Here is another piece from the recent Miami fashion week, thanks to Kat Popiel who caught up with Miami based House Of Jackie Brown. As Jackie York and Emily Brown discuss their inspiration and where they got there influence from compiling in an interesting read.
Jackie York and Emily Brown do what all best friends do; they become roommates in New York, move to Miami during the winter then get inspired to start a fashion brand in the form of a swimwear line. Fusing their first and last names, House of Jackie Brown, is the natural offspring of two sassy twenty somethings who, with passion for the beach, realised that they wanted to save the world from bikinis with big bottoms; There’s really no where in New York city to buy Brazilian cuts except a Brazilian store in Astoria or the Bronx. We decided to put together some cute, fun, skimpy bikinis. Stuff we could not get, bring it out here and be a brand from New York City, says Jackie excitedly, the girl from Queens, a little bossy but full of charm. Emily, the more down to earth of two, giggles, agreeing, Even girls with big asses look great in little bikinis. It almost makes your ass look better.? There is nothing worse than a big white ass with tan lines. That’s not sexy.
Their debut collection of eight styles is entitled Caliente and allocates Latino names to each style; Fruteria, a scented, reversible all over Kiwi pattern comes in hot pink, black and green; Dinero, an injection of bling featuring patterns of chains and bright colours, and Seaweed & Ginger, a play on textured fabrics. Unearthing their ideas in just six months, the girls produced an off-schedule fashion show during Miami Fashion Week, at the recently opened Gansavoort Hotel. Setting up a catwalk at Plunge, the only rooftop pool on South Beach to face the ocean, House of Jackie Brown may not have drawn buyers, but they proved you need to start a ripple in order to make a wave.
The girl who throws on a HOJB creation is one who’s not afraid of texture or bright colours; who is sassy, full of attitude and certainly not lacking in self-confidence to wear the skimpy cuts and risqu loud patterns. John Galliano claims that clothes are the scripts that make you dream. You just have to decide what character you want to be that morning. The HOJB creations can one moment inject you into the bestial backdrop of the Florida everglades or the neon charm of Miami’s South Beach; The HOJB girl could be your Upper East Side girl, goes to the Hamptons and shops. She could be the girl who works 9-5pm and goes to school or works in a retail store, claims Jackie. Or she could be a hipster girl, adds Emily, I feel like any one of our designs could fit into any one of those categories. She just can?t be afraid.
The production of Jackie’s self-started magazine The Exploit during their Miami winter of discovery brought the girls into the practical zone of working together as they focused on photo shoots, models and deadlines. Moving from the idea stage to thriving off one another’s input, the girls have since faced all the nightmares that come with launching a brand, It’s about trial and error. You cannot get frustrated, you have to keep going. In the beginning until you get your cuts right and the first sample right, it’s hard. You get discouraged – it gets produced wrong and its costing money and costing fabric, tells Jackie. Yet Emily considers patience in the sampling process as detrimental to the end product, I became inspired by sorting through different fabrics. That was one of the most exciting parts. We have a lot of reversible ones. So it was fun to be able to play with what matched together. With Emily’s slender model body and Jackie?s curves, the girls focused on achieving a simple collection, just to show people we’re here, we can do this. We did a couple of variations of string bikinis and bandeaus because that?s what fits different body types.
Jackie credits her mother style as a major influence, My mother’s style is 100% Queens. She is like the Good Fellas wife but way better. She describes her own personal style as classic, conservative, gaudy; You know the bright colours, big earrings, gold high heels and big hair. Seriously, those women would be embarrassed to stand next to her. I have all of her old clothes and accessories from the 80s and 90s. That’s definitely what has influenced HOJB. We’ve been mixing it in with our designs and trying to bring in that old feeling. Emily credits vintage more than flashness, attributing her mother’s home sewing efforts as a role model for her awareness of making fashion possible. She is down to earth, attentive to detail, quiet to let Jackie over take the conversation, even smiling knowingly that these massive gaps in their personalities is what allows them to interchange their style and create this alter-persona in their brand. Then Jackie clarifies one thing, ?When she gets dressed up though, she’s definitely not granola. She’s not a hippy. Emily smiles, We can wear the same outfit and it will look different on us.
Armed with a vision for The House of Jackie Brown, the next collection will include beach accessories; sunglasses, towels, hats, bags and shoes. We want people to know that we?re not just a little bikini collection. We are a full brand and we’re going to blow up, determines Jackie with Emily quick to pipe in; It’s not just a fashion house but literally symbolic of our shared closets and adding our accessories to our collection will make us sit well in the mainstream fashion world. Living in New York, Emily works part time in bars whilst Jackie hustles in the real estate market, but they are big players on the party scene hanging out at Santos, The Box and Max Fish; being young, fresh and fun and translating these values into their brand personality. We want you to be able to wear our stuff at the clubs. I see girls in New York wearing those American Apparel bandeau tops but ours are way more fashionable. Next season we’re making more one pieces, exclaims Jackie. She further explains that it’s this fusion of the public and private that gives House of Jackie Brown their point of difference. For Emily, it’s this slow initiation into people’s fashion palettes now that will progress them into a thriving brand, You can wear one of our bandeau tops with an oversized wife beater. It’s definitely more of an accessory. It’s not just a bikini.
Caliente will be at Magic this August 2008 with the new collection launching December in preparation for Summer 2009?
House of Jackie Brown is available online and at Valley NYC.