Juliëtte Heijnen

Get to know this outstanding designer as she tells us everything about her work process and what inspires her.

THE ARCHIVE: How did your path towards fashion begin?

JULIËTTE: My path towards Fashion started at an early age of 5. I saw a show of Viktor & Rolf and knew this was what I wanted to do when I grew up. Dress up fancy ladies in pretty clothes. So I drew a lot of dresses and outfits and made paper clothes for my barbie dolls. Then I didn’t realize that you had to study to be a fashion designer or even knew what a fashion designer was. In 2014 I graduated from Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and I never even thought that I would graduate with the idea to make menswear.

TA: What process do you follow when working on a project?

J: I start with a subject or story that interests me. When I find my starting point the research can begin. I read texts linked to the subject and look for a lot of images. The research gives me already some ideas for sillhouettes but they’re finally defined after the collage process. The collages give me a feeling of how to adapt the subject to the concept of the new project/collection. Also they are my starting point for the design sketches I start composing after I have completed my story concept. After all the research and drawing, the real fashion can begin and I transform all the drawings in real garnments, all ready to be worn.

TA: Where do you find your inspiration?

J: The inspiration can come from books, History, the news or art. Life is around us and the reaction to it is my inspiration and I like to make the people aware of the world that surrounds us.

TA: What is art to you?

J: I find it really hard to define what art is to me. Because it’s a wide concept. I think I would define it as someone putting their creative feelings in a piece of work he or she is working on, that is art. Art is an opinion, so there is no real definition and you can’t say if something is art or not.

TA: What is creativity to you?

J: To me, creativity is if you can create something from nothing, if you see potential in using a stone as inspiration for example. It doesn’t have to be art to be creative, the world is creative and makes us move forward.

TA: If you had to design a collection about technology innovation, what would it look like?

J: Technology is a difficult subject to me, because I design almost everything from an analogue point of view. But if I had the chance, I would dive in a research of tech-fabrics and play with the characteristics to define new silhouettes that we can wear in our daily lives.

TA: Do you have any idols? If yes, who are they and what inspires you about them?

J: I wouldn’t really call them idols, I look at fashion for fun  and not for inspiration. When I start a new collection I don’t want to see what other brands create, with the idea of “woaw that’s cool!” or “what if my looks are not as good as the designs of…” So I work in my own bubble. I have favorites but no idols.

TA: What kind of music do you listen to?

J: The music I listen to is very diverse, from hip hop to indie pop and if I don’t feel like choosing my own music for the day I turn on the radio to hear what’s new in “music land”.

TA: If you had to choose one song and create a project based on it, which song would you choose and why?

J: This is a tough question. But I think I would use Matilda from Alt-J, so I can create my own image of Matilda. It would be a challenge for me to translate the feeling I get into colors and fabrics to make a menswear collection based on the Matilda image.

TA: What advice would you give your 14 year old self?

J: The advice I would give to my 14 year old self would be: enjoy every moment of your life and don’t be affraid to say how you feel. Every moment is a special one!

Find out more about Juliëtte Heijnen and her work on her website, Facebook and Instagram.