Fashion Designer Julian Chang is a man-about-the-world. Growing up in Peru, the son of a Chinese father and Peruvian mother Julian’s multi-cultural environment embraced support for family, loyalty, integrity, education, and a strong work ethic. Today he brings his international love of color to his base of operations and inspiration in Miami, Florida. A talented fashion designer who understands a woman’s shape and accentuating her best features, his designs are cut to flatter. In more than 500 boutiques worldwide, his collections are popular with stylish women and celebrities.
Julian defines his fashion perspective by telling LBM, “Style is not based on brand names, labels or latest season’s must haves. Style is within yourself. My collections bring you an effortless look by mixing timeless, comfortable pieces that you love and will always be relevant to your wardrobe. Miami’s lifestyle is my inspiration, so I mix glamour with sexiness and confidence.”
As a young man he was interested in art and design, but his epiphany came when his sister took him to his first fashion show. This new world opened in him an opportunity to use his art and design in fashion. As it became his passion, his mother realized he needed to go to the United States to attend fashion design school. Julian graduated from The Miami Art Institute in Miami, Florida as a stand-out student.
He has served internships doing fashion illustrations for several magazines, and free-lancing design for men’s, children’s clothes, and swim-wear. After graduating he became an Assistant Designer for sports-wear and within eight months was named Head Designer. This rapid advancement gave him the confidence to go off on his own and create his own small evening collection under his own label “Julian Chang”. Julian has received top honors including MIFW Pret-a-Porter Designer of the Year, Pret-a-Porter Style Award, Ebenzer Award of Honor World Fashion in Korea, Florida International’s Designer Star Winner, Vogue En Espanol Designer’s Choice Award, and Cadillac Luxury Lifestyle Award. Women’s Wear Daily selected Chang as the “Up and Coming Ready-to-Wear Designer to Watch.” He is also the Gen Art Fresh Faces Award winner, and recipient of The Key to the City of Miami Beach, Vox Out Award, and AI Alumni Wall of Fame. In 2010 Julian opened the Miami Fashion Week International and was awarded for his Ready to Wear Collection. In regards to his community service work, in 2013 Julian was presented with the Humanitarian Award by Miami Fashion Week.
Luxe Beat Magazine recently had the opportunity to learn more about this young talent through an interview:
Tell us about your newest collection. Where did you find your inspiration? How would you define the style your line exemplifies?
I just completed my Fall 2014 Collection I am very excited about the Collection because I was able to locate new fabrics with interesting textures. The Collection was inspired by an Uptown City Girl with touches of femininity and a hint of innocence. The style is modern and romantic with simple lines and an intricate mix of fabrics.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is my reason for being. It is the foundation of my lifestyle and makes me feel excited, creative, and as if I am giving back of myself to others.
How would you define your personal style?
Practical and sophisticated. I feel comfortable in Alexander McQueen when I am in a casual environment. In more formal surroundings I tend more toward the styles of Tom Ford.
How would you define your city of Miami’s fashion?
Sophisticated light and airy with bright colors and sensual overtones; the essence of the Miami woman.
When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
For as long as I can remember I was interested in art, drawing, and creating images. When, as a young teen, I saw my sister modeling, and my mother creating fashion as a seamstress, I realized that my artistic desires could best be expressed by creating clothing.
What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
The first clothing I ever designed was a blouse for my mother, which she wore for a family celebration.
Tell us about your design process. How long does it usually take you to construct a piece? Do you prefer sketching designs or actually constructing them?
Initially I enjoy draping fabrics on a form, and playing with proportions, while letting the fabric communicate with me, or I sketch my designs, and my pattern makers transform them into reality.
What are some of your accomplishments as a designer?
I have dressed many celebrities including Lindsey Lohan, Gloria Estefan, and Paris Hilton, among others. My accomplishments include selling my collections around the world, and seeing people wearing them.
Who are some of your favorite designers? Why?
Diane von Furstenberg: She has reinvented herself so many times and she is still meaningful in the industry after more than three decades.
Valentino: I love the cuts, how he thinks women should present themselves, and the glamor that he represents.
Lanvin: The styles are very innovative, and always find different ways to be creative outside the then common practices.
Where do you buy your fabrics and other sewing materials?
I buy my fabrics and materials typically from Showrooms in New York and Los Angeles, and from specific manufacturers with whom I have traditionally worked in Turkey, France and Italy.
What do you believe makes a quality article of clothing (jewelry, accessory etc.)?
A quality article will provide high value for the price. A high quality article with survive beyond current trends and become timeless.
How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?
Preparing for a shoot is a simpler process than preparing for a show. For a show I typically take several months to create the environment and backdrop for the show, determine the sequence on the runway, and the overall impression it will create. The preparation for the show becomes part of the creative process for the collection. In contrast, the preparation for a shoot is a more practical process of selecting (a) model(s), scheduling my photographer, makeup and hair persons and stylist, and coordinating the timing and details with my producer, to provide a photo collection that best depicts the collection.
What do you look for in a model? What type of person best represents your brand? How do you select them?
In a runway model I focus on slim features and a walk that will depict my design as I intended it to look and be worn. For a photo shoot I look more for a model who can express herself and my designs through her eyes. I cast several dozen models and ask them to walk for me when selecting models for a show. I will typically cast fewer models for a shoot and use a one-on-one fitting. The person that will best represent my brand is a woman who is youthful, sensual and with unique looks.
What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
To believe that anything is possible if you work hard enough, and there must be passion in everything you do.
What are some of your fashion goals?
My short term goals are to launch an accessories collection in the Fall of 2015, and then add a men’s collection the following year.
What matters to you most as a fashion designer? Do you consider yourself an artist? Why or why not?
It is important to me to have a unique identity as a designer and to establish a message and/or mood in my collections. Of course I am an artist; the process of fashion design is creative and provides a means of expressing my emotions on a blank canvas.
Well its time to let you get back to your work. Thank you Julian for sharing your creativity and beautiful designs with Luxe Beat Magazine.
Shop Julian’s collections on-line at his web-site, and in high-end boutiques in the United States and throughout the world. Another unique item to note: all of his designs are made in America. http://julianchang.com