Julia Fox Brought Brooklyn 'Down the Drain' With Emcee

Julia Fox Brought Brooklyn 'Down the Drain' With Emcee

Story by Joan Summers / Photography by Matt Weinberger
May 13, 2024

Julia Fox has already conquered New York fashion. Next on the list? The clubs, bitch!

Our favorite downtown fixture has released her eagerly anticipated debut single, “Down the Drain,” previewed earlier this year at Charli XCX’s hot ticket Boiler Room set. Presented in collaboration with fashion and social platform Emcee Studios, PAPER got the run-down on Fox’s new video, and the many designers seen throughout — all totally shoppable on Emcee.

“Down the Drain” sees Fox take on the role of a teacher, a pro-fighter, a dominatrix and, most importantly, a mother. (To all, of course, but specifically her son, Valentino.) She swaps between outfits and vibes with ease, beat pounding, her voice gliding over the track: “I’m a bitch/ I’m a girl/ I’m a mother/ I’m a whore!”

Alongside director Ben Draghi, her first video stars Richie Shazam, Alexandra Harris, Sara Apple Maliki and Valentino himself. Brands that contributed styles for the video include Collina Strada and SEKS, alongside so many more: 0770, A Better Feeling, Beepy Bella, By Far, Dion Lee, Han Kjøbenhavn, Hat and Spicy, Isamaya, KNWLS, Laruicci, Lirika Matoshi, Madomorpho, Namilia, Panconesi, Private Policy, Sami Miro, Sonia Carrasco, Zana Bayne. (A full list can be found here, on Emcee’s platform.)

Fox talked to PAPER about working with Emcee for the project, and this next phase of her career. Of the video, she wanted the vibe to be “super villain chic.” She added, when asked about her latest career turn: “Music was my first love. Or second, after sugar. When I was little I told my mom I wanted to be a rockstar, and she kind of laughed and told me that would never happen, so I just never pursued it.” Years later, she went on her book tour, and the idea came to her again. “I knew I’d have an audience, and I went upstairs to Ben’s studio and we made this little song in under an hour while my son was napping, and the rest is history.”

PAPER Editor-in-Chief Justin Moran was lucky enough to drop in on the premiere party in Brooklyn, hosted by Fox and Emcee. He told me, still recovering: “We should all be grateful to live in the era of Julia Fox.” That’s not all, of course. “There's nobody as famous as Julia, who still somehow manages to create real space for community and makes herself so accessible to the people who lift her up.”

Likewise, frequent Fox collaborator SEKS said of the video: “Due to the scale of her projects — like OMG Fashun and the 'DTD' music video — we are able to create custom outfits.” SEKS says that scale “allows our designer Abel to have free range without limits knowing Julia is always down.” The designers couldn’t dream of anything better. “This creative freedom along with an iconic muse make for an endlessly inspired work environment.”

Ahead of the premiere, we chatted with Fox and SEKS about their frequent collaborations together, what inspires them to create, her transition to music and so much more. Check out that conversation, below.

What inspires you about Fox in this new phase of her career, as you continue collaborating with her?

SEKS: The SEKS girl knows who she really is, and she's just that. She also couldn’t care less about the flex — that’s the SEKS mood. Against the gatekeepers, against the system. Art over everything. Having a clear vision and a clear sense of self. These foundational philosophies bind our hearts with hers. When we worked with Julia in the past, she would wear preexisting looks. But now due to the scale of her projects — like OMG Fashun and the "DTD"music video — we are able to create custom outfits, which allows our designer Abel to have free range without limits knowing Julia is always down. This creative freedom along with an iconic muse make for an endlessly inspired work environment.

The video is in collaboration also with Emcee. What drew you to working with Emcee, and what are you excited for fans and fashion lovers to discover about the platform?

Julia Fox: Emcee is an emerging platform, and everyone on their team is so amazing and so supportive. They really care about giving young creatives their power back. Their values align with mine perfectly. When they heard the song they reached out and offered to collaborate on a video, and it was such a perfect partnership because they really trusted us to do what we wanted. I’ve worked with big companies, and they always breathe down your neck and need to approve every little thing to the point where the magic gets sucked out of whatever it is we are collaborating on. This wasn’t the case with Emcee. They were a dream to work with. I also love that all the looks in the video are shoppable because access is super important to me. Everyone should be able to feel as beautiful as I felt in the video, period

SEKS: It’s a new way to engage with fashion, which is needed. So many times we see iconic images that make us feel like we wish we could be a part of it, to have some connection to it, a piece of it, and now you can by directly shopping those moments. That’s major. It also gives independent brands that may not be stocked in stores a platform to be discovered and purchased, which is what all brands truly need in the end.

Through Emcee, the video, and your continued fashion career, you’ve made a point to highlight up and coming designers. The designs in the video are also fully shoppable. What inspires you about the current wave of young and up-and-coming designers, and which ones were you excited to collaborate with and feature in the video?

Julia Fox: I was really excited to wear SEKS because I discovered them on Instagram two years ago, and they have consistently shown up for me and spent hundreds of hours crafting looks for me over the years. Emcee already has a wide range of designers on their platform, but we were able to introduce so many more brands to them — like Namilia, Knwls, A Better Feeling — so it was a win win for all parties involved. I get really inspired by emerging designers because they aren’t afraid and they’re doing the hardest thing to do, which is starting a line. I tried and failed, so I know firsthand how hard it is and I just don’t want any of them to get discouraged and fail. I want to help as much as I can because they give me life and they inspire me so much. It’s the least I can, do in my opinion.

How did you approach the designs and styling you contributed to the video?

SEKS: Abel always loved female super heroes, having his first little gay boy crush on Storm from the '90s X-Men cartoon. So he started by thinking about all the female super heros that inspire him, and about how Julia transforms with each look into different endless personas. Mystique came to mind, so he dug through old comic books looking through all the variations of Mystique's lesser known outfits as references. Every superhero outfit shows off physical attributes. The muscles on the corset represent Julia's strength and how she confronts the world, finished with vintage silver pieces that feel like they hold real power.

SEKS is now synonymous with Julia Fox’s current reign as the Queen of New York underground fashion. How has the last year felt, with all these breakthrough collaborations with and designs for Julia?

SEKS: It feels great because we are doing what we love how we want to without compromise.

Photography: Matt Weinberger