and the dress, you need to know their personality, location and what flatters their body,” she said. “The worst thing is to have the wrong dress for a person, meaning if the dress doesn’t flatter or suit the person, it won’t work.”
“They need to feel comfortable in what they wear,” she added.
While she currently does not design for men, Castillo said one day she would like to create pieces for a “very stylish outfit,” but is focusing all of her attention on continuing her designs for women.
“They make your legs look longer, and you can wear them with heels or flats,” she said.
As for any aspiring designers, and really anyone with a dream, she says, “The most important thing in life is knowing your destination, what you want to become in the future.”
“Always imagine what you could be,” she said. “As a designer you need to know exactly who you are, and you only reach that by being conscious and being connected with your inner, your soul.”
To check out more about Johanna Castillo, visit www.fashionbyjohannacastillo.com