My first encounter with the extraordinary designs of Yigal Azrouël took place a few years ago. I flew to New York to attend a friend’s graduation and stole an afternoon to go shopping in the Meatpacking district. In typical New York fashion, heavy downpour unexpectedly commenced. I ran inside the closest open door seeking shelter and warmth. I found both and just a little bit more. I was inside the Yigal Azrouël boutique and instantaneously fell in love with the brand’s intricate fabrics, design aesthetics and innovative styling. That afternoon, I shopped up a storm.
Recently, I had the opportunity to interview (my designer crush) Mr. Azrouël himself on life, fashion and his fabulously chic contemporary line, Cut 25. I also got to style and shoot pieces from Cut 25, a fall 2012 collection that is absolutely chic, stylish and perfect for sunny days, rainy days, and every day in between.
My interview with Yigal Azrouël:
SaksPOV: What’s your driving force behind creating Cut 25? Who or what inspires you in fashion, film, music, art, pop culture?
Yigal Azrouël: I really wanted to create a brand that aims to offer designer quality and aesthetic at a more accessible price point. I draw a lot of inspiration from my travels and nature, most recently to Paris and the gardens in Japan. I always have music playing in the studio which really gets me in the mood and establishes my mindset.
SaksPOV: Which key elements separate Cut 25 from the Yigal Azrouel collection?
Y.A.: The Cut 25 girl is a bit edgy; she is educated on fashion and aware of current fashion trends, but she’s much more whimsical with her style choices than the woman who is wearing pieces from my mainline collection. The Yigal Azrouël woman is more refined and sophisticated.
Cut 25 jacket, Michael Antonio shoes and Jenny Dayco jewelry
SaksPOV: You are one busy man as you are creating, designing and running three separate collections every season! How do you balance and manage your time?
Y.A.: I’ve definitely become much more organized over the years, and I’ve really learned to wear a different hat depending on the collection I am designing for. Each one requires a different thought process but under it all really come from a similar creative and intellectual space.
SaksPOV: I know you’ve practically lived in New York all your life. To date, what’s your favorite New York moment?
Y.A.: It’s not a specific moment really, but I love walking on The Highline and people watching. I feel like this is one of the most ‘New York’ things you can do.
Cut 25 pants, Mara Hoffman top and Jenny Dayco jewelry
SaksPOV: What blogs are you obsessed with?
Y.A.: T The Moment and Business of Fashion, but I am always looking to find new blogs.
Cut 25 dress, Rory Beca belt and shoes by 3.1 Phillip Lim
SaksPOV: What are the five things you absolutely, positively cannot live without?
Y.A.: Nike running shoes, iPad, Blackberry, Steve McQueen Persol sunglasses, My Surfboard
Cut 25 top and pants, vintage Hermes bag and Jenny Dayco jewelry
SaksPOV: Your fashions shows are coming up! Do you have any superstitions, good luck charms, talismans?
Y.A.: I am not a superstitious person at all, so with the show coming up, I really just pretend like it’s a larger scale of what I do every day, imagining the audience to be my design team for example.
SaksPOV: What is the last dream you remember having? Did it inspire your collections at all?
Y.A.: I do not seem to remember my dreams lately, but in terms of inspiring my collections, this is mostly done through my day to day experiences.
Photographed by Josh Williams Photography.