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A Quick Chat with Yigal Azrouel

During a visit to the City by the Bay last week, New York designer Yigal Azrouel made a stop at Saks Fifth Avenue for a private reception featuring fall looks for men and women and selections from his Spring 2010 collection, which includes standouts such as a grey tank with cut-out details and a black blazer and shorts ensemble with go-anywhere potential.

We caught up with Azrouel for a quick chat during his appearance.

You’re known for developing your designs through draping, instead of working from an initial sketch. Can you tell us a little about your design process?

I take the fabric I want to use for the season, and I drape. For me, I’m very visual in the way I work. I mean, it’s not about a fantasy…. And then I start doing the sketches afterward, because when you drape, you get to see, each fabric reacts differently. I like to experiment with different materials as well. I do a lot of mixing of different fabrics together, and it’s very difficult to really envision that when you sketch, you know. For me, anyway. So I’m a draper, and I do things like work with full mirrors around me so I get to see…it gives me a better vision.

How is the Spring 2010 collection different or a departure from what you’ve done in the past?

The collection is always evolving. It’s always experimenting a lot with different materials and mixing things up. I work with different mills in Europe, in France, in Italy, and I always go and make them kind of experiment and try new things, so it’s evolved. I’ve used more material, I’ve used some hardware. I drape a lot, so the draping process is something that you progress while you are doing it.

You launched your menswear collection in 2007. What kind of guy are you designing for?

It’s very personal. I design for myself. I make them super easy because I wear the clothes myself.

Will you have time to do anything fun in San Francisco while you’re here?

Yes, actually, I came this morning and we went to visit some of the shops I sell to, and I went to Japantown…and just walked around. Tomorrow I am actually going to go and check out the galleries here and some furniture and, if I have time, some of the museums as well.