T Z U J I
Words Alba García
Tzuji is a clothing line created by the producer, DJ and fashion designer Larry Tee. His own clothing line began with just a few pieces for just himself and started to get attention at his own shows. Larry creates pieces full of colourful prints, luxurious fabrics and modern silhouettes.
What does the name "Tzuji" mean?
TZUJI means something that is fabulous! The word Tzchauj, means to fix something up, so if you are TZCHAUJed then you are TZUJI!
How did the idea of creating a fashion line begin?
When I threw parties in London or New York, I would always need new swag to make me feel like a good host and to encourage others to dress up and have fun. I couldn't wear the same designers that everyone else was wearing, so I started making one of a kind tees. It kind of grew form there.
What is your brand's concept?
These days everyone wants to be the rockstar or popstar. When you want to stand out in the crowd or want to wear something you know will make you look flattering and hot, you get TZUJI. When you want great clothes for the club or for your vacation: you need TZUJI. TZUJI makes you feel like it's a special occasion.
Where did you find your biggest inspiration?
For me, music and fashion has always gone hand in hand. I have always liked music that made sense in the world outside the disco as well as inside the disco. When I'm in the club I am always inspired by my crowd, and my crowd has always been colourful and fashionable.
How being a DJ influenced your career as a fashion designer?
When I come up with an idea for a collection, I try to pinpoint what I think is the hottest thing. My last collection was based on 'electroclash', a musical genre that I helped popularize because I wanted some darker clothes with flashes of new wave. To me, that’s what I think looked fresh. I usually make things that I would die to wear.
What is the main purpose of your brand?
TZUJI is always going to have some flash and some things that no one else would do. I think there is definitely a TZUJI thing and that would have some incredibly cool and wearable fabrics in easy to wear shapes. We aren't trying to re-invent the idea of clothing, just the attitude in which it is presented.
Can you tell us your creative process?
We want to reflect what we are thinking about when we make the clothes. It’s the zeitgeist! That’s what we are interested in, what is happening right here, right now.
How was the change of entering into the fashion industry when you were only working in music?
To me it wasn't much of a stretch. I realized I knew more designers than I did DJs so I just watched how everyone else did it. The connections I made from running clubs and making music has made all the difference in the world in getting my brand into stores around the world. It is a different industry, but they have embraced TZUJI and for that we are grateful.
How can your experience in the music industry help your brand?
Certainly working with artists at my club events like Years and Years, Charlie XCX, Brooke Candy and Conchita Wurst has made it easier to get the clothes on music stars. Brand awareness is the hardest part of being in the fashion industry.
How can you relate your designs and your music?
I tend to like bold artists that have a strong visual component. My next goal is to work with artists from head to toe from their music to their style. Designer music sort of.
What are your next projects as a DJ and fashion designer?
We are working on getting our first Berlin collection ready for Berlin Alternative Fashion Week and to expand our growing influence in New York and the US market. We are also releasing a new song and video by singer model Portia Ferarri, which is called Body Talk and it’s a smash!