Julien Tual might just be one of the hardest working men in fashion. From his headquarters in Paris, he runs a surf-inspired boutique called WAIT, and he also designs two eco-friendly and fashion-forward eyewear lines; Bois2 and Waiting for the Sun. Oh, and did we mention that his boutique just put out their first surf-inspired menswear collection as well? We met Julien at the recent MAN tradeshow in NYC, and upon seeing his products and talking to him for a few minutes, we knew we had to introduce him to our Style.No.Chaser readers.
Read his story below:
First of all, how are you doing today - are you in Paris at the moment or are you traveling?
Yes, I'm in Paris right now, just working in our Surf Shop WAIT. My next trip is next week to London.
Tell us a little bit about the name Bois2 for your eyewear line. Is there any specific meaning behind the name?
Well, Bois2 in French means square wood. Bois2 is a new material we just patented with my business partner Antoine Mocquard. We patented this new kind of bio-plastic. It’s actually made from wood powder we recycle from timber factories, and at some point it becomes the second life of wood.
What are the important elements that set Bois2 apart from other eye frames - I know you did a lot of research before creating it?
Bois2 frames are the first 100% natural and 100% biodegradable shades on the market, and it’s safe for your health too. We know that there are transfers between the skin and standard acetate frames, but with Bois2, because it’s 100% natural and bio-sourced, there are no problems with this at all.
Where are the Bois2 frames manufactured? Are they mostly machine or handmade?
Our frames are all handmade in France. Our workshop has been in existence for more than 30 years and it’s a respected reference point in the eyewear industry. We've had a video made that shows the manufacturing process. (see below):
What is the design process and how many styles do you put out each season?
As we worked on the material, we thought it was pretty important to get classical shapes, just a bit updated. There are now 4 shapes and we’re introducing 4 new shapes in March. The design process is mostly a giant fitting session. We design a lot of shapes that we try on for the perfect fit. If the fit works, then we produce them.
You also have another sunglass line called Waiting For the Sun – what is the style and inspiration of this brand?
We launched Waiting for the Sun 5 years ago. We were the first brand launching wooden sunglasses for less than 140euro. It was a nice adventure. We actually have about 900 stockists worldwide on this brand and we’re now dropping the price to 100euro. The inspiration was to produce eyewear in a new material: WOOD. The inspiration is a mix between Parisian sophistication and Californian laid back attitude.
What do you like to do during your free time - are you an outdoors person?
I spend most of my free time Surfing, traveling, spending time with friends, visiting, painting...
You also have a surf-inspired brand. What's it called and what do you feel is really special about it?
Yes, we’re running a shop in Paris called WAIT. WAIT is our office and it’s a surf inspired shop. Under this name we just produced our first Menswear collection. All the collection is built around an after-surf product. Something sweet and comfy you want to wear when you get out off the water. Since we’re cold water surfers, most of our pieces are a bit technical, generating heat, windproof cotton, waterproof sweaters, etc. Everything is produced in France.
How do you make time for all these different projects - what's your secret to organizing your time?
My secret is to not organize anything and to keep working every day, every minute. I always have a notebook with me and I m writing everything that is in my head every day. We’re a small team and we try to be efficient
The French are known for their amazing cuisine and cooking skills -what is your favorite dish to eat - and what's your favorite restaurant in Paris?
My favorite dish? Easy … My girlfriend is a really good cook and she’s got a secret recipe from her Grandma – it’s a kind of baked Zucchini gratin. Sorry I can't tell more, she would kill me. I don't really have a favorite restaurant, because what I have at home is always more tasty.
Where can people in the US find all your brands if they want to purchase your products?