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Interchangeably clothes for men and women, Julian Zigerli creates above all clothes for humans, for those who look for organic and poetic pieces of clothing. The international rewards keep rolling yet Julian Zigerli saves his line: useful, smart and technical high-class clothes with a pragmatic twist, while celebrating colours and natural life.

Julian Zigerli is a particular designer – born and raised in Switzerland, he studied at the University of Arts in Berlin. There, he developed a taste for the playful and the comfy, before going back to Zurich to settle the workshop of his eponymous brand. Colourful, impish and essentially cool, his clothes link flattering and nonchalant fits with daydreaming prints. But Julian is deeply anchored in his time, and his collection are often the occasion to join forces with a new collective of artists. The upcoming season gives then the occasion to team up with the graphic office Moiré, as if they were trying to bring cheer back into the urban world. Before his imminent fashion show in Paris, we got a chat with Julian. Along with next season, he swears to bring cats back everywhere.

How did your relationship with fashion actually start? 
That must have been at a young age when I was still in school and I constantly tried to find stuff to wear which was a bit different to others. I was interested in the uniqueness of clothing.
I feel your clothes as somehow organic, like melting or completing the body. How do you understand being a fashion designer?
The aim is to create something effortless through a natural process. I guess that is where the organic touch comes from. I don’t see the fabrics, or styles or prints as single parts of a product. It’s all one and should be build as such. Basically an architect for your body and for the beauty of garments.
Your clothes are as pragmatic as poetic: who do you design for?
Exactly how you say it. Pragmatic and poetic. It's designed for a practical person who likes the comfort and practicality of things but doesn’t want to miss out on design and uniqueness and having a great feeling. It is for a straight forward person who knows what they want and has a casual and relaxed soul.
How do you compose your clothes? How important is Zurich in that process?
Zürich is where I live and where the base of Julian Zigerli is. It became very important because of the people surrounding my life and because of my team. They are a constant influence just as much as the beautiful nature you find in Switzerland. Living in the biggest city of Switzerland but still sometimes feeling like you’re in a small town has something to it. There’s a lot happening but you can also just take it easy and enjoy it at the same time. I guess that is a very important vibe for my brand. It’s about the balance and the joy of life.

Lakes, rivers, the view of the Alps… How much does nature impact your designs and prints?
That really depends. I don’t necessarily translate everything literally. Sometimes the prints are created with a super technical approach, and have a modern and distinctive feel. But then again as soon as you wear them in the nature they become one with the surrounding. That’s the beauty of it. Somehow what always remains is the core message of my designs.
You've often said that Zurich was an advantage for a young designer – because you're not straight into the fashion system, you're not just one amongst others… How important is it for you to not do or be like the others?
It is part of who I am and as I mentioned it is also what drove me towards fashion. Diversity is very important for everyone. That does not mean everyone has to be a songbird. It just means that everyone has to decide for themselves with what and how they feel comfortable in their skin. The fashion industry is a shark tank like everybody knows. Being in Switzerland almost makes me feel like living in a bubble. The world is a tiny bit more pink over here, which helps creating designs with such a positive and careless touch. 
You're about to present a new collection – what was the starting point for this one? What did you have in mind during the creative process? 
Exactly those kind of feelings. I guess it’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin but also keeping the controversy of mainstream and uniqueness at the same time. The collection is called Me, My Cat And I. The cat symbolises a comforting, warm and friendly feeling. This paired with a certain touch of egoism and narcissism gives it the right balance and modernity.
Did you collaborate with some artists on this one? 
I recently got introduced to a new graphic office in Zürich – a trio called Moiré. We got along so well immediately from the start I basically just threw the concept in their faces and they were up for working with me from the start. What I like a lot about them is that they work a lot with their hands. It’s more a very open-minded than a typical graphic studio and they very much have similar ideas in aesthetics to me.
What can we expect from Zigerli's house for the upcoming winter? A statement? A colour maybe?
Cats (obviously), popular prints with a Zigerli twist, various shades of green, corduroy, and handknits. Everything your hearts desires but you won’t admit you love.

Doria Arkoun
Yves Suter
Claude Gasser
Alexander Silberstein

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