For over two decades, New York City-based creative director and visual artist Desi Santiago has made a name for himself bringing together the world’s of art and fashion, collaborating with some of today’s most respected and visionary designers, brands, and artists. Drawing inspiration from the vibrant, underground night-life of New York of which he was a key figure, Santiago’s creations are noted for their boundary-pushing, cutting-edge aesthetic, taking cues from, among other influences, science-fiction and counter-culture movements. Santiago’s wide-ranging output reflects his status as one of today’s most sought after creative directors.
As a set designer, Santiago has produced acclaimed environments for fashion shows, editorial shoots, and film. His fashion show sets include designs for the likes of Carolina Herrera, Opening Ceremony, Loewe, and Y-3. Santiago’s editorial credits include features with some of fashion’s most recognizable names, including his collaboration with photographer David Sims for Love magazine and Riccardo Tisci for Visionaire #60. Santiago’s most recent film credits include his production design for cult filmmaker Bruce LaBruce’s the Misandrists, which premiered at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival.
Santiago is also known for his vangaurd costume design. Credits include his mask designs for: the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition, “McQueen: Savage Beauty’ (2010); the Musée des Arts Décoratifs Louis Vuitton Marc Jacobs retrospective (2012); and numerous editorial feature’s including photographer Richard Burbridge’s story for Another magazine (2016). Santiago has also contributed costume designs for for Madonna’s “MDNA” tour (2012), the Broadway revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2014). Currently, he is the costume designer for the forthcoming production of noted choreographer Ryan Heffington and playwright Randy Weiner’s staging of Seeing You (2017).
An artist in his own right, Santiago has staged performance and installation-based exhibitions at New York’s MoMA PS-1, Art Basel Miami, and has had his works exhibited internationally.
Photograph by Matthew Placek