Julien Macdonald

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Julien Macdonald

Born (1971-03-19) 19 March 1971 (age 52)
Cyfarthfa, Wales
LabelJulien Macdonald[1]

Julien Macdonald OBE (born 19 March 1971) is a Welsh fashion designer who has appeared as judge on the television programme, Britain & Ireland's Next Top Model.[2] In 2001, he was named "British Fashion Designer of the Year", and on 15 March 2001, was appointed as chief designer at Givenchy (Alexander McQueen's successor).[3][4] His atelier is at Old Burlington Street, London.

Early life[edit]

Julien Macdonald was born in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, where he attended Cyfarthfa High School. When Julien finished High School he studied Art at The College Merthyr Tydfil, where he developed his design skills with lecturer Martyn Jones. He was taught knitting by his mother and soon became interested in design.[5]

Julien Macdonald was also interested in a career as a dancer, but, instead, studied textiles at the Faculty of Arts and Architecture, Brighton.[6] He then became a student at the Royal College of Art, where he gained a master's degree.[7]


Soon after graduation, Julien Macdonald was recruited by Karl Lagerfeld to work for Chanel, a role that was accompanied with creating knitwear for Alexander McQueen.[8]

In 2001, Julien Macdonald was appointed to the position of chief designer at the Paris Haute Couture house of Givenchy (as successor to Alexander McQueen); and, in 2001, he was named British Fashion Designer of the Year.[3][4] He forms part of the media profile given to Welsh figures in the Cool Cymru movement.

He was selected by British Airways in 2001 to redesign their cabin crew's uniforms.[9]

In 2014, Julien Macdonald launched an eyewear range in collaboration with Vision Express.[10]


Julien Macdonald attracted much criticism for his extensive use of fur, including one incident in which he and Paris Hilton were flour-bombed. He stated that fur provides the majority of his revenue and that his label would collapse were he not to use it.[11]

In 2017, Julien MacDonald apologized for his previous use of fur, telling Reuters, "You do not need to kill animals to wear nice clothes."[12]

Celebrity clients[edit]

Macdonald's dresses have been worn by celebrities including Kylie Minogue, Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez. In 2009 MacDonald was the chief designer for the costumes of Pop group Girls Aloud during their Out of Control Tour.

Media appearances[edit]

Macdonald appeared as a judge on the British version of Project Runway, known as Project Catwalk, that was broadcast on Sky One.[13]

In February 2010, Macdonald was appointed as a new judge on Britain's Next Top Model, alongside new host and former supermodel, Elle Macpherson.[14]

In September 2013, MacDonald was revealed as one of the contestants on the dancing competition television show Strictly Come Dancing.[15] Janette Manrara is his professional partner and the designer explained in a 17 September interview: "she’s [Manrara] the one that literally keeps me on my toes ... after only two weeks of training, parts of me hurt that I didn't even know existed."[16] The couple were eliminated in the fourth week of the competition after losing to Countdown presenter Rachel Riley.[17]


In June 2006, MacDonald was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to fashion.[18]

In May 2016, MacDonald was awarded the GENLUX/BRITWEEK Designer of the Year Award.[19]


  1. ^ "Julien Macdonald".
  2. ^ "BINTM: Get Julien's Look". sky. BSkyB. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  3. ^ a b Belinda White (9 July 2012). "Video exclusive: Julien Macdonald Bespoke". Telegraph. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b Bibby Sowray (15 March 2010). "Today in History – March 15". Vogue. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  5. ^ "We were delighted to welcome Julien McDonald back to the college during Merthyr's Enterprise week". Merthyr Tydfil College. The Glamorgan Group. 2010. Archived from the original on 7 October 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  6. ^ "From Art School to University". University of Brighton Faculty of Arts. University of Brighton. 2009. Archived from the original on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Julien MacDonald Fashion Designer". My Daily. AOL (UK) Limited. 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  8. ^ Julien MacDonald (11 March 2010). "Julien MacDonald: Karl Lagerfeld Used To Hit Me With an Old Fashioned Black Fan". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  9. ^ Jones, Sam; Gregory, Sally James (6 April 2004). "Fashion fall-out over BA's new look". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  10. ^ "Ikon London Magazine coverage from the official press launch". Ikon London Magazine. 21 November 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  11. ^ Julia Stuart (19 February 2006). "Julien Macdonald: Defender of the fur". The Independent. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  12. ^ "Fashion doesn't need to kill animals: British designer MacDonald," Reuters, 19 September 2017
  13. ^ "Julien Macdonald on Project Catwalk, London and his Dali-inspired dress". Catwalk Queen. Aigua Media. 1 December 2008. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  14. ^ Emily O'Brien (19 February 2010). "Julien Macdonald joins Britain's Next Top Model". My Fashion Life. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  15. ^ BBC (2 September 2013). "In Pictures: Strictly Come Dancing's 2013 line-up". BBC. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  16. ^ Dinah Turner (17 September 2013). "Behind the scenes at Strictly Come Dancing star Julien Macdonald's London Fashion Week show". Mirror. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  17. ^ Paul Rowland (20 October 2013). "Strictly Come Dancing: Julien Macdonald eliminated after dance-off defeat by Rachel Riley". Wales Online. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  18. ^ "Julien Macdonald". BBC Wales Arts. BBC. 14 November 2008. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  19. ^ "Julien Macdonald". The Hollywood Reporter. 6 May 2016.

External links[edit]