Alumni Spotlight: Juliette Longuet ’03

 

You made a big leap from Paris for New York City to launch your career in fashion. Why did you choose to study at FIT and tell us about the transition.
I chose FIT because I wanted to follow specific courses in patternmaking and drawing. The advantage of having tailored courses like those offered at FIT was important to me as I already had the business background from previous studies. I was engulfed by NYC from the minute I stepped out of the cab from JFK. The speed, the lights, the people , the noises . I was able to adapt to the pace and found most of my inspiration for my designs through my daily experiences.

Did you always know you wanted to be a fashion designer?
At first I was in the Marketing Department at Celine (LVMH Group) in Paris and after my studies, I was off to work for l’Oreal in Miami for Biotherm. As a result of the numerous compliments that I received on my clothes that I designed for fun, I decided to launch my own brand and become a fashion designer.

And now you find yourself celebrating the opening of your first store in Manhattan’s Upper East Side! How does it feel to own your own space?
It’s like having a baby. It’s very personal and you take every decision to heart, from the choice of the lights, to the furniture and the paint. It is the accomplishment of several years of perseverance with ups and downs. I never had a doubt that this was going to be a very difficult and long road.

What’s a typical day like?
I spend my day between the showroom on Central Park South and the store at 153 East 70th. It’s a mix between the creative team, marketing and sales teams. I keep a very close and attentive eye on the artistic  side of my business.

How do you balance the design and business aspects of your brand?
I handle the design and my husband and partner handles the entire business side. We regularly sit down and brainstorm ideas, projects and any issue that might come up.

What plans do you have for the store?
We plan on expanding to Tribeca.

What are your thoughts on store locations and neighborhoods in the city?
Store location is prime. Base yourself on where your clients are.

Describe the client you design for.
She’s a working woman that likes to show off a strict and casual side at the same time. She likes to show off her features and feels comfortable about herself.

In addition to designing and operating your new store, you also host a TV show that takes you around the world. Tell us about it and how your travels influence your design.
I’m the host of New York, New York/Paris, Paris, a lifestyle show that presents all the new, upcoming and hidden places of cities such as LA, Miami, New York City, Paris, Hong Kong, Milan, London, and many other cities. It was a concept I came up with five years ago, and it has now turned into a weekly show. This year, I will be traveling to Dubai, Tokyo, Aspen, and will cover Fashion Week in New York and Paris. My travels are definitely my source of inspiration in my designs.

Where can we catch New York, New York/Paris, Paris?
The show is carried by the June Network and is aired in Europe (France, Belgium, Switzerland, Monaco), in Canada, and on board all Air France flights worldwide.

What advice would give others hoping to open a store?
Learn from your mistakes. Never give up and persist!

Juliette Longuet
153 East 70th St (Corner of Lexington Ave)
New York, NY 10021
646.360.3300
www.juliettelonguet.com

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