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.