Kaneo: Tell me a little about yourself and your brand and how it started. Jessica: Well, I’m 3rd generation from California… I grew up in the surfing community and spent most of my childhood on a beach. I started the line really as a fluke. It was sort of a split decision. I had come to a crossroads in my life where something needed to happen, if you know what I mean. it’s honestly been my saving grace, I am very grateful.
You are launching your collection today! Tell us about the collection, the inspiration behind it, everything we need to know about it and also why you decided to launch it with Ellements Magazine. Yes! I am so excited. The Spring/Summer 14 Collection is my first full range of not only tees but dresses, short, pants, and pullovers. Comfort is always at the forefront of my mind. I also ask myself what do I feel like I personally want/need? I wanted Ellements to be the first to write about the launch because the magazine has such a young and fresh vibe, felt like a perfect fit.
When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer? Being a designer is kind of something that chose me. I’ve always loved clothes and had ideas of things I wish were out there, but I never followed through with the idea of making things myself. One of my best friends mentioned one day that he thought I should be a designer and I told him it was ridiculous! Then, pretty much the next day I decided to start my own line. He planted the seed. He takes the credit as well haha.
How do you define your taste in Fashion? I can’t! I am all over the map. I definitely have a laid back LA style.. I like the mix. Jeans and a tee with sneakers or boots will always be my go to “uniform” but I also like to be really girly too- just depends on my mood and the occasion.
What was the first piece of clothing you ever designed? Shorts! Shorts that I still haven’t made! The first piece that I actually designed and made- was the “Paradise Tee” from my first capsule collection last summer.
What are some of your accomplishments as a designer/brand? I am so grateful for everything that has happened over the last year. The response the line has gotten has been so overwhelming. The fact that people love and live in the pieces is insane to me! It’s the coolest feeling. Getting recognized by Glamour Mag was a pretty awesome moment. Being on The Bachelor recently was really cool too! We are going into some amazing stores this season and that is totally surreal as well.
Who are some of your favorite designers? McQueen, Chloe, DVF, Marc Jacobs, Celine…
How do you select your models? I am lucky to have some amazing and beautiful friends (Nikki and Cleo) who also happen to be a perfect representation of the “Mint” girl-next-door surfer babe..
Fall 14… it’s just brainstorming mostly. It’s about finding ways to let our lifestyle come through in the photos. And a lot of steaming clothes haha.
What are some of your favorite clothing stores/catalogs/websites? Aw man… Zara, ASOS, Nordstrom, Dolce Vita, Top Shop, I could go on and on.
What do you believe makes a quality piece of clothing? Material is very important to me. This collection is all made out of our signature cotton blend, made to last a lifetime! I am sick of shirts that pill up and rip after one wash! I was determined not to be that. Also fit, I am petite and I have a background in styling.. fit is something I am particular about.
What matters to you most as a fashion designer? That women feel confident and comfortable in the clothes that I make.
How do you prepare for a fashion shoot? Our shoots have all been very off the cuff.. I have some fun new ideas for the next shoot for
How would you define the style your line exemplifies? stylish.. Pure California. It’s in my blood.
What are some of your fashion goals? Also what advice can you give to the newer generation of designers in reaching their goals? I’ve got a lot. New ones every day. Continue to grow and expand the line is the main one. My advice would just be to believe in yourself. I know that sounds predictable and like a throw away answer, but being confident that you can do whatever you put your mind to, no matter obstacles stand in your way- that is honestly the best advice I could give.
What is the first thing that came to your mind when you found Ellements Magazine? Visually it’s just beautifully put together. Very clean and an obvious point of view, which I love.
Where can readers find out more about you and the brand? Where to buy and where to get updates? Tons of info including photos, lookbooks, media, press, blog.. all on the website www.mintclothingcompany.com