noun || yəNG ˈhefā
Alexander Julian is currently working amongst creatives at GQ/GQ.com as an assistant to the creative director. When it comes to the magazine, he's all hands (and hair) on deck.
TA: What’s your current hustle?
AG: Life is my hustle, to be honest, but I’m also currently the Assistant to the Creative Director at GQ Magazine. So that’s also a constant hustle in it’s own right. Working at GQ/GQ.com I get the to do so much for the magazine. I style, write, and do a lot of work on social. I also frequent as a guinea pig for many of the extreme style swerves and weird things that GQ writes about (i.e. Bleach Blonde Hair).
TA: Describe the difference between your 9-5 and your 5-grind?
AG: I couldn’t if I wanted to. My 9-5 is more like a like 9-grind. There’s so much that I get to do at my job, and a beautiful level of autonomy that comes with it. I’m always giving my all to something new that makes me feel like my job is different everyday.
TA: Who gave you the most memorable career advice?
AG: I feel like my most valuable career advice didn’t come to me as career advice, but as just life advice, and it came from sweet, sweet mother. If you do what you love the two won’t be mutually exclusive. TI was always told as a kid “You can do all things through Christ,” and “Know your worth.” It just seemed to stick with me. These are sayings that I apply to every aspect of my life, including my career.
TA: Has what you’re doing now been a life-long interest?
AG: Yes, I’ve always been interested in fashion, and funny enough, the MySpace years helped me realize my love for graphic design and the marriage of the two. Even before I knew magazine was what I wanted to do, I knew the components of the industry were appealing to me.
TA: Did you ever think you wouldn't make it to this point in your career? What kept you going?
AG: Honestly, yes. There was even a time in my life when I had an intense fear of failure. It was the encouragement of the people around me that made me commit to my passion despite that fear. My friends and family have always believed I would be great. I had to realize that no matter the outcome, if if put my all into my work I could never be a failure. They instilled that belief in me, and day in and out I’m working to make sure that I don’t let them down.
TA: If you could tell your younger self one thing about work ethic, what would it be?
AG: Don’t stop. Keep going. Don’t cap your curiosity. Water every seed. Why be one tree when you can be the whole forest?
TA: What has been your favorite “project,” so far?
AG: My favorite project would have to be the spread I styled for XXL Magazine 5 years ago as an intern. This 8-page fashion spread was my first big project and a turning point in my career. I was an intern and styled a full editorial spread in the 15th Anniversary Issue of the magazine. I did wardrobe, developed the theme and concept, casted the models, and designed the layout. It was my first time really seeing the possibilities of a career in magazine, and what made me fall in love with it today.
TA: Who are your 3 “must-follows” on Instagram?
@oxosi - an amazing brand that I’ve worked with. They post some of the most intriguing content and photos focused on African culture.
@adrienneraquel - A photographer/creative friend of mine from Houston who is crazy talented and has an unmatched eye for color.
@legacybros - An art curator that I stumbled on via my Explore page. He posts the most amazing black art & sculptures, and has put me on to some of the most capturing images i’ve seen featuring afro subjects
TA: How would your inner circle describe your hustle?
AG: I don’t know honestly, lol. I think my friends think I’m some bougie fashion guy/clown, but I know they know that I work hard for what I love. They’re tirelessly supportive and always encouraging me think bigger, sometimes too big... like impractically big. But it’s amazing to be around people who are always encouraging you to shoot for the moon, and believe you can reach it too.
For more of Alexander follow him here.