Julien Macdonald OBE studied fashion knitwear at the University of Brighton and received his MA at the Royal College of Art in London.
Soon after the success of his RCA graduation show in 1996, his talent caught the attention of Karl Lagerfield at Chanel and he was appointed Head Designer of Knitwear at Chanel, as well as for the iconic designer’s eponymous label Lagerfield from 1996 to 1998.
Macdonald launched his own label in 1998 with ‘mermaids’ a static presentation of his designs, styled by Isabella Blow; and there began his reputation as a leading British fashion designer whose high octane and glamorous designs were soon to be coveted by international stars such as Kate Beckinsale, Beyonce, Kristen Stewart, Madonna, Liv Tyler, Heidi Klum, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Karen Elson, Katy Perry, Naomi Campbell, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus, to name a few.
In 2001, Macdonald was named at the Elle Style Awards 'British Designer of the Year', and the same year he was appointed as successor to Alexander McQueen as creative director of the french fashion house Givenchy, designing both haute couture and ready-to-wear collections.
Again in 2003, Julien received the British Glamour Designer of the Year award and GQ Womenswear Designer of the Year, a further nod to his status as an important member of British fashion. It didn’t stop there as Julien was also nominated a year later at the Olivier awards for his costume designs, for the Richard Alston Dance Company’s ‘shimmer’ at Sadler’s Wells Theatre.
In 2004 Julien decided to focus on his own label and shows, but being such a coveted designer he was asked to overhaul the British Airway's uniform, bringing it into the 21st century and firmly putting the glamour back into flying. His iconic designs are still visible today on British Airways' staff worldwide.
In 2006 Julien was awarded an Order of the British Empire for his services to the fashion industry and is proud to represent the British people and country as a whole. Following the launch of his atelier in February 2013, Julien’s show themed ‘viva las vegas’ at London Fashion Week was an eagerly anticipated and celebrity packed fashion extravaganza which firmly confirmed him as the king of glamour.
His most recent collaboration was with the English National Ballet for the Queen’s Coronation Festival, where Julien designed the costumes for the world famous ballet company performing ‘Tempus’. Julien’s career has in recent years extended beyond the catwalk and into broadcast media, including the top rated ‘Britain’s Next Top Model’ and he is regularly called upon to communicate his definitive perspective on fashion and culture through both radio and television. Julien’s extensive charity work means he is heavily involved with the Macmillan Cancer Charity, as well as being a patron of Breast Centre Llandough, Wales.