I have been designing for as long as I can remember. I know it started in elementary school and has blossomed from there. I didn't start making clothes until high school.
Hmmm...what inspires me the most is art. It's so magnificently wondrous and illustrates the inner workings if someone's imagination. Art transforms in prints, textiles, shoes, bags etc.
My style has finally reached a stopping point!!! (Laughs)! In high school I started to experiment with A LOT of different styles; from preppy to rockstar and everything inbetween. My mother has always encouraged me to be my own person. And my sexuality had a lot to deal with the transformation. But that is always another subject for another day.
I read the usuals; Bazaar, Vogue, W, V and sometimes GQ! A lot of Sister 2 Sister.
Sooooo MANY DESIGNERS! I love them all, but as far as my favorite designer, it would be Giambattista Valli. He just astounds me every time! Alexander the Great (Alexander McQueen) was one of my favs before he was so popular. I love Marc Jacobs (as everyone should!). Lagerfeld gets me every time! I own a few Lagerfeld items! In order to be a designer you have to understand that you will emulate others and sometimes I feel like I do. Innovators like McQueen were completely on another level and that ain't something I can compete with! I know my design estatic...lol
I live in Atlanta, Georgia and I shop at boutiques ALL THE TIME! I'm not a mall shopper my favorite is SickBoy Vintage in Tallahassee, Fl., 774 in Atlanta, Ga HAS THE HOTTEST STUFF when it comes to accessories! Little 5 points is the BEST place to shop for me! Stefan's Vintage and Junkman's Daughter are my favorite spots.
I don't shop in seasons. It's too close to buying trends. I like classic staples that never leave me outdated. Classic silhouettes will never steer you wrong!
Hmmm...style icons....my mother and her 3 sisters are my overall inspiration. My aunt Vickie is a grandiose diva who always makes a statement with dashing jewelery. My aunt Verne was always elegant and pulled together right down to her Manolo. She never missed a beat. My auntie Frances showed off...period. There is a playfulness to her that I translate to clothes. My MOTHER! Ugh!!! What is there NOT to be said?! My mother's carefree bohemian nature translates into clothes! With her big natural hair and effortless chic persona! She is the epitome of CLASSIC COOL! In another life she was Carrie bradshaw, I swear.
My favorite piece of CLOTHING is a hot jacket! I dress in layers even in the summer months....so I tend to like the flexibility that jackets, cozies or just outerwear in general can provide.
Clothes should express you as a person. They do exactly that for me...sometimes.
Ju'Lia, you have always had a very simple style BUT you love extravagant statement pieces! Like your winter coats of fur or an ornate bag. Your style is very polished and refined! It's always just enough to make someone double take. I love it
Fashion is artistry. Alexander McQueen, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace etc...all of them are the best in their media of choice. The list goes forever. Fashion to me is a walking canvas; a reverie if one's own imagination. Couture shows are my favorite because the show that fantasy, that creativity that tends to lack in ready-to-wear.
The word fashionista is ok...I don't feel anyway about it. I just wished it was used properly.
Designing started at an early age. I taught myself. Once I started learning basic shapes I started to apply them to clothes...I haven't made anything in a while. I have been more on the styling side of the mirror. I like that better but I have six sketch books full of ideas so I'm getting back into it!
The first thing I ever made was a pillow! Lol! But I made my Best Friend's prom dress in '06! But prior to that in '05 a lot of people wore my designs to prom. I wasn't as serious as I am now! So sadly I don't have any pics!
Honestly, I don't have any rules...wait a minute, my biggest rule is to not buy into so many trends! I hate that! Trends are fabulous but if you buy too many, your WHOLE closet will be LATE (that means not fashionable)! But being stylish goes beyond clothes and shoes! I have a friend who owns her own cosmetics company, Tonnae Nicole Cosmetics. Check them out Ju'Lia at tonnaenicole.com, she opened up a whole new window as to being fashionable. Make-up is something a girl should have! You have to have the right make up to tie a look together. It's just like having the right shoes or necklace.
One accessory...hmmm. That's a tough one...but I will say shoes. Only because you have to have shoes on your feet at all times. A bag is optional. Especially since there are so many other options like clutch wallets, mini skinnies and even fanny packs! Lol
I really love The Gap...I'm a very basic dresser and I feel my sexiest in a white tee. I love the fit of the clothes. That's about the only place I will go in a mall for myself.
In the industry, I would love to see more black and I don't mean on a dress! I would love to see more of my sisters and brothers in ads or on the catwalk.
Urban fashion...hmmm. There is such a thing...and I don't care for it BUT obviously there is a market for it so someone likes it...
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I see myself up there with Rachel Zoe. I admire her soooo much! Scratch that, I want to surpass Rachel! She is just such an inspiration! I want to be a staple at Fashion Week, all of them! It's just so much I want to do. But I most assuredly would like my business (World of David Michael) to have blossomed from there. My heart is in design but my company shifts those gears in focuses on my true passion, wardrobe styling!
Eventually yes, I do want a line of clothes. I haven't thought of a name but whatever I choose it would reflect me. Of course I want to do a women's line but lately I have taken an interest in men's fashion. I feel like the younger generation (our generation) is a little more fashion conscious. And men are now crying out for a more fashionable realm rather than the cookie cutter things that seem to flood the market every season. We want more prints and not on a tie. We want more colors and not just in our Converse. I'm thinking that if I do it, I would want it to just be a boutique. No commercial chains or anything just one location. And I want to offer the best of the best, from costume jewelry to clothes. People take a certain pride when they know that what they are wearing is exclusive...but I must say if I do all this, the prices maybe a little up there. But it's a boutique, I can haggle a little! Lol