In December 2017, Mugler announced Casey Cadwallader as its Artistic Director, succeeding David Koma, who served in the role for four years. The appointment marked a new beginning for the Parisian label, but it also marked a fresh start for Cadwallader.

The American designer and ex-architect had served as Head of Design and Design Director at Narciso Rodriguez, J. Mendel, Loewe and Acne Studios in the past 10 years, but he hasn’t assumed the responsibilities of Creative Director until now. So what’s his plan for Mugler? Cadwallader is creating a new universe for the label that is fused with art and architecture, his two inspirations, and better captures the modern woman.

His first collection for the house, which he describes as a “spectrum of femininity,” incorporates touches of activewear, art, technologically advanced production methods and brand signatures such as tailoring, bodycon dresses, and leather, which Cadwallader describes as “Mugler codes.”

Much like the collection, the director’s first campaign for the label, which was shot by Arnaud Lajeunie at Ricardo Bofill’s iconic postmodernist buildings near Barcelona, also captures the well-rounded modern woman. Ten women, an Olympic swimmer, singer, artist, writer, DJ, producer, and models, fronted the Mugler Fall/Winter 2018 campaign in pieces that best represent themselves and gave interviews to better illustrate who they are.

Cadwallader aims to help women become a better version of themselves but not to change them. He’s tasked with modernizing the Mugler codes for today’s woman that doesn’t want to change the skin they’re in nor feels the need to.

The Impression met with Cadwallader in New York City for a preview of the Mugler Fall/Winter 2018 collection and spoke at length about the director’s vision for the label, his first collection and campaign for Mugler, and choosing to be a fashion designer over an architect.