It’s been five years since we last interviewed Julian Zigerli (I.G. @julianzigerliofficial). In our last interview with the Swiss designer we asked about how he saw himself in 5 years’ time, the answer then was honest and clear; “I hope I’m still doing what I love the most, without having to worry too much about rent”. After these years we wanted to revisit Zigerli and talk with him about the past, present, and future.
Paying homage to some iconic pieces from the brand; Talent – Matias Ivan (I.G. @matiasiivan) at Two Management | Words & Styling – Aleix Moyano ( I.G. @ a_moyano) | Photo – Bo Bannink ( I.G. @bobannink) | MUA – Julieta (I.G. @juliettedanslarue_mua)
VT How has the brand and yourself developed during these years, what is different between 2017 JULIAN ZIGERLI and today JULIAN ZIGERLI?
I am very happy I reached the goal the 5 years. Especially with a pandemic hitting the fashion industry hard. Today we still do what we love most. Creating beautiful garments and stories that come along with them. With a more solid income.
Looking back to the past years I have to say, a lot has changed. The brand is in constant movement and develops itself towards a more sustainable and healthy work balance. Today we don’t focus on the classic seasonal approach on how to create collections. We gave ourselves more freedom and less pressure in time. Also, our customer is clearly our main focus. Many items and accessories which are not necessarily connected to a collection are being released throughout the year.
VT What is something you would like to say to Julian from 2017.
Stay strong and don’t lose hope in your creativity. It’s been a constant fuel for life and the downs will become ups again. Also, relax from time to time and remember who you are in the core.
VT Share with us something that you would like to achieve in the years to come.
For the brand, I hope for slow and constant growth in numbers and sales. Reaching a bigger audience and maybe even opening a second store outside of Switzerland. Also, I love collaborating with artists and designers. I am also very open-minded to more commercial collaborations for the brand.
For myself, I already became a guest professor at the University of art in Berlin (UdK). So for the next three years, I’m good with the workload of being a professor and having a brand to run. But I do hope I can keep on teaching in the future. I love sharing my knowledge with the younger generation and I love getting inspired by them.
VT How do you see yourself creatively? What are the things that inspire you the most right now?
I love the spirit of all these beautiful print and product collaborations we are creating. There are so many more ideas in the loop and I hope we are able to release and produce all of them. It is very inspiring to work with so many different artists and designers.
VT It’s been a difficult year to focus on creativity during the pandemic, but we know you have been working on some projects! How did you handle the situation?
The first lockdown in Switzerland was hard. We were in the middle of planning and producing the HARD1 collection drop. But having to close the shop and not knowing where and how to sell enough products to pay the bills was difficult. So first we stopped everything and cleaned the studio for two weeks. Luckily we were always able to adjust to new situations very fast and had already started with our new way how to create collections in autumn 2020. So we were totally fine with postponing the collection a bit longer and had time to focus on new projects.
We then launched within two weeks the INTERIEURLI line. Our Interieur product line with pillows and blankets. Two weeks later, around easter 2020 we launched the JULIAN ZIGERLI’S PROTECTIVE MASKS. This was basically our corona life vest. The business kicked in very quickly and we were able to reuse a lot of our archive print fabrics for this product. We managed to carry on with producing the collections shortly after this.
VT Do you ever feel like the internet puts too much pressure on our daily lives? Sometimes it feels like you could vanish if you are not constantly generating content. How do you feel about that?
Oh hell yeah, it’s all about creating content every day and always. I love doing it but sometimes it is a bit much and it’s hard to stop. Especially as you mentioned with all that influence and pressure coming from the web. It’s still a process on how to manage social media the right way. I learned a lot in the past years and am happy to tone it down a notch. Also being the brand’s social media manager I am very close to our customers and it sometimes helps to reflect on the work. But also sometimes puts me too close to it
VT Best advice for a young designer.
Go with the flow and be smart on what product you wanna bring into the world. We need more progressive designers with strategies that promote diversity and sustainability also for a bigger audience. Keep questioning the industry and think of ways on how to make it better and how to make it your own.
VT We are living in a moment where doing collaborations and joining forces in between artists is more important than ever, what’s your always-dreamed collaboration? ZIGERLI X..?
JULIAN ZIGERLI x SWISS OLYMPIC TEAM
Also, open to other countries, did I mention I’m half Italian? ;)
Such a big dream to create garments and uniforms for all these amazing athletes.
VT I would like to finish this interview like we did last time; In 5 years Julian will be?
An even more diverse brand with not just clothing garments but a whole Universe of JULIAN ZIGERLI products. JULIAN ZIGERLI is a lifestyle for your home, your body, and your soul.