Since taking the helm at Paco Rabanne in 2014, Julien Dossena has revived the storied futuristic label, bringing a fresh aesthetic that has resonated with consumers and international retailers alike, counting Net-a-Porter, MatchesFashion, Moda Operandi and Barneys New York among its stockists.
Dossena got his start as an art history student at the École Superieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré in Paris, and then a fashion student at La Cambre in Brussels, where he was inspired by the work of Martin Margiela and Dries Van Noten . After graduating he joined Balenciaga as an intern in 2008, working alongside Nicolas Ghesquière for four years, rising through the ranks to become a senior designer at the label. He left after Ghesquière departed in 2012 and set up his own label Atto. However, Marie-Amélie Sauve, stylist and long-time collaborator of Ghesquière, put Dossena forward for a supportive role to the existing creative director at Paco Rabanne, which owner Puig was struggling to revive.
Within a season, Dossena took over the collection and made a debut in spring 2014, barely acknowledging Rabanne’s signature chain-mail designs until 2017. “It worked well, not least because the overall image was a lot warmer than in the past. The Rabanne girls are finally approachable, if not exactly welcoming. Now that he came to terms with metal, Dossena is ready to test new grounds,” said Angelo Flaccavento in a review.
Dossena is a 2014 LVMH prize finalist. While still a student, he received the special jury prize at the Hyères Festival. In 2016, he was appointed president of the fashion jury at the 31st edition of the Hyères Festival.