Stella Jean exploded onto the fashion scene as one of the emerging designers to know from Milan Fashion Week in 2014. With her playful approach and hard-to-miss design aesthetic that screams summer fever, hers is definitely one of the brands that has captured the region’s best-dressed women’s attention. The fact that Dubai-based concept boutique Symphony asked to collaborate with the fashion designer on a limited-edition Ramadan capsule collection is just further proof of the brand’s popularity in the Middle East.
In this exclusive interview, Savoir Flair gets to know the Haitian-Italian fashion designer Stella Jean (who confirms that we’ve been saying her last name correctly, “I would say that ‘John’ is pretty close without emphasizing on the “n” at the end”), the mastermind behind the brand that’s heavily fueled by prints and passion.
On Her Favorite Print
“Prints are part of my collections and they’re like children to me. How could I choose just one? They are so deeply an essential part of the creative side of my work that I could never choose.”
On How to Wear Prints
“I don’t think there is a wrong way to wear prints. What matters is opting for a style made by curiosity, experimentation, audacity, and a pinch of irony – always marked by a personal, unique, and visible touch.”
On Making Prints Work for You
“We shouldn’t assume that a plain color serves to mitigate the impression of a total look of prints. Sometimes, it’s much better to use another print rather than a plain color to dilute the overall effect of the look.”
On Her Passion for Design and Prints
“Fashion is my most authentic communication medium through which I have been able to express and resolve the sense of inadequacy that has guided me through the first years of my life. Everything started because of my need to use fashion as a cultural translator, to find my own expressive language, and a tool against colonization – re-establishing the balance between symbols, stories, and different worlds through style. In particular, fashion gives me ample space to maneuver and find a place where different cultures could coexist.”
On Dealing With Rejection
“Being rejected twice at the Who Is On Next? contest gave me motivation, and I tried to figure out what was wrong. The turning point was probably when I decided to undress myself of every superstructure and tell the world who I really was. And here was the final click. I’m not a person who gives up easily, so I took it as a challenge and that’s something that’s very stimulating to me.”
On Creativity and Inspiration
“My eyes are always looking towards the future and the possible historical and cultural combinations for a cross-creativity that does not put limits on social and textile combinations.”
On the Future of Her Brand
“I still have much work to do and now it is very important to think about consolidating my structure. There’s still so much to learn and discover. I have many ideas, but I can’t reveal anything. I’m very superstitious and I prefer the facta, non verba philosophy.”