Hagop Kourounian of @DirectorFits on the Safdie’s Puffers and Wim Wenders’ Y3’s

Hagop Kourounian

Hagop Kourounian, photographed by Rogue Bonaventura for American Cinematheque.

On his Instagram account @DirectorFits, Hagop Kourounian is dedicated to documenting the distinct personal style of your favorite auteurs. It’s the place to go to tap into Spike Lee’s 90s looks and figure out exactly what Lemaire items Justine Triet has been sporting lately. The account, followed by nearly 70,000 people, contains everything from the Cannes red carper coverage to our very own self-styled shoot with Paul Schrader. But above all, Kourounian appreciates the directors’ “everyday uniform” the most. “I was lucky to spend some time with Wim Wenders recently and he told me his Yohji Yamamoto clothes feel like his second skin,” he revealed. Kourounian also recently contributed to A24’s new book How Directors Dress, in which he details the genesis of Nagisa Oshima’s “Oshima Gang” t-shirt designed by the legendary Kansai Yamamoto. (The proliferation of this film-t-shirt-as-fashion-item feels very reminiscent of Loewe’s  “I TOLD YA” shirt from Challengers). For this week’s SEARCH HISTORY, we slid into his DMs to talk eBay, auteur fashion and, of course, Wim Wenders’ Y3’s.


JULIETTE JEFFERS: Okay, to start off: A/S/L?

HAGOP KOUROUNIAN: This reminds me of being on Omegle in middle school hahaha. 26! Male, The Valley.

JEFFERS: It’s so Omegle. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

KOUROUNIAN: Nothing terribly exciting, I chug the glass of water on my nightstand and go to the bathroom lol.

JEFFERS: That’s normal and healthy.

KOUROUNIAN: Reading through the other interviews, why do you guys always ask that question?

JEFFERS: Well, a lot of people say they start the day by scrolling…

KOUROUNIAN: Gotcha! I’m on my phone too much to be scrolling in the morning.

JEFFERS: Same. I like to give myself an hour before I scroll.

KOUROUNIAN: Me too. Of course, there are days where I have to give in, like for Cannes a few weeks ago. Because of the time difference, I was on my phone and laptop at like five AM.

JEFFERS: What was your favorite director fit at Cannes?

KOUROUNIAN: I thought Sean Baker in his all-black Hermes suit at the premiere of Anora was pretty good. Also, the red Armani look Greta [Gerwig] wore to the Furiosa premiere was great! Also, Gaspar Noé in Saint Laurent.

JEFFERS: Totally agree. Sean looked really cool. I loved the pic you posted of Gaspar Noé and Nadia Lee Cohen.

KOUROUNIAN: They look so good together! Iconic photo.

JEFFERS: It was gorgeous and felt truly… French. What director would you most want to style for the red carpet?

KOUROUNIAN: Hmmm, I don’t think I have any desire to style a director. Even hypothetically for an interview question, it feels wrong to tell an artist how to dress. I think I’d rather spend time learning why they dress like they do. 

JEFFERS: That makes a lot of sense. One of the things I like about your account is how it showcases directors’ personal uniforms.

KOUROUNIAN: Exactly, I appreciate the everyday uniform the most. Especially an artist/auteur’s uniform. It says so much about them and their work.

JEFFERS: For sure. l’ve always been a big fan of Sofia Coppola’s style and how it reflects the elegant femininity of her films. She famously wore a dress while filming The Virgin Suicides, which you don’t see a lot, mostly for utilitarian reasons.

KOUROUNIAN: Definitely. I think Greta wore a dress for the prom scene in Lady Bird as well.

JEFFERS: Yes, exactly. Why do you think most directors stick to a uniform?

KOUROUNIAN: I’d imagine it’s because it’s something they’re familiar and comfortable with and on set, in the midst of chaos, you need something to keep you grounded and sane—and that’s your favorite clothes. I was lucky to spend some time with Wim Wenders recently and he told me his Yohji Yamamoto clothes feel like his second skin!

JEFFERS: Wim always looks great. A uniform definitely gives a sense of being put together, while also allowing the focus to be on the external world and the work at hand. I feel like Wim’s style balances his personal brand of eccentricity with comfort, too.

KOUROUNIAN: Yes, I think it’s a principle that exists in many places, but I always thought director style was something that was overlooked and under-appreciated. Other directors Wim’s age have adopted Hoka’s and other generic-looking orthopedic shoes, but Wim rocks his Y3’s with Adidas boosts in them. It’s comfortable, but still true to his eccentric style. Nothing wrong with the Hoka’s! Just shows you how much more advanced Wim is… 

Hagop Kourounian

JEFFERS: Exactly. I feel like you see this with the Safdie bros too, with their puffers.

KOUROUNIAN: Yeah, maybe! They’re also from NYC so it’s kind of a staple item there.

JEFFERS: Yeah, a brown North Face puffer is very New York winter. I also think a lot of directors gravitate towards a good t-shirt, if they aren’t the suit type.

Hagop Kourounian

KOUROUNIAN: Yeah, I love all the hardcore shirts Harmony Korine used to wear. He was so good at both t-shirts and suiting.  Look up his David Letterman appearances, they’re amazing. Also, while you’re at it, look up the Abel Ferrara’s Conan episode, it’s incredible.

JEFFERS: The Harmony one where he’s like 19 and smoking a cigar is insane. Also, Abel Ferrara had a rose pinned to his lapel on Conan? That’s so goth romantic of him.

KOUROUNIAN: And the cigarette in hand…

JEFFERS: Where do you source most of your images for @directorfits from?

KOUROUNIAN: Mostly online. I constantly have a million tabs open. But the best pictures come from old magazines that I scan and post to IG.

JEFFERS: I like that you use both print and digital. 

KOUROUNIAN: People think everything is on the internet when in reality there’s so much stuff from 15-20 years ago that have broken links and are essentially lost to us. Also, so much old stuff that hasn’t been uploaded yet!

JEFFERS: Totally. I’ve learned this even just from looking at the Interview archives. Could you send a screenshot of your search history?

Hagop Kourounian Hagop Kourounian

KOUROUNIAN: Sending some of my eBay search history too, that’s where I spend most of my time.

JEFFERS: Wow, I’m seeing After Hours later today, actually!

KOUROUNIAN: I just rewatched it for the millionth time last night! Have you seen it before?

JEFFERS: Never! But I’ve been wanting to for a while and they’re showing it at IFC here in New York.

KOUROUNIAN: Sweet! It’s a great movie to see with an audience.

JEFFERS: I’m excited. If you could enter the world of any movie and steal the clothes, which would you choose?

KOUROUNIAN: Oh, this is a tough question. I’d love to adopt Justin Theroux’s wardrobe in Mulholland Drive, hence why I’ve been on eBay searching for the pair of Moscot’s his character, Adam Kesher, wears. I actually already have a pair but need a back up. Also, I’m looking for Gene Hackman’s clear plastic trench coat in The Conversation. It’s such a cool look and feels perfect for those overcast L.A. days. And as of late, I really liked the dusty linen suit Josh O’Connor wore in La Chimera.

JEFFERS: All really great looks. eBay is the best for vintage glasses. I especially love when Justin Theroux’s all-black look gets covered in the neon pink paint in Mulholland. I’ve been obsessed with Josh O’Connor’s crumpled linen suit, too.

KOUROUNIAN: The brown linen suit paired with the pink t-shirt is perfect.

JEFFERS: And finally, what’s the strangest DM you’ve ever received?

KOUROUNIAN: Honestly, aside from the crazy porn bot DMs, they’re pretty normal.

JEFFERS: Yeah, those are par for the course.