Julien David Interview + Film by Phillip Andelman15/02/2012
French designer Julien David draws from the diversity of his experiences to draw together a compelling philosophy of design. Born just outside of Paris, David went on to study in New York before basing himself in Tokyo. Initially making an impression with the scarfs that were defined by his unique approach, and since then David has never looked back having now completed the first season with a full fledged women's and mens line. The world is really looking up for David and it was great to catch up with him to talk about the past, present and future.
James Oliver: Can you tell me a bit about your childhood and what got you interested in fashion?
Julien David: I was born in Paris, I grew up in the suburbs twenty minutes west from Paris. I started skateboarding when I was 11 and it kind of drew my attention to music, sneakers, streetwear and clothing.
JO: You are based in Tokyo now, what is the best thing about the city?
JD: The best thing in Tokyo for me is the fact everything work well and on time. Somehow, even though Tokyo is huge, things are quite organized, life is pretty smooth.
JO: You studied fashion at Parsons in New York. How important is it to study?
JD: Studying is as good as you want it to be. I was determined to learn when I went there, I liked it, it helped me a great deal to find my first job.
JO: Your label has existed for 4 years now. Has it all gone to plan to date?
JD: There have been ups and downs of course, but the company has been growing steadily since I started and I was able season after season to keep pushing my ideas forward.
JO: Can you describe your approach and how it has evolved since you first began?
JD: At the moment, I make reference to streetwear, the approach about clothing, the prints, the volume, the attitude and I try make it in the most refined way, with the most unique fabrics. I like to try to show a different perception high-end goods.
JO: You are highly regarded for your scarfs, what is it about scarfs that interest you and how do you approach them to create something unique?
JD: When I started my project, I had this idea to take a very old school luxury item and turn it into something else. The first four collections I designed were exclusively silk scarves, making them as different as possible from the classic and bourgeois treatment that they generally get.
JO: Can you talk about the theme for the Julien David Spring/Summer 2012 Collection? What are some stand out features of the range?
JD: The idea for Spring/Summer 2012 was the "Big Crunch", it is one of the possible scientific outcomes of the universe, quite a strong concept, things coming back on themselves, going back to the big bang state. To translate that in my collection, I played with the idea of juxtaposition, fabric pieces and prints going on top of each other, being crunched and displaced.
JO: What direction do you want to take your label in from this point?
JD: I want to carry on doing what I do, we just added menswear this season, it went quite well. We have about 40 retailers around the world, only places that I deeply respect, I want to continue to expand and make good products that people want to be around.
JO: Finally, words to live by?
JD: Do your thing.