Who's your favourite brand at the moment?
Let's discuss work wear, you're mostly wearing suits at work, tell us about your favourite brands?
Jessica Awad is a talented Australian designer, she's the creator of Jessica A label and is no newbie on the scene, with much experience and expertise after working for different brands gaining her experience in the industry she has brought her own mark to the fashion industry.
I featured her label in my current shoot
What inspired you to become a fashion designer? Tell us a little about your journey so far…
As a little girl, I was always inspired by clothing and what the new upcoming pieces were, as well as looking through my mother's wardrobe filled with funky pieces from the 70's and 80's, this was my first steps in loving fashion and knowing I wanted to be involved in some way. After studying fashion through high school, i knew this was the industry for me. Through years of experience working under the umbrella of a fashion house and helping brands develop and create pieces into store, it was time to step away from the umbrella and begin my own label to get a touch of Jessica A to public.
What was you experience studying fashion design?
After failing to get into the design course I wanted. I applied and successfully got into a fashion production and design course at a Tafe institution, this in fact, turned out to be my better pathway as it allowed me, not only to learn about fashion design, but the process' involved in taking a design, to a pattern and into production. This was a great stepping stone in learning the trade steps and helped me enormously when i began working in the industry.
Your inspiration behind your current collection
Our current collection "Blossom into winter" range was inspired by the beautiful blossoms in summer I was surrounded by when developing my winter range. As i knew it was going to drop in the colder months, i decided to make the floral a subtle greyscale tone, so it suited the season correctly. Using the blossom print, i wanted to create beautiful but easy silhouette styles, that customer could wear from work to dinner to out on the town without having to change anything but their flats to their heels.
How do you go about sourcing your fabric?
I'm very lucky when it comes to sourcing fabrics, as I have an awesome fabric agent overseas who helps source out the quality fabrics I'm after. When I am forecasting I will look at the upcoming trends in fabrications that are coming through and decide whether or not they are right for my target audience. At the start of every sourcing season, I will send a list to my agent who will find the fabrics that i'm after and will send a library of different options for me to select and choose for the coming range.
Tell us a little bit about your process in creating a collection - from concept to design and creation?
Every collection that is created takes a lot of thought processing and time. I begin by forecasting the trends filtering through from the catwalks of the US and European fashion markets. Its at this point, where I will create a plan of action on the upcoming trends, colours, fabrics and styles that will be the in thing for the upcoming seasons. From here I need to calculate how to change these points of trends to suit the Australian market and to ensure that the Jessica A The Label identity is filtered through these future crazes. Once I have worked out what key points I would like to grasp from the trends, I will begin to design the collection, with a hint of trend but ensuring that our key easy gal attitude of Jessica A stays within the collection. As much as Jessica A likes to be up to the market with designs, our focus of forecasting, mainly transparent's through our prints, colours and fabrications, as we like to keep our styling simple and not overly commercial, as we want our ladies to be able to wear our collections for seasons to come. From here, I then send my designs and specifications of our standard fit to my factories, whom then begin sampling the collection. They will then send these samples to my team and I for fitting, the sampling and fit process will go back and forth until the fit and collection is right. It's at that stage we will begin selling the range.
What is the most challenging thing about creating a label? ……And the most rewarding?
The whole thing is a challenge, from the general fears of whether or not the label will be loved by the world and how to get the word out there that Jessica A exists!!! To the ins and outs of not only running a label but a business ahhh!! It's not all creative vibes flowing, there's even mathematical challenges I face almost everyday, that drives me crazy but it's all worth the stress and lose of night sleeps, when you see a customer in the streets or on social media excited to be wearing your label!!!
How do you feel the name change of your brand? Are you targeting a different audience and what was the story behind the brand label name change?
I am very excited with both the label name change and our new website launch. The new name is a lot more appealing and clean, which relates to the styles that we have always and will always offer. Easy to wear and fresh styling.This season Jessica A. offers retailers a collection that puts a heavy focus on creating pieces that have a designer aesthetic, yet still keeping the collection commercial and wearable, appealing to the labels original market.
We are not targeting a difference audience, we are just wanting to expand it. We are looking at making Jessica A. a brand that will appeal to the Boutique market, as well as continue to sell to our more mainstream retailers. We want to strike a great balance, of still being able to offer our more commercial customers what they want and expect from the label, however our focus has now moved to creating exclusive designer capsule collections within all our ranges, which will be offered only to the Boutique market.
Your biggest achievement with your brand?
Stocking with The Iconic
Describe Jessica A in 3 words
Fresh, Easy to wear, Price driven
Dancing the night away (and singing even though my voice is no Whitney Houston)
Get to know Jessica a little more……
I never leave the house without my… my phone
Favourite song at the moment : John Legend and Sam Smith song - Lay me down
My most prized item in my wardrobe : My prada case bag
flats or heels : heels
Tea or Coffee: Coffee
Special thanks to Jessica xx
Sydney based clothing brand Assembly Label has your apparel essentials sorted. Ranging from basic tees to modern relaxed classic pieces. Completing any go-to outfit for both men and women. Their range is stylish and versatile a must have in anyone’s wardrobe
Damien Horan Studied Visual communication at UWS, then got a job as a graphic designer for Mambo, followed on by Art direction for various fashion & music companies.
Damien met Daniel Oliver in Industry and worked together for two year.
Daniel and Lee Thompson met working together for General Pants, Damien then met Lee through Dan.
And from there the rest is history.
Tell us about what made you want to create ASSEMBLY LABEL, what is your meaning behind it and what you want to bring to this label?
It was a want to create highly considered, functional, easy to wear clothing & products at affordable realistic prices. We also wanted to create an institution which unifies eclectic clothing, homewares & lifestyle products. All this incorporated into a very desirable lifestyle surrounding fine design & coastal living.
What inspired you to create Assembly Label ?
The biggest motivation was the idea it’s self & our love of design.
What inspires you when you’re designing?
Fine design, coastal living, art, music & people.
How do you go about sourcing your products, what are the challenges?
The early days are difficult breaking into a highly competitive market so this creates many challenges with production
How many are in your team?
Four in our team
How did you go about getting your brand started?
Hard work, lot’s of late nights & extreme coffee addiction
How would you describe your personal style? Does it reflect into your designs?
I’d say I have a very relaxed ‘easy going’ style which is naturally reflected throughout the designs.
What is your biggest achievement with your brand?
Opening our store!
Describe a typical day in the office?
Coffee, emails, meeting, design, meeting, emails, coffee
What is the most challenging thing about creating a label?
The crucial decision making, there’s a lot more resting on your shoulders,
……And the most rewarding?
Your in control of your own destiny
And lastly, any advice and tips to people who want to get into the industry!
Be ambitious & consider the hard work behind the scenes, often overlooked in the fashion industry