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Creatives in Practice: HELIOT EMIL’s Julius & Victor Juul

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To dive straight into it, you guys are a brand from Copenhagen, Denmark; it’s where you both grew up and started the brand. Tell us about how the brand’s existence began.

V: So, we split everything down the middle, I take care of the business and the more commercial part and Julius takes care of all of the creative and the design parts.

J: We started the brand in Spring/Summer 2017; that was the first collection that we did. Victor and I, obviously being brothers, we’ve been together since birth so we’ve always been very close and we always wanted to do something together. I was working in the creative direction side of the fashion industry before and Victor was in business school, so it kind of made sense to combine the forces that we have and create something. I think it was a natural progression to do something in the fashion industry. We are also seeing it more now as an umbrella that encapsulates a lot of different aspects, so not only limited to the fashion industry… we’re also trying some different stuff in interior design, the gastronomy space, experimental spaces, so really trying to see if it’s possible to make something that encapsulates more than just fashion.

Wow, that makes sense! We can see that even going into your most recent collection. Just before we go into the collection, why did you guys decide to start showing in Paris being a Copenhagen brand? What prompted the shift from Copenhagen Fashion Week to Paris Fashion Week?

J: Copenhagen, as amazing and as great as it really is, it is a rather small city. We have always seen ourselves as more of a global community and brand where we connect with people from all over the world, and they (Paris) align with our vision and universe. So we’ve always wanted to reach a larger audience and with Paris sort of being the epicentre of fashion, especially the fashion show aspect of things, it was always a dream to be able to show in Paris, being the biggest pinnacle of this industry.

V: Just to add something to that, we always had ambitions as a brand to become a big fashion house and we really want to scale this to become something bigger than what the platform of Copenhagen Fashion Week can house, so that’s also why we want to drive for perfection and for the biggest possibilities. That is what the platform of Paris Fashion Week can accommodate in a sense.

What would you guys say is the DNA of the brand? When you think of Copenhagen brands, they’re normally much more clean, minimal and simple but you guys came into the scene and are seen as the ‘Copenhagen of the Gen-Z’.

J: You can complement us and say the complete opposite, that’s fine! We’ve never really aligned with the aesthetic of what Copenhagen is usually perceived as which is very much what you described, the very pastel colours and minimal design aesthetics and simpler in expression. For me aesthetically, I’ve always been very fascinated with technology and machinery, the industrial part of things, but I’ve always sort of seen that as an elegant direction. I’ve always been the person that would see the elegance in raw machinery or in computer components, things like that sort of fascinated me and I wanted to say with the aesthetic that this can equally be seen as something beautiful and shouldn’t always be seen as the rawness. I think that’s also why we like to call our aesthetic ‘industrial elegance’ because it’s taking something that in most people’s eyes is seen as something that is very industrial and then combining it with something that is seen in most people’s eyes as very elegant. So, a lot of suiting or very fine knitting, these kinds of things and then intertwining the two, creating very fine suiting but having very raw metal details or creating suiting from materials like leather or something that’s otherwise seen as more raw in this industry. I think that that’s something we are aspiring to create, something that feels very industrial but elegant at the same time.

Love that! In terms of colour, you guys stick to your use of blacks, greys, some whites, is that going to be something that you’re going to do forever? Will that ever change? Or is that the identity of the brand?

J: Coming from a creative direction background I’ve learnt a lot of communication and the communication of an identity. One thing that you’re taught is that your logo or your identity has to work in black and white, it can’t be expressed through a certain colour, you can add colour to it if you want to express it further but your base has to be covered by something that is black or white. I think that’s something that translates in the garments as well so the communication, the raw effects of things, have to be communicated in black or white and once you’ve mastered that you can start to add colour. I think that we’ve managed to now create a certain silhouette and design principles that we can say that we stand for and now we have the possibility to add colour if we wanted to and still remain within the realms of what we are trying to communicate. At the same time I’m quite a firm believer that there are many shades of black and there are many shades of white and there are many shades of grey as well, so I think that there’s unlimited amounts of variations that you can still explore. I’m also very much a person who believes in the textures and depth of the fabric and when you do something in black for example, then you have the opportunity to communicate the textures more. If you see two outfits that might both be black then you’re kind of going that step further and looking at the textures more. One might be a very fuzzy wool texture and the other might be a very sleek membrane GORETEX kind of fabric, and those two will appear completely different even though they might both be black.



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