Interview – Bodybag by Jude

BODYBAG by Jude by Judith Desjardins, Founder and Creative Director.

What is the story behind your brand and how would you describe it?
BODYBAG by Jude was launched in the 1990s between Montreal and New York City. At the time, I was designing mini collections for ravers and clubbers that I distributed in specialized boutiques for this clientele, including several in New York, such as Patricia Field and 8st Lab, and Juan & Juanita in Montreal.

Over the years, my company became more organized. I found an agent in New York and started distributing throughout Canada and the United States. In the mid-2000s, the streetwear market changed a lot as the markets opened up and so did the style of my collections. I reoriented my brand and my market and opened my boutique in 2006 in the Mile-End in Montreal. Since then, BODYBAG by Jude has evolved into a modern, cool and sophisticated line.

What is your creative process?
My creative process is very variable; inspiration can come from anywhere, a color, a photo or a trip. But in the day-to-day concrete, I start with the fabrics that are offered to me by suppliers. Then I make a ‘story’ out of the collected fabrics and develop styles by fabric group.

What inspired your new collection?
The Fall/Winter 2020-21 collection, which is now available, reflects the direction we’ve been offering for a long time; stylish, timeless and comfortable pieces. Natural materials that are both warm and supple. This season’s colors were inspired by a long weekend in the forest in the Mauricie region.

What are your current influences?
My influences can come from anywhere. People in the street, a fabric, a photo, a film, a detail. Sometimes nothing happens for a long time, but sometimes the magic happens, you see something and it triggers a series of ideas, and that’s really exciting. These are the moments that push us to keep doing this (crazy) job!

It’s like surfing, you “rush” to pass the “break”, you keep fighting to catch a wave, but when you get up and surf your wave to the end, you forget everything and just want to start all over again;)

What is your signature piece?
Since the launch of the brand, we have always offered a jumpsuit for every season. It’s a strong piece that offers a variation to dresses. We also produce a lot of dresses!

Who is the Bodybag by Jude woman?
The BODYBAG by Jude woman is assertive, independent and has a thriving career. She is feminine but not ‘girly’, she is often ‘one of the boys’.  She is sophisticated, cool and strong.

What is your fondest fashion memory?
There’s so many of them! Over the past 20 years, I have met so many people from all over in connection with what I do; all these encounters are part of my souvenirs. Some of my shows have been very memorable, including one in 2002 where we built an illuminated turning stage at the end of the catwalk. Irina Lazareanu was the face of the campaign (before she exploded internationally) and Iona Monahan (the famous fashion journalist) who was there had really enjoyed the show.

In the fashion world, the “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York was emotionally intense. 

 On a different note… which book is on your nightstand at the moment?
The truth? The “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” catalogue, when I  visited the London installation in 2015. It’s still in its packaging! My reading moments are quite rare :-/

Which song are you listening to over and over?
I don’t listen to songs over and over again, I don’t want to get bored with songs I like. I have my different playlists depending on the moment.

 Which television series are you binge watching?
On my last trip to Toronto, I had some time in the evenings to watch TV and I listened to the series “Cerebrum” (

What is your favorite recipe of the moment?
Salmon tartar with fries. 

Which movie inspires you?
“Dior and I” directed by Frédéric Tcheng. It’s captivating, completely crazy, we would like to be there and at the same time so much not!

Andrew McNally

When asked what it is that I do for work, I like to joke that I am a fashion hybrid. I am lucky enough to work in various ways within this industry which I am passionate about. I am a fashion columnist at Journal de Montreal for which I write for different columns, including Mode de stars (Fashion of the Stars) and Dans la garde-robe de… (A Glimpse In His.Her Closet…). I also do image consulting for several performers and actors in the Quebec entertainment industry. In addition, I work behind the scenes as an Artistic Director at many fashion events and fashion shows. The rest of my time is spent teaching fashion at LaSalle College.