bal harbour blog

A Cut Above

Q&A
Yigal Azrouël.

By Tali Jaffe

It’s hard to believe that Yigal Azrouël has been turning out his impeccably crafted collections for close to 15 years now. Each season is fresher than the last, yet each remains on message with his ultra-feminine, modern silhouettes. Since launching in 1998, the brand has continued to develop since then with the addition of menswear in 2007 and the very popular Cut25 line in 2010.

While in town for an appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour (check out the event photos here), the charming designer took a few minutes to speak to us about how his career began and where it’s going next.

How did the Cut25 line develop?
I wanted to create a brand that would deliver progressive but wearable fashion to a broader range of consumers who want designer quality at a more affordable and accessible price point. I imagined it for a youthful and free-spirited girl, someone with a little bit of edge.

What is its relationship to your namesake line?
 The Yigal Azrouël woman is a bit more refined and sophisticated. While the Cut25 girl is young and whimsical and more progressive with her fashion choices.
 
As a New York-based designer, why is it important to you to produce locally?
Having our collection be produced locally allows me to really be there for all stages of production, from the inception of the design to the final product.

Who are some of your greatest inspirations/muses?
I really look to street style for inspiration.
 
Who do you consider a fashion icon?
Jane Birkin.
 
How would you describe your personal style?
My style is very much T-shirt and jeans. I like to be comfortable and casual.
 
You're a self-taught designer, what was it like for you breaking into this fiercely competitive industry nearly 15 years ago?
Of course it was difficult and challenging. But, at the same time exciting, and, in a way freeing, because I was able to teach myself, learn at my own pace and develop signature techniques.

One fashion critic noted of your Spring show "A good Yigal Azrouël show makes for a pretty accurate barometer of the mood of fashion at a particular moment." How do you capture that mood?
I always design for a strong, confident and modern woman. She is effortless and, for me, this style of woman that I design for will always be a relevant mood in fashion.

Your stellar draping skills are what you're best known for—or at least what caught the attention of editors early on—but in your own view, how would you say your designs have evolved since founding your line in 1998.
My designs have maintained my signature draping technique but I am always experiment with new fabrics. As I have matured as a designer, I have definitely experimented with much more structured silhouettes. I like to pair these with the draped looks that I have built my line upon.
 
Which Spring trend are you excited about?
My favorite trends were the nude and ethereal white color schemes. To me, they are very fresh and modern. 

Which are you already over?
My least favorite trends were the loud and overzealous prints. I prefer a more effortless and understated look.
 
Do you have a favorite look from your Spring collection?
One of my favorite looks is the red wool gabardine suit. I love the simplicity of the silhouette and the juxtaposition of the feminine texture of the silk chiffon blouse paired with a traditionally masculine look. I also love the red silk long-sleeve dress and acacia pants. Both pieces are great to add a pop of color to your look and are full of personality.
 
What's the first thing you're going to do when you get to Miami?
Put my sunglasses on!

What's the one thing you cannot travel without?
My iPad.

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