By: Maja Von Horn
Photography: Asia Typek
It’s important to challenge yourself and go out of your comfort zone – says Hamburg-born, London-based influencer and creative director Julia Haghjoo.
Maja von Horn: Tell us something about your background, is it true that you are of Polish descent?
Julia Haghjoo: I am German, but have Persian and Polish roots. Quite a mix! I come from an immigrant family and do appreciate that I was brought up with multiple cultural influences and in a very hardworking environment. My parents taught me the right values, traditions, and attitude. In order to achieve your goals, you need to work hard. Self-realisation and independence are very important in my family. My parents definitely inspired my siblings and me to go out of our comfort zones and work towards our dreams. I believe it’s important to challenge yourself. There is a quote that always inspires and motivates me: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Once I left my “safe harbour”, I started to discover and learn.
M.V.H.: You moved from Hamburg to Paris with your sister Sylvia, also an influencer, but relocated to London since then. Why?
J.H.: It was always a dream of mine to live in Paris. I remember standing in front of the Eiffel Tower as a teenager and being amazed. I promised myself that one day I would move to Paris. Three years ago, I finally did it, and luckily, my sister Sylvia agreed to come with me. Now I live between London and Hamburg, although I visit Paris very often. The pandemic forced me to stay in London for some time. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that I’ll always find my way. In the end, love was the reason to stay for good – I just got engaged.
M.V.H.: Which city is your favourite?
J.H.: Paris and London. It’s like yin and yang. With Paris it was love at first sight. Who wouldn’t fall in love with the city that is known for love and light? It’s so charming and elegant. I love the French language, the city’s architecture and culture. London is completely different. It’s diverse, vibrant and energetic. There is always something to do. The combination of these two cities inspires me, and the energy and creativity I get from spending time in both are exceptional.
M.V.H.: You're one of the influencers who try to minimize their environmental impact. What do you do to make the brands you work with rethink their influencer policy, what can they do better to make it more sustainable?
J.H.: Starting the conversation, engaging, reflecting and rethinking is the key for change. Definitely not from one day to the next, and I am far from being perfect, but having long-term partnerships between public figures and brands who share the same values and care for a more sustainable approach in the industry – that’s a step forward. It’s the will to educate, change, adjust, and spread awareness.
M.V.H.: How has your style developed throughout the years? Where did your signature look – a sweater thrown over a jacket – come from?
J.H.: Fashion weeks and travelling have played a huge role in that process. Seeing all those collections and trends and observing people in different cities inspires me constantly and helps me define my looks. The sweater thrown over a jacket is something I have from my hometown. I am originally from Hamburg – we love knits! It’s adding a twist to a basic outfit by layering it.
M.V.H.: Do you still attend fashion shows as much as before the pandemic? Which show was your favourite recently?
J.H.: The last time I attended a fashion week was in February/March 2020, right before t we went into the first lockdown. I didn’t feel fully comfortable going to shows or events for a while. I just recently attended the Chanel Métiers d’Art 2021/22 Show in Paris. That was the first in-person show I’ve been to in a long time. It felt like a big reunion. It was really good to see familiar faces from the industry again.
M.V.H.: What’s your favourite thing about Chylak handbags? Which one do you like most?
J.H.: The form, the colours, and the philosophy of the brand. My favourite is the “Big Hobo Bag” in black. I love the design, it adds a special twist to any outfit. It’s an eye-catcher in a discreet, minimal, and elegant way.
Julia's Favorite Places
- Mutterland for the best omelette dish
- Elbphilharmonie for a concert
- Nordcoast Coffee for a good coffee
- Carmagnole or Café Paris for dinner
- New York Bagelbar for a quick breakfast / bagel and coffee to go and a walk around the Alster on a Sunday
- Sally Clarke for the best coffee and other treats
- The Red Room (Bar) at the Connaught Hotel
- Granger & Co and 26 Grains for breakfast
- Fabrique Bakery for a delicious cinnamon bun and coffee to go
- Maison Francois for dinner