Q & A with fashion brand Jessture

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JESSTURE

NYC

MM: Can you introduce your brand and yourself in a few sentences?

My name is Jessica Hu, I am a Chinese fashion designer from Shenzhen China. I started the brand Jessture in New York after graduating from Parsons. The brand is focusing on womenswear for now, but hopefully in the future I will be able to develop lines in menswear, kidswear, and other fashion areas as well.

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

I started sketching, painting, doing a lot of art related activities when I was a kid. For me, design is a type of media that allows me to express and share my thoughts, my feeling, and memorable things that happen in my life. It’s also a process of creating something that can make our life better (either physically or mentally, or both). Since clothing is one of human’s basic needs, fashion design is closely related to our daily life. Design allows me to generate inspirations from daily life, and use them to create new stuff that can make future life better and happier. I enjoy this whole process of taking new ideas and turning them into reality. It brings so much passion, excitement and satisfaction to my life. And that’s the power and glamour of design.

MM: Can you describe your creative process?

When inspiration and ideas come up, I will put them down on my research book or the memo app of my smart phone. They can be images from the internet, magazines, social media, or a couple lines from an article, books, lyrics, poems, or quotes. As well, an emotional encounter whether it is a scene in a movie or a real life experience. It is important for me to record these inspirations when they flash by, even if I am not using them for now, because who knows, maybe they will be useful in the future. I have a couple of sketch books as well. Sometimes I like to sketch down ideas of a whole look or a garment or even some detailed structured elements, collecting them for later use. In addition, I made myself a “style library”. I sketch down as many silhouettes/styles of clothing (only some outlines without details) as possible and collect them in a folder. When I need to think of a new look, I can look over the folder and look for suitable silhouettes/styles for the collection. Once I decide my theme for a new collection, I will go through all the memo, sketches and drafts, look for suitable fabrications and think of the colour scheme as well. Sometimes I need to make some mock-up samples to test and see if the design is workable. Usually I need to go back and forth for several times and make changes of the designs, fabrications and colours. When all the design sketches, materials and colours are fixed, I collect the drafts and notes in my final “collection book”, then make copies and tape them on the wall for reference. A brand new season goes from there then.

MM: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?

My inspirations come from many different sources. Usually some abstract feelings or emotions from my daily life. I’m quite a sensitive person, I may get different emotions from a book, a song, a movie, a person or even the food I eat.

MM: What kind of questions do you ask yourself when you begin creating a collection?

The theme (what do I want to express), the materials (fabrication), the colours. However, I think the theme is the most important, as it determines the direction of the fabrication and colours.

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

Before I started my fashion design study, I had a bachelor’s degree in Economics and I had taken many business courses including marketing, management, accounting, finance and supply chain management as well. When I was at school, I had internships in different fashion companies every semester. My previous business and economics background and my later internship experience in the fashion industry helped me a lot in understanding the business of fashion.

MM: How do you find working as a designer in New York? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?

Life is very rich and varied in New York. New York is a city full of creative and passionate people from all over the world. It’s not hard to get inspired from people around you and from things that happen in the city. And New York is a very diverse and inclusive city. It provides a lot of freedom and space for our talent and creativity. We can meet interesting people from different areas of the world, with very different culture backgrounds, and yet a group of very diverse people can still hang out together and make very good friends. I think as a designer, my aesthetic is somehow built in my personality. The environment affects my personality and preferences, thus my aesthetic may change over time. A good thing about this city is that it affects you without assimilating you. So sometimes my works show a blend mixture of Chinese and Western cultures.

MM: What is your favourite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?

Being able to generate new ideas and turning them into real stuff. Being able to combine my work and life together, so instead of working for a living, I am working for something that brings passion, hope, excitement and satisfaction to my life.

MM: What is the inspiration behind your F/W19 collection which was showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week this season?

The idea of this collection came from the feeling of waking up leisurely in the afternoon of a vacation. The colour inspiration came from Mr. Giorgio Morandi’s art works. I used “Morandi colour” scheme (muted colours), and tone to tone matching so that the looks could show better visual integrity and unification. I chose wool blended/ cotton blended fabrics for majority of the pieces. All these colours and materials combined together trying to deliver a cozy, leisure, easy and relaxing feel for the whole collection. Life is hard. Take it easy.

MM: What is your favourite piece from the new collection?

It is hard to tell. I like them all, they are like my kids. But I did spent more time on designing the outer coats/ jackets. The emphasis is on the outerwear for this collection.

Thank you Jessica for giving us an insight into your creative brand.

Follow Jessture here:
INSTAGRAM: @_jessture_ny








Q & A with fashion brand Margot

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MARGOT

Japanese Brand

MM: Can you introduce your brand and yourself in a few sentences?

Hana Imai, designer for Margot, is a Japanese model for A-Plus, a Japanese entertainment production company. She has appeared on various TV shows, magazines, and fashion show events, not only as a model, but also as a designer for MARK STYLER since 2013. After 5 years practicing as a designer, she will launch her own brand “Margot” this spring, March 1st, 2019.

“Margot” is a brand that empowers all women by supporting their inner beauty and self-love. Our aim is to bring out the hidden attractions and charm that every woman has.

Our first collection will be an all dress line-up which one can wear on a wide range of occasions, from casual days to formal events.

