Julian Chang's Favorite Things
Julian Chang is one of the better-known womenswear designers in Miami, having been in his Biscayne Boulevard showroom for nearly ten years, and cultivating what has come to be known as the Miami look – easy flowing fabrics, sultry silhouettes, and lots of color. Add to that a dedicated following of fashion-forward ladies ever-hungry for the next season's look, and you've got a designer who is as popular as he is known.
I recently sat down with Chang at his Biscayne Boulevard showroom to turn the tables and talk about his own style, Miami nightlife, and the events he's most looking forward to this season.
You design clothes for women, but you're quite the fashion plate yourself. Can you describe your personal style?
To be honest, I see myself as having kind of a conservative style in that I don't take a lot of risks, but I would like to change that. In the past I have used a stylist to kind of get out of my comfort zone and I have discovered that it really helps to find your own style.
When you're in fashion, you're always so concerned about how everyone else is dressing that you always leave yourself until the end. Many times I've had fashion shows that I've produced or designed for and I've left my outfit for the last – whatever was clean and ironed I would wear that night. So now I try to be a little more conscious about it, and having people help me, saying Julian, you know you should really try this or that, has really given another dimension to my style.
Who are some of your favorite menswear houses or designers?
Tom Ford is amazing. I really love his designs. He just opened a section in Bergdorf Goodman and it's amazing – the quality, the workmanship, the colors. It's so sophisticated and stylish, it's timeless. I also love J. Lindeberg. It's a ready-to-wear line, more every day. I wear a lot of their shirts.
Who are some of the designers in Miami you think you deserve more attention - menswear or womenswear?
I think there is a lot of talent here, and a lot of fashion houses that have created amazing businesses, but not your everyday people in Miami will know because they're focused on other markets than Florida. For instance, you know my friend Viviana from Petit Pois, she has a great business. I also think that the new designers are great – new talent like Lorie Lester, who opened up a store here on Biscayne Boulevard; she's so talented and her style is very strong.
The city is known for its nightlife. Do you partake? Where do you like to go?
I do go to events. Especially if they're fashion-related, like the Funkshion events are great. Miami Fashion Week for another one. I don't necessarily go out just to go out – my hours are so long, and I have to travel a lot for business. So if I have to go out I would say Soho House is a great place to go – it's kind of relaxing and mellow and it has a nice environment. Another thing I like is just walking around Lincoln Road and having having dinner.
We're finally into our season, where it seems everything happens at once. What are the events you're looking forward to this season?
Make a Wish will be great. Also the Vizcaya Ball will be great. Also one that just passed the Guardian Angels Luncheon was great. One of the major events I'm looking forward to is Art Basel, of course. You know, the city transforms itself into something so different, it's so artistic and people are coming from all over the world, it's really a big part of the whole transformation of the city during that time. The parties, the whole vibe, it changes completely.