Julian Zigerli Flies High With Latest Collection [Gallery]
Few things rival the rush of flying and onlookers will feel a similar wave of excitement when they see Swiss designer Julian Zigerli's (pictured below) collection "My Daddy Was A Military Pilot." The collection which pays "homage to a shark of the sky," (and Zigerli's father) merges captivating prints, high-grade materials and colorful prints to create a unique look for the fashion-forward man. Key pieces also showcase his intrepid designs, like his jackpack (jacket-backpack), an innovative way to merge fashion and function. With only three collections under his belt, Zigerli presents a refreshing and unique interpretation of menswear, using his childhood, nature and art as inspirations. We spoke to Zigerli about his influences, collaborations and how military uniforms worked their way into his most recent collection.
You grew up in Switzerland. How did being Swiss influences your work and your aesthetic?
Julian Zigerli: This is hard to tell, especially because I have Italian and German blood in me as well. I guess what influences your work the most is more the way you grew up. The people surrounding you, your family and what you experience every day. Of course, Switzerland is a very beautiful country with loads of nature and very high living standards. This is what I enjoy a lot and what definitely influences my work. Studying six years abroad in Berlin, I rediscovered its beauty once I was got back.
Is art a fundamental element of your work as designer?
Art is definitely part of it, but I wouldn't call it fundamental. It inspires me and interests me and makes life more interesting and exciting. My designs are not based on art and I don't think people would see it as such. It is fashion design at it's finest.
For your next S/S13 collection, Berlin artist Fabian Fobbe collaborated with you. How did you meet?
He is the fiancé of an ex fellow student of mine. We met years ago through her. I was staying at their place in Berlin when I was presenting my Fall/Winter 12 collection. I was sleeping in a room surrounded by his work. I always loved his work and realized then that he would be the perfect match for a collaboration work. I was very pleased that he loved the idea of art on fashion. He was with me the first moment I asked him.
Your color palette is a subtle range of grey, yellow, pink and blue. Is it something you naturally go for or it's a more conceptual decision?
It is a bit of both. My collections are very conceptual and so are the colors in it. But being conceptual is also paired with decisions which come naturally. I don't wanna force anything and i try to keep the whole concept as breathy, easy and open-minded as possible. Nevertheless I am very strict with the color decision. I think it is one of the strength of my label.
You work offers a lot of details and surprising functionality like your jackpack. Were they inspired by your father's background as a pilot?
The jackpacks have been part of my collections from season one. I love combining functionality and design. It makes a piece more interesting and useful at once. My father was the inspiration of the overall Spring/Summer 13 theme called "My Daddy Was a Military Pilot." It wasn't just about functionality even though a lot of details I’ve incorporated are from his original pilot suits.
Image of Julian Zigerli by Monsieur Jerome/ Collection images by Amanda Camenisch