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 MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

When I was working as a Gal (a Japanese subculture) model, I found myself very interested in clothing and fashion culture and I found the confidence to start my own brand. I have a lot of experience that I have accumulated over the past 5 years working as a designer and it was time for me to put it to use to grow my personal brand.

 MM: Can you describe your creative process?

I believe that everyone has concerns or problems with their body and fashion so I wanted to help them by designing clothes. The reason I am designing a dress collection, is to simplify everyday outfits so women have more time to focus on their beauty and self-love.

 MM: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?

Social media is a big part of my life and it is a great way to research modern women’s needs and information. That is where I get most of my inspiration.

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 MM: What kind of questions do you ask yourself when you begin creating a collection?

What clothes do I want to wear myself? What clothes make me happy?

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

Through my background working with several designers.

MM: How do you find working as a designer in Japan? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?

I am thankful and proud of myself for being able to work as a designer for the past years in the respectful Japanese culture. Giving hospitality to others is a big part of our culture, which I love. I want “Margot” to be the brand to help the empower women through the clothing we create.

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MM: What is your favourite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?

When I see the clothes I designed with love on people walking down the street or on social media, I feel excited and experience a happiness that I have never felt before.  

 MM: What is the inspiration behind your F/W19 collection to be showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week?

Our theme for this collection is women and everything they symbolize.

 MM: What is your favourite item from the new collection?

I don’t have a particular favourite because I put so much effort and love into every piece that I love them all! I can’t wait to show our new collection.

Thank you for telling us about your journey into fashion design. We can't wait to see Margot show at Vancouver Fashion Week for the F/W19 season.

Check out Margot on Instagram.

Q & A with Fashion Brand JNORIG

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MM: Can you introduce your brand and yourself in a few sentences?

JNORIG was born in 2017 with my first collection, Spring/Summer 2018 “Two Opposite Worlds”, and the name JNORIG is a joint of the J of Javier and NORIG is my last name Giron read from right to left. My brand is the set of ideas and concepts to which I feel connected and passionate, starting with my love for architecture, especially Brutalism and Modular architecture, which is the career that I wanted to study at first. I opted for something more artistic because of my other facet and the background that I have in my family of dressmakers.

Moving from Colombia, where I was born, to Germany at the age of 12 had a great impact on the way I look at the world. The contrasts, the differences between cultures, anthropology and social behavior created in me a curiosity to know more, to travel to new places and stimulated me to keep learning, a drive I still have today in my personal life but also reflected in my work.

MM: Can you describe your creative process?

My creative process starts with a simple idea, which can be a silhouette, a finish or a fabric. Then I move on to the concept and search for references to give that idea a story. With the concept defined I start to draw the collection. I go and search for fabrics and colours to finally design and create a prototype. 

geometry / minimalism / clean

MM: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?

I have a clean, graphic and sporty aesthetic. In all my collections these elements can be found creating a play on minimalist and geometry. But the inspiration always changes.

The collections that we have presented up until now have all merged cultures. The silhouettes that I like and inspire me to create interesting and at the same time commercial garments.

As I mentioned before, my curiosity to know different cultures, study their behaviour, their clothing and overall how the human being has developed, is a source that I will continue to use as inspiration.

MM: How do you find working as a designer in Spain? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?

Spain is a country in which the textile industry has not yet disappeared and this is an advantage when looking for resources. I think culture affects my design in every spect, not only Spanish  culture but every culture of the work. I feel connected to Spain on an emotional level, I feel at home surrounded by the beautiful city, beaches, food and culture Barcelona has to offer.

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

I have fond memories of being surrounded by family. My grandmother worked as a tailor and at a very young age I was exposed to pattern making, frequently walking on top of and around patterns in the house. JNORIG embraces this artisan background through both the inner workings of the brand and me as it’s creator. My mother left Latin America to seek out new opportunities and adventures; this restless desire was passed on and sparked in me an interest to study design in different places to absorb different cultural and artistic influences.

MM: What is your favourite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?

In my opinion the best thing about designing for men is that I can create things that are not as explored yet as they are in womenswear. For example men nowadays dare to wear garments that used to be classified as feminine, such as skirts or crop tops. I think we live in a time where I can give men the opportunity to express himself without going too far. There is still room for innovation. And of course it’s great I can design things that I personally want or am looking for but can’t find in stores, which is cool! I think every designer feels passion in creating 'things', making ideas come true and telling a story or a point of view. 

MM: What is the inspiration behind your S/S19 collection to be showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week?

In keeping with our last two collections, SS19 “Complex Minimalism” refreshes the idea of merging two opposite cultures. Our idea is to break with social, political and religious boundaries in the technological era in which we live. On this occasion we chose to express this by merging the simplicity of Amish lifestyle and the complexity of Indian Tribes, who both live life depending on only limited resources. Prints, embroideries and silhouettes have been inspired by the Rabaris, while our black, white and red color story is influenced by the way their men and women dress. On the other side, we have maintained an Amish-like simplicity throughout garments. Classic Amish suspenders inspired the resurgence of straps that are seen throughout this collection, and the typical hand-made Amish blankets are the insight behind black and white patterns. Our pieces challenge preconceived notions about what typical sportswear, and menswear looks like.

Thank you Javier for this insight into your label JNORIG. We can't wait to see your show at Vancouver Fashion Week for the SS19 season.

Follow JNORIG on Instagram @jnorig and check out the website jnorig.es

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