What do Dieter Meier of YELLO and RJ Mitte Breaking Bad have in common? Zurich based menswear designerJulian Zigerli has all the answers, with his relaxed atmospheric approach to clothing an d his label.
For AW15, Dieter Meier, the ‘father’ of Electro is startling in the campaign for the Julian Zigerli collection. Born in 1945 in Zurich, Meier became famous as part of music duo YELLO in the 1980s, one of the most influential electro-pop acts ever. His music videos for YELLO emphatically defined the genre and were constantly on show on MTV. Far less well-known is Dieter Meier’s career as a concept and performance artist, which began in the late 1960s.
Recommended view in full screen.
The choice of Meier to appear in the campaign is totally in fitting with the attitude of the Julian Zigerli label. Taking on board a gamut of ground-breaking artistic influences, Zigerli’s latest SS16 collection that showed in Berlin recently was inspired by Japanese illustration, specifically the wonderful Studio Ghibli. And Zigerli didn’t stop there, inviting RJ Mitte, who played Walter White’s son in the notoriously good Breaking Bad, to walk the catwalk in his Berlin Fashion Week show.
Zigerli himself was born in Switzerland, and studied at the University of Arts in Berlin before setting up his own label back in Zurich. Showing in Berlin, and in Milan as the personally invited guest of Giorgio Armani, The Julian Zigerli label is all about love, colour, humour and positivity that comes out in collections of smart, technically top notch pieces with a sports fashion touch. We caught up with him after his Berlin show to talk about Berlin, diffusion, and Giorgio Armani.
FLUX: I (along with everyone else!) have been watching some of the incredible pictures of the thousands of immigrants crossing Europe this summer. As someone who sounds like a real citizen of Europe with links to different countries, whilst coming from Switzerland which is I guess outside all of that, what do you think
of those images?
JULIAN ZIGERLI: Those pictures are scary of course. War is never a good thing and leads us to extreme situations. I find it even scarier that we only see pictures about the fleeing refugees but never about what is really going on down there. Switzerland is a tiny country but I hope they will get involved in helping as much as our neighbours, once they reached here.
FLUX: You have been inspired by Japanese illustration for the SS16 collection. Who are your favourite illustrators? If people love your take on it, who should they take a look at?
JULIAN ZIGERLI: There is one specific movie maker who does manga movies and by whom I’ve been immediately inspired the first time I watched one of his movies. Hayao Miyazaki, the founder of studio Ghibli, is a brilliant mind. He really opened up my horizon of not just illustration in a moving picture but also in movies in general.
FLUX: How did you link up with RJ Mitte who appeared in the SS16 show? How was that – having a well know face amongst the more anonymous models?
JULIAN ZIGERLI: That was kind of a coincidence having him around. I did not know he was in Berlin until we got hooked up by his agency. He is a very sweet guy. No trouble at all having him around despite his status. It kind of added up to the friendly vibe we had backstage. The boys were thrilled to take selfies with him but everyone were really just good working buddies.
FLUX: You have just launched a diffusion line – All Time Favourite. Can you tell us about that? Why did you include women’s wear in the diffusion?
JULIAN ZIGERLI: Yes, the line is now available in stores and online. We didn’t particularly include womenswear. We made a unisex line. The design was laid out to be for both body types. The dropped shoulder seams work very well as a unisex fit. The line is completely made out of the finest Swiss quality jerseys. And sewn in Germany. A very local product which was our main goal when we created it. The fabrics are all made in green. Meaning that they have a high standard of sustainability. With all its little details and the very beautiful fabrics (you really need to touch it) it takes the basic piece to another level. We call it „the basic line for not so basic people“. A high-end product for your everyday use and comfort.
FLUX: You show in Berlin. Tell us three great things about Berlin that we might not know.
JULIAN ZIGERLI: a) The park where the show took place “Geschichtspark Moabit” is definitely a place that people usually don’t know. It is a magical place just next to Hauptbahnhof. No one really knows about it because there is a big brick wall around it. b) That I moved to Berlin to study there because of my first boyfriend. It took me a while to adjust and appreciate the city. But then it became one of the best experiences of my life so far. c) There is a great life without all the tourists and parties. You just have to take it easy in Berlin and enjoy the locals.
FLUX: And in Milan. It must have been great to get the invite from Giorgio Armani. Was FLUX:that a surprise or was it something you had been talking about?
JULIAN ZIGERLI: Oh, that totally came as a surprise. Before I got the actual confirmation that this thing was going to happen I received a phone call a week before. Just like that, without any warning. I thought I must have been dreaming and after a week I was sure I was dreaming, until the second phone call came. I felt and still feel very honoured.
FLUX: What has been your most exciting moment in fashion so far?
JULIAN ZIGERLI: The moment when my very first client at my very first fair with my very first collection JULIAN ZIGERLI: placed a big order. I was crying out of joy when I called my mum afterwards.
FLUX: And your most frightening?
FLUX: Your collections and your brand have a very underground, guerrilla feel. Where does this come from? Are you generally drawn to more underground culture?
JULIAN ZIGERLI: I am generally drawn to a more relaxed and atmospheric way of presenting my clothes. The whole vibe we build with the brand is very friendly and doesn’t have any pretentiousness around it. This is really all I want. To design something which makes you feel good, happy, excited and adventurous.
For more on the Julian Zigerli label, see www.julianzigerli.com
AW15 Images credits:-
photography: Amanda Camenisch
styling: Julian Zigerli
grooming: Rachel Bredy
models: Viktor Jörgensen, Antonin Wittwer
Hair: Rachel Bredy
Grooming: Nicola Fischer
special appearance: Dieter Meier
all clothes by Julian Zigerli