I recently got word from a coworker at the Uxibal store that a designer had passed through the shop interested in making artisan connections in Guatemala. With a little questioning, I learned that the designer, Jacqueline Lopez, has created a brand Jaline which works primarily with weavers in Oaxaca (one of our favorite places) to create high-end handwoven garments. We immediately reached out to Jacqueline and have since enjoyed collaborating and wearing her handwoven Fisherman Knot skirt around on our adventures.
We caught up with Jacqueline to learn more about the start of her business and her creative process.
Tell us a little bit about where you're from.
I grew up in Spain until I was 16 and have been in New York ever since. I have dual nationality and feel lucky to have been exposed to two different cultures growing up.
Did you study fashion design somewhere or are you self-taught?
I did study at FIT, but not design. I actually studied International Business. For 15 years I worked in the business side of the industry as Director of Sales and Global Women's Merchandiser with Maxmara, Agnona and Faconnable.
When did you start Jaline?
What inspired you to start Jaline?
I was living in Mexico City for a little bit and taking vacations to resort destinations during that time. I realized there as a niche market for easy, fluid dresses that can be worn at the beach, in the day and into the evening.
How do you get inspired for your collections?
Oaxaca. It's a colorful and vibrant city in Mexico. It inspired me in the beginning of my brand creation and still continues to inspire me today.
What's your favorite thing about Oaxaca?
The colors! And of course the food. Also, the people, the sky, the architecture...
Tell us a little more about the artisans you work with.
I am very fortunate to have met talented artisans, primarily 2 families, who are open and willing to modernize traditional techniques. We use traditional inspiration, adding new silhouettes, patterns and colors that make the designs more fresh and modern.
Where's your favorite place to travel for textile inspiration?
Every country has its beauty, and all travel is so inspiring. Everyone should travel. My most recent trip was to Guatemala where I absolutely fell in love! Definitely a source of inspiration for my next collection debuting in Spring of 2017.
How do you hope to see Jaline grow in the future?
It's hard to envision far ahead, but ideally I would love to have a boutique where I can expand my offerings. It would have one-of-a-kind unique pieces. I would also like to help expand the families I work with into a full artisan community, making sure their techniques and workmanship continue to get passed down.
Images courtesy of Jaline Designs.