Stella Jean: “This collection reflects me completely”

APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs. Stella Jean: I am a 32 years old Italian–Haitian woman. I find in fashion the necessary room to maneuver, to make my two opposite identities breathe and finally conciliate. I was born and raised in the Italy of the 80s, even though I grew up in a well situated environment, it hasn’t been easy to be the result of a multiracial family.
APiF: What inspired your wax prints collection?
Stella: In my collection I just talk about me and my roots. I am half Italian and half Haitian – Haiti is the First Free Black Republic. That’s why I have decided to melt the European striped shirt (colonialist side) with the wax fabrics – but in a 60s style. This collection reflects me completely.
APiF: How likely is it that you will use wax prints again for a collection? Stella: I’ve start with something that belongs to me and my origins. Now I would like to show how it is possible to melt very different cultures with no limits, but at the same time keep the respect and the consciousness of the traditions. In my video Madeleine I am trying out new combinations such as Hawaiian fabrics and wax prints. And for the F|W 13 collection I’ve melted Scottish fabrics and wax. I will keep melting….
APiF: If your label would be a person, what kind of person would it be?Stella: Curious, emancipated, proud, honest, cultivated, charming, eclectic and bold.
APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece in your closet or of your collection and why? Stella: This (outfit on the right side) is one of the most emblematic ensembles of the collection: Colonialist vis-à-vis colonized.

APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?Stella: We are in the most important Italian boutiques and we will be online, soon.
APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?Stella: Don’t copy, speak out for yourself, try not to pretend and just be you.

Find out more:
f: follow Stella on facebook

  1. This is my favorite post so far! The designer is impeccable in her designs. I'm so moved by it. Words cant describe. Just finished watching her runway show for S/S 12 and wow!. I'm intrigued and excited to buy my first and true african print item. You must take me shopping!!

    Candace Belle

  2. Very nice, I like how she plays with the colonization of the colonizing, almost reminds of Memmi with no fears. And this “keeping the respect and the consciousness of the traditions.” Sure thing. Great post!

  3. I totally understand how you feel. I actually feel the same way when it comes to fashion, something a look can really make me feel connected with it because I sometimes see myself being that way with that outfit. It's hard to explain really but most fashinistas will understand what I'm trying to say. :)