The fashion designer documents his life in New York City with a Leica TL digital camera as he readies for the debut of his fall 2017 collection.
Photos by Yigal Azrouël
Produced by Surface Studios in Partnership with Leica
January 16, 2017
Yigal Azrouël is a real New Yorker. Despite being Israeli-born and of French-Moroccan descent, the designer is defined by New York City. That’s where Azrouël runs his eponymous label, where he has his Garment District atelier, and where he produces much of his ready-to-wear collections. Despite having lived in the city since 1986, Azrouël still finds inspiration there every day, and it translates into his signature aesthetic of expert draping and silhouette-shaping construction.
York through the lens of a Leica TL digital camera. The TL is made of high-quality materials and with a painstaking process (among other steps in its creation, each camera is burnished by hand for 45 minutes). The designer used the TL to reveal a day full of unexpected beauty, presenting a soulful perspective on the infrastructure, environment, fashion, and spirituality of his adopted hometown.
My team and I mount the inspiration boards for a collection at least a month before it debuts. A good inspiration board is an always-changing point from which to begin the creative process.
I'm a draper. I need pins to hold the fabric in place so that I can create different shapes and forms. They are extremely important to my design process.
Structures can get reconstructed to make something unexpected. As I deconstructed this fabric and leather, the more fabric I cut, the more excited I got. I was aiming for a simple look, but playing with these shapes led me to create this exciting and unusual pattern.
The unifying ingredient...
These are Ostrich feathers that I'm working with for the fall 2017 collection. The closer you look, the more depth you find.
Let it be: I let the fabric guide its own way.
Precision comes with practice. At 16, I learned that with every practice, my skills get stronger. From then on, it's something that I’ve remembered every day.
I have learned from many people, starting with my parents, my close friends, spiritual teacher, and my partner in life.
[Pictured: Jagger is Azrouël’s French Bulldog and the company mascot. His likeness can be found in many designs, especially scarf prints.]
Ideas wait patiently until they are revealed. They provide guidelines and direction, and can open my mind.