Q&A: Yigal Azrouël wants you to wear shorts with your jacket

Image by Keystone Press
Image by Keystone Press

Yigal Azrouël has been a darling of the fashion scene since he launched his womenswear line in 1998. (He branched out into menswear for Fall 2007.) Caitlan Moneta sat down with the Israeli–born, New York–based designer at Toronto’s George C. (21 Hazelton Ave., 416-962-1991), which carries both his lines, to talk men in shorts, artistic collaborations and soapy scents.

You started in womenswear before branching out into men’s. What prompted the move?
“For me, you know, it was kind of a natural evolution. Because I started, like I design for myself, like I do it, I create my own closet. I’m making my own collection for myself so I think what am I going to wear.”

You showed all kinds of shorts for summer for men. What are some of your rules for dressing in shorts?
“You know, it’s summer time. Who said that jackets or suits have to be worn with the pants. You can wear it with a short with cool shoes or sandals. Definitely it’s a modern way of approaching menswear, you know. You can take a risk.

I know that you get a lot of your inspiration from art and architecture. Is there an artist that you really love right now?
“I collaborate with two artists, one of them is a painter, his name is Dov Talpaz, the other is [designer] Dror Benshetrit. They did all the stage for [the Fall 2009 men’s show]. I mean I like different artists for different things, but when I do something, I like to collaborate. I think it definitely stimulates me. Give me kind of…

New ideas?
“New ideas. I think it’s a new way of showing things. I like to share what I do. I like to share my idea with another artist. I understand where I’m coming from and I see where he’s coming from. And we all make one strong thing together. I’m really into it.”

What’s your personal uniform?
“Depends on the weather. In the winter I wear more layers; summer I wear less layers. I wear a lot of scarves–I like to keep myself warm.”

Do you wear cologne?
“What? I smell like something?”

You smell like soap.
“Maybe because I took a shower now, but I don’t wear cologne. I don’t. I like some smells, but sometimes it gives me headaches.”

If there was a fire and you had to save one thing, what would you save?
“I have one of my favorite pictures of me and two of my sisters, that I’m always attached to, because I love the frames around it. It’s kind of very simple, but I wake up in the morning and I have a big smile on my face.”

Check out our full Men’s Spring Style Guide at fashionmagazine.com/men.

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