juan carlos obando

Past Lives: Juan Carlos Obando as Art Director

In a cozy corner booth in the West Village recently, the designer Juan Carlos Obando was sharing stories from his past with me. Before starting his own label, he was working as a creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi on the Toyota account. He often told his friends that the day he landed a Super Bowl commercial was the day he would finally step away from his ad agency job. That day became a reality in 2001 when his commercial “Let Imagination Run Your Life” aired during Super Bowl XXXV. (You can watch it in full on the Brothers Strause website). The shapeshifting, the music, the speed—it’s all a bit out there for a car known more for dependability than drama. But Juan Carlos was never one to think inside the box.

There’s no doubt that Juan Carlos’ former life as an art director plays a role in his design process now. I love that the idea of eveningwear for him is a little unpredictable but still understandable. Perhaps the horse, the flock of birds, the pack of greyhounds and the floating black sheet from “Imagination” were always meant to transform into a beautiful evening gown…

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Images courtesy of Brothers Strause.