Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. My name is Julio Francisco Chavez. I’m a 35 year old independent designer. I specialize in women’s footwear and accessories. I spend most of my time in downtown Los Angeles.
How did your interest in your work begin? I’ve been a fan of footwear since I can remember. I feel it’s a heavy part of a person’s fit. Very, very important. I treated myself on my 31st birthday to a week long shoemaking workshop. I wanted to educate myself on the process and make a pair of shoes from beginning to end. To be honest with you I did not expect to end up here from just having taken a week long workshop. It’s been rad so far.
What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? I mainly work with leather, but I have incorporated textiles in some of my pieces. I don’t stress the design. Ideas come to me when I’m out and about or sometimes in my sleep. I make shoes when I’m sleeping (in my dreams).
What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? Art mainly, but also sometimes people I meet (their personas). I take from my surroundings and feelings. I pour all that emotion into the work vs. sharing it with people I know.
What is it like living and working in LA? LA is very, very chill. I would say it’s the best place to be if you’re trying to push business. There are great resources here and the support is unlike anywhere else.
What are some recent, upcoming, or current projects you are working on? Currently I’m working on a collaboration with designer Liseanne Frankfurt, and I’m also working with Leena Similu on project that will kick off the first week of December. I get emails pretty regularly and it’s sometimes hard to stay on top of it all.
What is your absolute favorite place in the world to be? My studio, I can lock myself in there for days and get lost in my work.
Who would you ideally like to collaborate with? Robert Clergerie and everyone’s favorite: NIKE
Favorite places to shop? I thrift still but there is of course the occasional shoe splurge.
What are you really excited about right now? I’m excited for 2018. I’m sketching up drawings for a collection drop. This will be more of a well rounded collection though, not just footwear. I don’t want to give to much away right now so stay tuned.
Most embarrassing moment? Haha, no comment.
What artists or designers are you interested in right now? Anything coming out of LA. I would drop names but I’m afraid I’ll leave someone out. The hustle here is very, very real. You have to work extremely hard and standout if you want to be in LA.