In Conversation: David Julian, Designer

Welcome to the second installment of our rodeo campaign. If you missed the first Q&A, catch up here. If this is your first time clicking on anything related to STRUT, hi! We did something differently this rodeo season. Instead of styling models in our take on western wear, we asked individuals in the Houston fashion scene to style themselves. Then, we asked them about their looks, what inspired them and what western style means to them.

Today, we introduce you to David Julian. He’s a Houston-based designer with his line, Quinto Designs by David Julian, and per his Instagram bio, he describes his brand as one that helps “women find their inner confidence through their outer representation of themselves within their wardrobe.” He focuses on designing custom pieces for the everyday woman.

Julian has volunteered with Runway Houston since season 3, and at Runway Houston X, he debuted his line. “Quinto made me think of the generations of women that I’ve been around—my mother, my grandmother, great-grandmother, my sisters, and niece,” Julian told Houstonia Magazine. “It’s the five generations of women that have been in my life, and that’s what inspires me to create.”

Read on to see what inspired this Houston Community College graduate for STRUT’s rodeo campaign.

STRUT: When we initially reached out to you and shared our vision for this campaign, what did you think?

DAVID JULIAN: Well, I’ve never been to the rodeo, so I [went on] Pinterest and [typed in] western wear. The first picture that popped up was Nudie Cohn’s wife in her 70s in this amazing maxi long-sleeve gown that was embroidered and beaded. He was an artist who designed the car in the photo (shown below) and he was known for dressing Dolly Parton. It’s very tailored and bedazzled. That was what inspired the pants in the second look.

Editor’s note: Nudie Cohn put rhinestones on clothing in the 1930s which gave him his nickname, The Rhinestone Cowboy. With his wife Bobbie, the two became custom tailors for Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Nudie designed Elvis Presley’s gold lame suit and continued to dress “everybody who was anybody,” including, Cher, John Lennon, Ronald Reagan, The Beatles, ZZ Top and so much more. 

STRUT: For the campaign, you put together two different looks. Can you tell us about the first look?

DV: I showed these pants at Runway Houston X; [they’re from the fall/winter 2018 Petalposh Capsule Collection]. I like how free I feel when I wear them; there’s a lot of movement to them. With the floral lining, the colors seemed like what a country star would wear on stage.

STRUT: And, what about that Cardi B graphic tee?!

DV: It’s by my friend Tasha. She has a company called Team Jemini Designs where she makes smart ass tee’s and other merch. It says, “Here for the turkey legs and Cardi B. OKURRRRR” — The shirt really says, “I’m here for the carnival rides and turkey legs,” but I had her change it because Cardi B is coming this year!

Editor’s note: This interview was done before Cardi B performed at RODEOHouston. We know she already performed 🙂

STRUT: Now, for your second look. What inspired you?

DV: The photo of Nudie Cohn’s wife inspired the second look. I really liked the print of the coat because it reminded me of Native American western [style], and I just ran with it. I embroidered flowers and my alter ego, D.D. Big, on the back, above the pockets. If I ever did drag, that would be her name. Her personality is loud, boisterous, ostentatious and she doesn’t give a f*ck!

STRUT: If you go to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this year, would you wear either of these looks?

DV: If I have time, I’ll go, but with my schedule, who knows? I would totally wear the pants. If you remember from the photoshoot, I can’t really bend my legs in the pink pants, but I would wear them.

STRUT: So, you’re typically behind-the-scenes, on the production side of runway events. What was it like for you to be the focus?

DV: Being in front of the camera is weird. I’m used to telling everybody what to do but it was a lot of fun. I was living my fantasy; it was fabulous! I acted a fool and it shows, LOL! This was a fun project and an awesome day!

This interview has been gently edited for clarity.