Julianna Bass is a name you might want to memorise. A designer who isn’t afraid to be totally herself in a world governed by unspoken rules and regulations; Julianna is an American designer who creates masterpieces worn by the ‘mysterious and glam woman’ as told in the designer’s own words. Julianna is an avant-guard designer who does not shy away from the progressive integration of fashion and technology…..To learn all about Julianna Bass read below for CIIN’s exclusive interview with the designer herself.
1 || Being a Tennessee native, can you tell us a little bit about your start?
I grew up in a small town south of Nashville. It was definitely a far cry from any fashion forward metropolitan area, that’s for sure. I attended a liberal arts school to obtain my BA in textiles, merchandising, and design with a focus on costume and evening wear before moving to NYC to continue my education with The Fashion Institute of Technology.
2 || At a time where classic designs are seen as safe how do you re-shape that mentality into embracing classics on your own terms?
It’s all about maintaining classic silhouettes that speak to your aesthetic but adding dramatic twists and turns along the way. I may keep a basic body going, but integrate cut outs with illusion mesh, or vibrant color juxtapositions, or vibrant embroidery, etc.
3 || YOU were named Designer of the year upon graduation, what effect did that have on your creative journey?
It was a great honor, and it truly motivated me to strive for greatness and put my best foot forward both creatively and professionally. But, the fashion industry is its own beast and an award alone won’t get you far…. Ha! No, but in all seriousness it was so amazing to have been honored in this way, and it confirmed that I was on the right path!
4 || Moving from Brooklyn to Berlin is such a huge step, can you tell us more about that?
I was really inspired by Berlin during a trip over for work in 2013, and when I returned home I could not stop thinking about it. At that point, I truly needed a creative break from the NYC noise after ten years, and I thought Ok…I want to do Germany for a few months. That turned into a few years. It was such an incredible experience that shaped me creatively and changed me forever. I highly recommend it!
5 || After moving to Berlin, did you feel that the European fashion scene (or the German) differed from the international fashion scene and did that affect your designs?
Absolutely it did! My eyes were opened to so much during my time there. Creativity is really celebrated and artists still maintain such a vast freedom to create what they want when they want it without the standard overwhelming pressure of consumerism. It was so special to have been able to create there amongst so many artists that I admire.
6 || You moved from designing whimsical, vintage-y clothing to a more serious tone, can you tell us about the woman Julianna designs for?
Whimsical and carefree is who I wish I was…. Ha! No, but in all seriousness I am very inspired by the past, but my aesthetic has really started to shift towards a more architectural/futuristic sense of romanticism. The woman I design for is mysterious and glam. She is taken very seriously, but also has a lot of fun. She’s an overworked jet setter, but has a cool, calm, and collective demeanor that everyone gravitates towards. Serious tonation with effortless vibes!
7 || You have incorporated technology and digital art in your work? Tell us about that and how did the consumers receive it?
I’ve thought about the integration of fashion and technology for quite some time. And, it just seems that what exists at the moment tends to speak more to the tech world through accessories, etc by linking our phones to our bodies essentially. But, I am interested in looking at the fusion of the two worlds from a fashion perspective. What would benefit the luxury customer and how can that be articulated easily? It’s not necessarily the easiest road to navigate, but we have partnered with an amazing tech, LOOMIA, here in NYC that specializes in doing just that. We are refining the technology of the moment and doing more extensive research in order to truly be able to present our ideas to the consumer in a way that can be translated easily. Stay tuned 🙂
8 || We know some of your designs are influenced by the struggles of art and artists, can you elaborate?
For the past few seasons, I have collaborated with fine artists to create seasonal prints. I am very inspired by other creatives that are on similar paths as I am, yet express it through different mediums. Most recently I have worked with Peer Kriesel of Berlin Germany. His “Fratzen” has been the focal point of three of my prints to date.
9 || What did it mean for your design to be chosen for Diet Coke/Target collaboration?
It was so fun! That entire process was so special! It was so cool to see so many people voting and commenting on my sketch. It was really incredible to be a part of a national commercial launch and an experience that I will cherish forever because I entered and won it as Julianna Bass the person….before I had an established brand, and that is something I will not soon forget.
10 || Tell us a little bit about Julianna the person?
Julianna Bass the person is exhausted. Haha! No, let’s see….I am an outspoken, loud, quirky human. Not afraid to admit my strengths and my flaws. I pride myself on being real, authentic, transparent. I’ve been told that people are extremely comfortable around me. And, that makes me feel good. I always strive to be the realest version of myself and live my truth. The basics…I live in Brooklyn with my boyfriend and my cat. I love live drawing, sculpture, techno, hip hop, and brightly colored socks of all kinds. I’m also one of those women who cannot easily walk in heels, and I’m not embarrassed to admit it.
11 || A typical question, where do you see your label in five years?
In five years I see exponential growth and international brand awareness. I see more collaborations with creatives in industries other than my own. I see the label rooted in both NYC and Europe with a prominent voice that represents and is inclusive of all women.