10 Questions With Julien David

by The Zoe Report

After New York, London and Milan the last (but not least!) leg of the fashion month marathon takes place in Paris. For the next 10 days, I will share my beloved shops for splurging (or window-shopping) and serious foodie adventures (only known by the true Parisians.) I will also show you what French designers have perfected for our spring wardrobes and the striking looks of the ladies roaming the streets of this magical city! —Natacha Steven

Last year, Julien David was awarded the prestigious Andam Grand Prix award and a one-year mentorship by LVMH. His collections are carried in shops such as Colette, Browns and Isetan in Paris as well as Blake in Chicago, Happy Shop in Berlin and Super A Market in Tokyo. He is so talented and fun and his fabrics are always ultra-gorgeous. I caught up with the young designer backstage at his spring 2014 show…

When and where was your passion for fashion born? “At age 20 I took various design classes at Parsons. After a few weeks I was really comfortable in the fashion course and, following my teacher’s advice, enrolled in a 2-year design program.”

You grew up in Paris, studied in NY and launched your career in Tokyo. How does this influence your vision? “I think my international background is very important. I try to mix influences from all the cities and cultures I know, it’s like a filter for my ideas, a way to put things in perspective.”

Which city inspires you the most? “Cities in general inspire me, not one specifically; human society has become more and more urban.”

How’s life in Japan? “Life in Japan is very organized and smooth. I speak Japanese but I can’t write it, unfortunately.”

Your first pieces were mainly accessories; scarves and bags. Why did you start there? “Before I started my company I use to work for Ralph Lauren and Narciso Rodriguez, designing clothing. The accessories were a way for me to start my business, a tool to test and fine tune my vision before moving onto a full collection. It was also a great way to introduce my work to the shops I wanted to sell at.”

Where do you find inspiration for a collection? “Every season I take simple idea and try to push it as far as possible to create something unique and personal. This collection started with a reference to the sea.”

What kind of woman do you envision wearing the clothes? “I would like to see as many people as possible enjoying my work! I am really happy when I see women from different places wearing my clothes; like Maria Kochetkova, a dancer at the San Francisco Ballet or Sarah Andelman from Colette in Paris.”

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? “To learn from my mistakes…”

What do you feel you need to get better at? “I think I still need to improve my business skills. I am working on it!”

What upcoming projects are you most excited about? “I might soon be splitting my time between Europe and Japan; it will require quite a lot of discipline and organization to make it work.”

Photos: Runway, Style.com; All Others, Nabile Quenum