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Fashion Designer Julian Roberts began his career in fashion at the tender age of 16. Leaving school to study Womenswear, he went on to pursue a BA(Hons) Degree in Womens wear in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1994 and a Masters Degree in Menswear at the Royal College of Art. After graduating in 1996 he spent 2 years working as an Assistant Designer at Jasper Conran designing eight collections for the label, before deciding to venture on his own and launch his own label “nothing nothing” It was the launch of nothing nothing’s first off schedule show in 2000 which won Julian his first New Generation Award from the British Fashion Council and the opportunity to show at London Fashion Week.

In December 2002 “nothing nothing” came to an end when Julian sold the labels trademark and pattern archive for just £1 on ebay. Rather than being the end, it was the beginning of his brand new label “Julian And” which in Autumn 2002 became Julian and Sophie. A collaboration with textile designer Sophie Cheung. Another win of the New Generation Award for their collection entitled “CMYK” gained “Julian and Sophie” their first on schedule catwalk show at London Fashion Week. The design duo’s final collection was for Autumn/Winter 2004 with 6 intricately cut & embroidered dresses entitled “Six Dresses for Michael, and is archived at the Fashion & Textiles Museum in London under strict instructions that it must not be publicly exhibited for 10 years.

Appointed Professor of Fashion in July 2004 by the University of Hertfordshire, Julian is the youngest Professor in the UK and has set up a BA(Hons) Fashion School and new label “Parc deS EXpositions” which for Autumn/Winter 2005 collaborated with 22 Students from Julian and Sophie’s class. The most unique and exciting element of Julian Roberts is his accessbility, he is open to advising/mentoring and lays his thoughts for all to see in his Universe….

Parc deS EXpositions
Photography by Ian Gillett / Julian Roberts

Name: Julian Roberts, my friends call me ‘J’

Age: 33, Scorpio (whatever that means..?)

Occupation: Creative Director of nothing nothing/ JULIAN AND SOPHIE/ Parc deS EXpositions, and Professor of Fashion at the University of Hertfordshire

Whats your favourite movie, song and memory?
Blimey that’s hard cos i have a lot of movies, songs & memories im particularly into…. i usually like a mix of inspiration, so:

movies= Adaptation + Prospero’s Books + Hero

current songs= “No Wow” by The Kills + “Little Sister” by The Queens of the Stone Age + “Hey” by The Pixies

memories= 1975 sitting in church on sunday on a hard wooden pew with my mum stroking my hand to placate me, dressed in a stiff tailored camel hair coat with biscuit crumbs in my pocket + 1980 coming to London for the first time on a school trip and seeing an entire platform of buisness men at Bank tube station all dressed in bowler hats + 1992 in my student flat in Newcastle in deepest winter, the toilet bowl frozen over, working thru the night on new cutting techniques dressed in 2 pairs of trousers, several jumpers and a coat.

In your article for Clash Magazine (20 days in the lives of Julian and Sophie), you call yourself a fashion motivator. How would you define a fashion motivator?
A Fashion motivator makes things happen outside their own experience… they teach, mentor, get people going by raising their confidence, take the myth out of fashion being a hard thing to do, show people new techniques, help them mediate and organize themselves, pass on personal contacts, introduce people who can make their lives easier, give them belief in themselves and their skills. They do not make you do what they want from their own limited perspective, they help you find your own motivation and personal direction. And in return they feed on seeing really new things happen. They believe in influence over ego.

What 3 words do you think Sophie would use to describe you?
Teacher, lover, friend. sounds well dodgy:)

How will you be spending the summer? ?
Trying to keep cool in a hot studio, sewing and cutting semi naked for fashion Week…. lying on a sandy beach with no responsibilities or worries other than when to turn over, when to have a drink, when to go in the sea…. and i’ll also be building the next stage of my new fashion course at Hertforshire.

What do you think the fashion industry will be like in 5 years time?
It will be different, without a single boho garment in sight, barely recognisable to today, with lots of confident girl designers doing their thing, making the garments they want to wear, fit will look more confident, personal, intimate and real. Boho piecemeal fashion is always a good indicator that ideas have run out, and as soon as you see Nautical themes appear you just know an ideas recession has begun.

A lot of businesses we now see will vanish, and brands will dissappear, the high street will transform and new spaces will form for the new generation to grow into. As the current generation of editors and image makers release their grip on nostalgia, things will stop going round in such shallow circles, and new ideas will materialize. Nothing lasts: individuality and innovation will always keep breaking thru, continuously flipping our preconceptions on their heads.

I was at uni when the 90s economic recession unfolded, and it was a great time to be a design student because you could visualize a space unfolding in front of you, as the sea of change parted. It’s not a good time right now to be a house owner, a small cog in a large wheel, an established brand, a high street retailer, a part of the establishment, a member of a boy band, a person with all your eggs in one basket.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
All press is bad press:)

Julian Roberts & Sophie Cheung
Photography by Ian Gillett / Julian Roberts

Visit /

Practico ? Inert

why be a fashion designer?

because making clothes was an

immediate expression of

non expressive ideas, ideas that

are external to our physical

body, & because making clothes,

& initiating fashion was a rare & precious thing.

Not many people made clothes,

clothing was an interesting thing

and therefore as a cultural thing

was not mainstream, so we

embraced it. Now everybody

is a designer / stylist, whether

they like the idea or not.

They are all obsessed completely with image,

and with what is thought of them by others.

It is crowded and over populated, and

clothing therefore does not speak or mean

the same thing. It is being emptied by

participation in it, by everybody.

Words by Professor Julian Roberts

Parc deS EXpositions team
Photography by Ian Gillett / Julian Roberts

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