The Israeli designer's thoughts on swells, sculpting and seeing people wear his designs.0
Fashion designer, Yigal Azrouël, didn’t attend design school. “I didn’t know I wanted to do this!” he confessed yesterday afternoon when he stepped out of his studio for a moment to chat on his current sample sale. Inducted into the CFDA in 2004, Azrouël debuted his first international runway show in Paris in Spring 2005. Heidi Klum, Kirsten Stewart and Katie Lee Joel are all fans of the Israeli-born, French-Moroccan designer. But like every designer, big and small, if he could choose to dress anyone, he would outfit fashion icon, Kate Moss.
How did you know you wanted to be a designer?
I was always attracted to fashion. Then I started making pieces for myself, then for friends. Eventually, I put together a small collection.
What do you consider your breakthrough pieces?
My leather jacket. Our t-shirt. We have a very special t-shirt that is washed with milk – something I developed in Italy. Also dresses. The dresses are a big category for us.
How would you categorize your style?
Simple. It’s not like making collections from the same fabric. It’s making individual pieces work together. Some pieces are fashion forward but in a very simple way. Clean lines, a cool little jacket, pants.
Who is wearing Yigal Azrouël now?
A lot of the cool, downtown crowd. When I go out… when I walk down the street, I see musicians, rock ‘n roll, actors, artists.
So when you spot someone walking down the street wearing your designs what do you think?
Depends who is wearing it, and how they are wearing the clothes. I don’t like when people try really hard. For me, less is more. But for the most part I get excited when I see someone wearing my designs. It completes my day.
I know you aren’t one to follow trends, so where do you derive inspiration?
My inspiration comes from the fabric. Most the day I’m sketching then draping, sketching then draping. Like sculpture – you don’t always know where you are going when you sculpt something, but you are slowly chipping away. I like when fabric surprises me… when it tricks me.
If you didn’t design clothing, what would you do?
I’d be surfing. I’ve been surfing since I was six. Sometimes on a nice day with good swells, I go to Long Beach and surf then come back. I used to even go in the winter, but not as much anymore. I’m building a house in Costa Rica, and if I didn’t design, I’d live there and surf. And fish, so I could eat.
In one sentence, what do you do all day?
Think. I think all day long.
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