I met Julien when I was working at Carhartt in Paris, at that time he was working at Starcow, I discovered is love for photography after several discussions about travelling. He told me that he used to go to New York, so I wondered why and asked him a few questions about his previous trip.
à Paris : l'entretien avec JULIEN AVAKIAN
Interview Farade Nicolas (issue03)
Photography Julien Avakian
Who are you & what do you do ?
Julien Avakian, 27, I have many hobbies, none of which I want to tell you, but you can have alook at bananarec.com.
What is your role at Banana?
I’m less involved than I was at the beginning, I don’t really take the time to listen to what’s new but I still try to keep up with the other ones, as we all listen to different kinds of music it’s always difficultfor me to decide if I want to post something on the blog as most of my tastes are strange... But I know that I can count on them, each of us has a special ability that’s make Banana something good that can work, anyway shout out to Aldo, Doris, Gaetan, Klimaax and Simon !
What would you call yourself?
Let’s talk about this short serie of pictures that you took while you were in Nyc... What kind of camera did you used?
Analog, I don’t really like digital cameras, they’ve killed it... You just need 500€ to buy a camera (that you’ll forever set on “Auto” mode), a computer, internet to download a famous photo editing software, then watch all the video tutorials you can find and that’s it you’re able to produce perfect images for Tumblr. I know you can’t stop technnology, thanks to the internet people can have access to a lot but most of the people don’t try to figure out what happened before and that’s what I don’t like, you can’t pop out of nowhere and be self-named “Artist/Photographer” or whatever people call themselves.
"The people don’t try to figure out what happened before and that’s what I don’t like, you can’t pop out of nowhere and be self-named Artist/ Photographer or whatever people call THEMSELVES."
Could you tell us something particular about this trip, any memorable memories or scary shit that happened to you & you want to share?
I was living in Greenpoint, Brookyln , not far from Mc Carren Park, one night I went outside to see if there was something good to eat in the neighborhood and people were playing softball out there only wearing black clothes to play and to get to the field I had to go through bushes so they first believe I was a fugitive or something like that.I didn’t really know how to play, I only played 2 or 3 times when I was 10 during a school exchange in Washington DC, but they invited me to join the game and taught me how to play and also invited me to come back. They finally nicknamed me “The Outlaw” because I was only wearing black clothes to play and to get to the field I had to go through bushes so they first believe I was a fugitive or something like that...
Five things that you enjoy the most about this city?
Cheap Food; Open-mindedness; The ability to hustle; The fact you can go to the beach with the subway; The Downtown scene.
What and where did you used to eat? Any favorites restaurant or neighborhood that you visit?
Percy’s Pizza (190 Bleecker Street between Sixth Ave and Downing Street, Manhattan, NY), 2 Bros Pizza (Any of them when you don’t want to spend money/time), Chavela’s (736 Franklin Avenue @ Sterling Place, Brooklyn, NY), Peter Pan’s bakery (727 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY). Chavela’s (736 Franklin Avenue @ Sterling Place, Brooklyn, NY), Franklin, Peter Pan’s bakery (727 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY). That’s it, I was usually cooking at home...(I’ve never been to BK) But if you’re looking for good spots in NY follow my friend @foodballin on Instagram he really knows the places to go.
What kind of music do you enjoy listen to when you’re traveling?
I usually forget to update my Ipod before travelling so I always listen to the same things... Usually things from Mo’ Wax...
Latest album listened?
Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury (All-time classic).
Any words on the parisian night scene (the parties, exhibition & other stuff)?
It all depends on what you’re looking for, but I believe that everyone can have satisfaction in Paris. If you’re looking for some night clubs you can find a bunch. If you just want to go out and chill, Paris is quite safe if you avoid some areas and don’t misbehave. There are also tons of restaurants, it all depends of what you’re looking for if you want a really good dinner you can have it for less than 30€/person..If you’re looking for troubles you can also find some...
Do you agree when I say that we Parisian are fucking asshole?
I don’t really agree with that, parisians consider themselves as a kind of “elite” over the rest of the country. I’m from the suburbs so my vision is different, I know that some people that were born and raised in Paris never took the bus/train to see what’s happening around of Paris but I think that this is a kind of laziness, they don’t want to get out of their comfort zone. But when it comes to politeness it’s an other story, it seems like that saying “Hello” or just being nice is something that doesn’t exist in Paris neither in the suburbs...
What do you do when you’re not working?
Basic things, going to the movies, working on my other projects, watching old movies (All genres, I don’t really care I recently watched old Wu-tang/Shaolin movies...).
"I OFTEN LISTEN TO THE TOP 10 FROM SPOTIFY, IT'S A KIND OF GUILTY PLEASURE AND I LIKE TO SING OUT LOUD IN THE STREETS WHEN I'M WITH SOMEONE ELSE JUST TO EMBARASS THEM"
Do you collect other stuff?
Everything linked with UNKLE (Toys, vinyls, VHS...) Old toys from Kaws but they’re getting too expensive...Skateboard decks with graphics that I like, mostly from
Supreme, I don’t even know how to skate but I think that a skateboard deck is a good way to get an artwork from a great designer and it’s cheaper than a print...Vintage Bathing Ape clothes, I mostly look for clothes that came out before 2007 when the brand really exploded thanks to Pharrell, Clipseand became a lot more commercial, I totally understand that it seems logical for a brand to aim at making more and more money, but trying to keep their reputation of “rare” and “impossible to get” is something quite hard to do. To me the only brand that managesto keep its reputation and imageis Supreme. Even if they’ve opened their webstore to Europe and their collections are less interresting than what they used to be, Supreme keeps on doing their own thing, collaborations with great brands, and the best accessories. They’ll keep on selling because they’re Supreme, kids will buy a cap just to get that box logo, Bape is different because you also need to have the money to afford it...
Have you always had apassion and interestin collecting magazines?
Yes, I’ve always been collection things since I’m a kid, but magazines are really important to me, most of the people think that magazines are becoming useless especialy since the explosion of the internet but it’s a different feeling. When you’re touching the paper you know that this is something real, plus you know that you’ve paid for it so you’re more interrested by it. It’s not something you get for free on the internet that you’ll maybe read or just look at the pictures...
Do you think there is some hope for the world of publication to survive in this new wave of blogs & digital shit where everyone can access at anything at anytime & want everything to happen quickly..
SURE!!! I hope so...
Which item - that you own - do you consider as a grail in your wardrobe?
My pair of Dunk Sb Tiffany I guess, they come from an era when Nike Sb was really huge and this “street culture” was not that famous and not so widely spread...
Favorite magazine to travel with?
I-D / Dazed & Confused
What else do you like to read?
Anything from René Barjavel...
If you could be sponsored by one brand, like they just give you free stuff and all that shit, which brand youthink you would choose?
Bathing Ape but only from the 2000 era. If not I think I would pick Arcteryx or Nike.
What is the best advice someone told you one day?
Do your best to be nice with other people...
Could you imagine living in Paris the rest of your life ? If not, where you’d rather like to stay?
Yes why not, otherwise Pattaya in Thailand buying a riffle, riding a Tmax with just a bathing suit on and no helmet.
Where are you looking for daily inspiration, any blog, website to share with us?
What was the last thing that you saw that struck you?
That 12 O’Clock Boys trailer...
What is something we don’t know about you?
I often listen to the TOP 10 from Spotify it’s a kind of guilty pleasure and I like to sing it loud in the streets when I’m with someone else just to embarass them...
Any plans for the future?
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