How YesJulz Pulled Off the Most Lit Week of Art Basel
Julieanna Goddard lived out her self-proclaimed title as the Director of Vibes.
Lead photo by Jordan Krate
Mark Anthony Green stood up to make a toast. Celebrating his Art Basel exhibit, the GQ editor and resident Style Guy stated two people in particular deserved special thank yous. “I gotta thank my girl Julz, who runs Miami.” The second thank you went to Green’s co-host for the night, A$AP Rocky.
When we chatted via text two weeks before her second Art Basel, Julieanna Goddard was still unsure how many event she’d be involved with. Ultimately, the woman known to her 100,000 (and growing) Snapchat followers as YesJulz had her hands in an overwhelming nine events as a part of her “Road to Basel.” From DJing a set at a Galore Mag party for the likes of Bella Hadid and Miguel, to producing dinners for both Green and Ronnie Fieg of KITH, Julz lived out her self-proclaimed title as the Director of Vibes.
“I personally have been setting stuff up and preparing for Basel since January, just reaching out to brands and companies to give them my ideas, but everybody really doesn’t start moving their Basel gears until November,” Julz told us over the phone during Basel. Though she’d already knocked off a few events for the week and was headed to a DKNY dinner hosted by the new creative directors—Maxwell Osbourne and Dao-Yi Chow, also the founders of the emerging fashion brand Public School—she was getting in some time at the hair salon. “So the whole months of October and November, we’ve been setting this all up. I was trying to hit triple numbers this month, so you know how it is.”
The blonde Miami nightlife fixture mans a 7-person, all-female squad that operates everything from a weekly party at the Delano on South Beach to one-off events all over the country, including a series of tailgates for mobile messaging app Viber. After her set at the Galore party on Friday, you could find a few of the team turning up at Julz’s table. BabyMel of the Booty & Blunts T-shirt — the booty is Julz, naturally — and assistant to Julz as well as Colby, YesJulz Agency’s Director of Operations were surrounded by the likes of the Public School boys, Chris Stamp of Stampd, Miguel (the night’s guest performer), and model Willy Cartier. But working with friends sometimes has its drawbacks.
I do these parties for fun. This isn't my bread and butter. The minute it stops becoming fun, is the minute I stop doing it.
— Julz (@YesJulz) November 25, 2015
“It’s hard keeping relationships the same as you’re changing and evolving,” Julz admitted. “People start treating you differently and expecting other things from you and don’t realize you’re the same person.” Last year, the Tampa-native put on her first Art Basel event with Norma Now, another planner in Miami. On Thanksgiving of this year, just weeks before Basel, she let her followers know they due to a falling out with Norma, this year’s Trap Paradise had been cancelled. All of her projects would be put on by her agency alone.
“I really had my eyes in the prize; I wanted to take over the city. If you look in the streets you’ll see YesJulz stuff all around” she said. In place of Trap Paradise came the Mark Anthony Green X A$AP Rocky dinner and “Barefoot”-themed rooftop after party—which hosted DJ Esco, Atlanta’s Speakerfoxxx, and Metro Boomin—as well as the blow out Sunday rager Basel Tov. The latter found Lil Uzi performing to a crowd of fans, some of whom jumped around in the wading pool in order to get closer.
Indeed, YesJulz could be found throughout the city. Her logo was spray-painted on sidewalks, her face on the cover of Miami New Times. And the rest of her body? Shot in a collaborative campaign with Terry Richardson and Burger King. “It was surreal, I didn’t know [the Miami New Times article] would run during Basel,” she admitted. “That was my first cover and first story in print.” The accolade adds to this year’s high points, which include recognition by the Shorty Awards, a feature in Maxim, and a long-term partnership with Viber.
Much of Julz newfound success started with her documentary-style usage of Snapchat. “You know, all these great things are happening…and my Snapchat is kind of my therapist at this point,” she explained. “I kind of talk to my Snap and the people who follow me and the feedback is always so amazing. I had a little breakdown, and right after that, all of these messages poured in from my followers like, ‘Don’t be discouraged,’ etcetera, etcetera. And that really made me feel better.” But more than just messages, those fans poured into the events, clogging up the line for Friday’s “Barefoot” after party and packing out Sunday’s day-rager for a spot alongside guests like Fabolous. If she has anything to say about it though, this sort of crazy is just the beginning.
“It’s just a great time to be young, creative and motivated.” Julz told us in a final text after it was all said and done. “The tools are all here for us to build whatever we want. I’ve had an amazing year and I’m really looking forward to learning more, expanding my team, and taking ownership; not promoting apps but owning them. Even working more closely with artists and developing that passion—directing and producing great content, etc. These past few years have been all about building the foundation; now that I’ve got that handled, I’m ready to soar.”