Alexander Julian approaches design with an artist's eye, an architect's vision, and a philosopher's intellect. His work is a compilation of who he is today and the diversified and exciting experiences he's embraced along the way.
Born and raised in Chapel Hill, he learned about style, business, and people early in life. His father's clothing store, Julian's College Shop, was a virtual classroom for young Alex. A quick study, he was manager by the age of 16, and had already tried his hand at clothing design. By 19, he opened one of the first boutiques in the Southeast - on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill — aptly named "Alexander's Ambition."
In 1975 Alex moved to New York City with the goal of winning a prestigious Coty Award before age 30. He achieved that goal and received four additional Cotys, making him the youngest designer ever inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame. Alex was also one of the first to win the CFDA Award, receiving that honor in 1981. Subsequently he received two Cutty Sark Menswear Awards, and the Cutty Sark Career Achievement Award, before age 40.
Alex broke new ground when he became the first American clothing designer to create his own exclusive fabrics. His textile design is part of the Smithsonian's permanent collection. In 1981, he created the renowned collection of men's sportswear known as "Colours by Alexander Julian."
His innovative and intrinsic use of colour, a Julian signature, brings continuity to each of his creations.
Today, Alexander Julian's designs are available through a multitude of licensed products, which encompass a rapidly growing range of apparel and accessories. Products include tailored clothing, sportswear, neckwear, underwear, hosiery, sleepwear, robes, leather, jewelry accessories and eyewear.
The 1994 introduction of Alexander Julian's distinctive yet lively furniture collection was the most successful launch in the history of the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, North Carolina. In the short time since its debut, Alexander Julian Home Colours has evolved into a full line of home furnishings, home accents and home improvement products. Alex cleverly incorporates his well-known influences of haberdashery - argyle, paisley, and wing-tip motifs — into products ranging from leather accessories to furniture finishes. Alex's innate sense of color, combined with rich and interesting textures, can be seen in upholstery as well as neckties.
The designer's strong belief that creativity is essential in preparing children for life and work in the 21st century prompted him to create a foundation to encourage and strengthen arts and education programs for young people. Today, The Alexander Julian Foundation for Aesthetic Understanding and Appreciation helps support these innovative programs through grant-making and technical assistance initiatives.
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