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- Photos by Elizabeth Daniels
- Flat sketches and inspiration for an upcoming season.
- Stella & Jamie design under the perfect lighting.
- The team hard at work in the design studio.
- Fancy display featuring press shots of celebs in the brand.
- Stella & Jamie designer April Mun with Sales and Distribution Manager Nick Sansone.
- Bags are being reintroduced to the line!
- What’s a design studio without oversized spools of thread?
- Rock Stella & Jamie lookbook for the younger customer.
- Patterns for days.
- Samples sewn here, don’t touch!
Stella & Jamie designer, April Mun, had quite the trip before settling down in LA. Originally from Korea, Mun grew up in LA, attended FIT in New York then took a coveted job in Italy where she lived for three years. Her now husband and her decided to return to the US and chose LA mostly because the weather is perfection and they like to play golf. In 2006 she started a company with a vision of creating a line that is just as sexy dressed down as it is dressed up, Stella & Jamie was born.
Now, the brand has grown to a 4,000-square-foot design studio, the site of trend-forecasting, fittings and back-to-back meetings with bloggers, celebrities and stylists. Designing four collections a year, Mun says the line is a feminine contradiction and they pride themselves with the use of softer fabrics mixed with materials that are more edgy. She does note that in the beginning, outerwear was what the brand was known for but it is now those fitted cut-out dresses creating all the buzz. "The body-con dress became our new silk dress," she says of the evolution.
How did you come up with the name?
"I decided to start a contemporary line and I thought, 'What am I going to call it?' I already had seven employees and there were these two girls, my assistants, sitting right in front of me. One was Stella and the other was Jamie. I thought, 'these two go together.'"
How did their style inspire the line?
"Jamie was a very trendy, tall model-like girl, a little feminine. Stella was very rocker-ish. She would come in wearing leather belts, leather jackets, all of that. But these two girls loved what I would make, so why don't I create something for both of them? The first collection was filled with silk dresses for Jamie and leather jackets for Stella."
What are the most recognizable S&J details?
"We started with the leather jackets and dresses and the season after that we incorporated leather into dresses. Instead of separates, our dresses came with the leather attachments and we still have that element. It is for somebody who wants to be noticed."
We've got to ask, when are you bringing those amazing handbags back?
"Spring 2015. We're doing a lot of embellishments but we're going to bring the fringe bag back that we're known for. There's also going to be a Coachella collection. We're very excited!"
Tell us about Rock Stella & Jamie.
"Rock is our secondary line of t-shirts, sweatshirts and sweatpants. We do more relaxed-wear with plastic embellishments instead of leather. It's a bio-degradable plastic."
Who is the Rock customer?
"This is the younger Stella & Jamie girl."
We hear you have an blogger project coming up.
"This year our focus has been very different. We're actively working on selecting bloggers to work with and we have two finalists who will be joining us to become part of Stella & Jamie and have a small capsule collection within the brand."
Where are the girls now?
"Stella went back to school and Jamie started her own line."
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