Julian Zigerli brings color back into fashion.
An up and coming fashion designer operating out of Zurich, Switzerland, Julian focuses on functional and fashionable menswear.
He is a graduate from Berlin University of the Arts with a degree in fashion design who already produced two full collections while establishing his brand as a premier choice for menswear.
I recently had the delight of interviewing Julian himself in order to better understand his vision.
If you could please describe the Julian Zigerli image?
The image of Julian Zigerli is very sporty, functional and young in a sense of playing with colors, prints and shapes. It is very easy going and the man who is wearing it is a confident individualist.
His debut Autumn/Winter ’11 line was called “Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice” was where he introduced himself to the fashion world as a technician of fabric and style.
The collection was inspired by the Labradoodle, hybrids, and hubris.
These inspirations led to the creation of Julian’s signature sporty yet functional take on menswear, representative of his inner-self, full of colors and animal print patterns.
The collection featured hybrid functionality in pieces such as the Jackpack, which is a jacket merged with a backpack.
More on that topic, why menswear?
I did both [mens and womenswear] during studies and I like both but menswear has more interesting boundaries. It is a challenge to find new ways of creating something for a man today.
I like playing with classic shapes and put them in a new aesthetic. This is much more interesting in menswear than in womenswear.
Also the menswear I am creating is working very well for girls too. The girls who are interested in this kind of fashion wouldn’t wanna have it any other way.
Julian’s second Spring/Summer ’12 line is called “Over Stick and Stone,” which was based off of the concept of a lonesome hiker and his journeys.
Each of Julian Zigerli collections feature Swiss textiles (both natural and synthetic) that are wind and water resistant as well as sweat-absorbing.
Julian Zigerli is one of the few fashion designers out there that really stand for the individual.
Please explain to us how you approach the design process? How does this process affect your original vision for the collection?
This is happening on many different levels and every time a bit different. Sometimes I have something in mind which interests me already for quite a while and at some point I decide if I want to go for it or if I am already bored of it.
When I go for a theme I start researching and find other things which match or change the path. I build an imaginary “box” in which I move for the next few month until the collection becomes its own language.
In general, do you feel that the fashion industry is headed more toward innovation or repetition? Also, where do you feel you fit as a designer within the current trends?
Fashion has been about innovation of repetition for quite a while now. Boundaries have been reached and the challenge is to rediscover shapes and trends and be innovative with them.
I believe my aesthetic is happening somewhere in the middle of the current trends. Sportswear became a very important stylistic device. I am not the only one who discovered that.
What are your thoughts on education for fashion? Is school necessary or one can succeed purely on talent, self-teaching and experimentation? How do you feel going to school affected you in regards toward your design?
I definitely was happy to study it. It is important to spend a few years on the subject to realize what it is all about.
If you have the guts for self teaching go for it but you need the experience school or university is also giving you the chance of trying out and find your own language.
You don’t have to be perfect from beginning on it is about realizing that there is more than just one way to the goal.
Any advice for those who aspire to be a part of the fashion industry? What are some real expectations one might want to take into consideration? Also, is there any feedback you would like to provide about the industry in general?
If they want to be part of the industry they sure can. What they have to bring with them is passion and willpower.
I am kind of a freshman myself since I finished university only last year. I guess as long as you stay true to yourself your on the safe side of life.
Julian Zigerli is the first guest designer of the new project WOKroom, Temporary Showroom to promote emerging designers produced by Federica Zambon and Simona Citarella, owners and buyers at WOKstore, multi-brand research store situated in Viale Col di Lana 5th in Milan. –WOKstore
What can we expect in the future from the Julian Zigerli collection? Also, any last thoughts you would like to share?
Bigger, better and even more awesome.