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In 1968, Castelbajac began designing for his mother, who had her own clothing business. Soon after he created several lines for Paris manufacturer Pierre D'Alby. He opened his own business in 1975 and immediately achieved fame. He was one of France's new ages of ready-to-wear designers and worked with Pop Art themes such as Andy Warhol's Soup can painting, which he printed onto a cylindrical dress in 1984.
He was also inspired by the work of designers Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin, on the theme of Futurism and has designed Space Age collections.
While continuing to design under his own name, he simultaneously created Sportmax for the Italian house of Max Mara.
He mixed his personal life and his interest in movies, music, art and the environment with his clothing design. Castelbajac, has created many clothes featuring printed logos, messages or images. He is famous for his chic yet rugged daywear and also for his hand-painted fabrics which did much to influence the "wearable art" garments popular during the 80's.
His designs are functional, modernist, high-tech clothing. As a foil to the clearly defined structure of his designs, he uses natural fabrics and fibers. He lengthened the ski jacket to make a quilted coat which became widely copied.