Yigal Azrouël Talks Fall, Diffusion, and Cooking Us Dinner

Kate Middleton
Photo: Getty Images
Yigal Azrouël

The Fall collections have kicked off and the leggy model army has officially invaded. Editors' calendars (ours included) are packed with show after show. But there's one designer we can't wait to see: the always charming Yigal Azrouël, who makes many a fashion editor swoon. And his clothes are pretty good too.

Azrouël took a few moments to talk to FashionEtc about his new diffusion line, Cut25, which launched last summer; his Fall inspiration; and what he's got cooking—literally.

Tell us about the inspiration for your Fall 2011 collection.

It really comes down to the word "androgynous."

You always manage to strike a balance between boho and edgy. How would you describe your look?

I always strive to be strong, modern and feminine with a functional edge.

Congrats, by the way, on Cut25! What has the response been like?

I am very fortunate that the response, commercially, has been very positive. I have the great support of a lot of people, which has been instrumental in launching this contemporary brand concept.

Cut25's resort collection was moodier than we've seen from you previously. Are you going to continue exploring this?

I embrace the creative liberty that I have as a designer each season. I think for Fall, you will see that it is still the same girl but she is a little more playful and whimsical.

Is there a difference between the Yigal Azrouël woman and Cut25 woman?

Couture Fall 2011

Photos courtesy of Yigal Azrouël

Looks from Yigal Azrouël's Cut25 Resort 2011 collection

The Yigal Azrouël woman is strong, modern, confident, and embraces her femininity. All of these characteristics are in the Cut25 woman as well, but she is more aspirational.

There's been a real focus on minimalism in fashion the last couple seasons. Do you ever incorporate that mood into your designs?

Minimalism will always be in my DNA, but I love experimenting with different fabrics and using innovative design techniques. You have to evolve each season.

Do you follow trends or do you design based off of a feeling?

For me, designing is all about the evolution of the experience and the process from beginning to end. There is so much inspiration that happens through the course of finding the fabrics and colors to actually executing the design.

You launched a blog recently. What made you decide to reach out directly to your customer?

I think it is so important to be able to hear your customer’s voice and understand the psyche of the consumer. Because commercialization has changed so much, it is more important than ever to be properly informed as well as engaged.

E-commerce was also a big push for you. Do you like to shop online?

I don’t normally shop online. I like to look inside stores and physically see what I might buy. But if there is a Web site I find interesting, it is Net-A-Porter.

Couture Fall 2011

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from Yigal Azrouël's Spring 2011 collection

We've heard about your legendary cooking skills. What would you make us for dinner?

Chicken tagine, one of my favorite meals any time of the year.

Your leatherwork is stunning—we love how soft it is. What's the secret? 

It is a process of washing the leather multiple times with a specific cleaning agent that helps to make the leather extra soft. It takes several cycles before the product is even produced.

Any new projects or collaborations coming up?

There are always collaborations in the pipeline.

Would you ever do a Target or H&M line?

Timing is everything. If the time was right and the concept was exciting, it would be something to consider.