Joseph Altuzarra: Forbes' Star

When Joseph Altuzarra launched his clothing line, Altuzarra, in 2008, New York fashion was dominated by pretty, polite dresses and casual sportswear — and he was tired of it. “I wanted to create clothes for women in their 40s and 50s and 60s who have careers and are sexy and don’t want to look like grandmothers,” says the soft-spoken Paris-born designer.

He wasn’t kidding. The 28-year-old Altuzarra — who was recently featured for Forbes’ 30 Under 30 issue — has quickly established himself as New York’s fiercest, brashest young designer with his spliced leather dresses, strictly tailored jackets and goat-hair-trimmed coats. His sizzling designs and technical prowess have earned him comparisons to Tom Ford and Azzadine Alaia.

And he shows no sign of slowing down. In November, Altuzarra won the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund prize for emerging designers, and earlier this fall his fur-lined parkas sold out on retail site Net-a-Porter within 24 hours. His label has also already turned a profit — something that takes most fashion companies many years.

“I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel,” says Altuzarra. “I believe that clothes should make a woman feel beautiful. But sometimes it’s the little things like cut and fit and sex appeal that make a large impact.”