The ANDAM Fashion Award awarded to new designers is well known for the Creative Director of Martin Margiela and Christophe Lemaire of Hermès winning the prize.
Julien David, who is receiving much attention from select shops worldwide such as Paris’s colette and London’s Browns, wins the grand prix for 2012. In his interview, he shares with us the reasons behind him being based in Tokyo.
Born in Paris, David moved to the U.S when he was 19 years old and attended Parsons in New York, where he studied fashion. He arrived in Japan in 2006, after working as a designer for narciso rodriguez and for the women’s line of the purple label of Ralph Lauren.
“I came to Japan because I was interested in Japanese art and architecture. I was very young, curious and crazy at the time (laugh). When I arrived, I saw that Tokyo was a metropolitan city just like Paris and New York but had very different qualities and charms when compared to the cities of Europe and the U.S.” says David.
His brand was founded in 2007. In the beginning only silk scarves were lined up but during the 4th season, he created his first women’s collection consisting of 15 looks featuring only coats. For the 2011-12 AW collection, he presented his first show. David only uses Japanese materials in his designs.
“In order to express concept and feeling, I use various techniques and materials and incorporate them into a modern collection. I found a Tyrolean Jacquard factory at a fabrics exhibition in Tokyo and went to visit them in Kiryu. I created outerwear arranging the fabrics in the archive collection of the factory. Since my brand is still young, each season is full of challenges and learning experiences”, says David.
David continues to comment that Japan is a big fashion market seen from the eyes of the world. For him, to base his activities here and be able to choose materials and sell his products from one country gives him huge advantages as a designer.
“The goods which sell in the Japanese market are distinct and the market is different from those of the U.S., Europe and other Asian countries. I suppose this can be referred to as Japanese taste. Since Japanese consumers have high interest in creativity, I feel there are many opportunities for young designers with ideas. In Japan, it is not only the affluent that spend money on fashion. Young people who are not necessarily rich will spend money on fashion and continuously try out new types of fashion. There is an atmosphere here that promotes liberty of fashion. Perhaps I feel this way because I am from Europe. In Europe, fashion can quite often symbolize a person’s social status.”
Regarding the ANDAM award, David comments with a smile, “I am truly honored to be awarded this prize in Paris as I am originally from France. In the past, this award was awarded to many designers whom I respect”.
“There were several other brands that were nominated for the award but I think I won the prize based on my originality. My collection featured mode styles mixed with street styles using elegant and fine quality materials. It is not easy to create such designs but I feel this is my forte”.
David mentions that he wants to open his first store in Tokyo in the near future. “A store where the designer can express his/her world freely and control the concept is a very important place for presentation of designs. It also serves as an opportunity to communicate directly with customers and I am longing to have my own store soon.”
The theme for the women’s collection for 2013 SS is “Spoiled Child”. The collection follows a story about adolescent children who discover their own styles. The colorful and pop prints featuring dinosaurs and toys as motifs are also featured in the men’s collection.
“The coming AW collection will be more figurative and abstract than before. I will introduce dressy designs to the collection”, says David who gives us a preview of his upcoming works. Stay tuned for creations by this Parisien living in Tokyo.