Founded in New York, Jessture is a contemporary casual womenswear brand pioneered by entrepreneur and designer Jessica Hu.
The motivation behind the brand was sparked by a desire to introduce simple, comfortable and chic clothing to the modern day woman. Massimo Vignelli, an Italian designer once said, “Minimalism is not a style, it is an attitude, a way of being. It’s fundamental reaction against noise, visual noise, disorder, vulgarity. Minimalism is the pursuit of the essence of things not the appearance.” With the idea of minimalism, JESSTURE want their products to have simple elements and minimalist appearance, giving wearers enough freedom to show their own attitude and their innate beauty. Jessica Hu believes clothing is a type of “media” for people to express their true selves.
‘You are the person who defines your own personalities and styles. It doesn’t matter what you wear, all that matters is who you are. Please join us to celebrate your true beauty, and define your own fashion styles.’
Your gesture (Jessture) is your own style.
We had an exclusive talk with Jessica Hu for TSCOF:
TSCOF: How did your passion for design start and how your creative process work?
I think design is a type of art and media that allows me to express and share my thoughts, feeling, and beautiful things in my life. And it’s also a process of creating an artwork that can make our life better (physically or mentally, or both). The power and joy of design give me passion and motivation to live and keep moving on. As a designer, I generate inspirations from my daily life, and use them to create new stuff that makes life better and happier. I kinda enjoy the whole process of generating new ideas and turning them into reality.
New ideas and thoughts usually flow in at night, when I lie in bed and start to reach back to my memories (the places I went, people I met, food I ate, movie I saw, etc…) When new inspirations came in, I put them down on memo then go through the memo the next day. Once the direction and goal is clear, I will start sketching drafts, search for suitable materials and think of the color selections. Can’t really tell which process goes first, they all go at the same time, and sometimes I even go back and forth between the steps for modifications, until eventually all pieces come together as a final collection.
TSCOF: How fashion nowadays helps and motivate you to become a fashion designer?
In the past, people might think fashion was some kind of “privilege” of the rich and the upper class. But nowadays, as more people with different social backgrounds, from different social classes, different generations, and different areas of the world enter the fashion industry, the public become more aware of what “fashion” really is. It’s good to see more people start to understand and appreciate the art and beauty in design. In the past, clothing might be considered as a symbol (a dress code) of a group or a social class. People in the same social group/class dressed up similarly in styles. But nowadays, the society is more inclusive to different preferences and aesthetics. Instead of a group/ social class symbol, clothing becomes more like a personal definition (like a part of the personality) which makes a person outstanding and special. Therefore, now there is more room and freedom for different designs different styles to pop up in the same big market. With more understanding and respect from the society, people feel more comfortable to express their thoughts and true selves. There are so many possibilities are waiting to be discovered in this market. That allows our designers to think larger, go further, create more beautiful stuff to make our life better.
TSCOF: Can you tell us a little bit about your references for the last collection?
My last collection, the Spring Summer 2019 collection, named “light”. I came up with the inspiration late at night, when I was suffering from insomnia caused by the pressure of starting a new season. I tried many ways to fall asleep, none of those worked. So I sat by the windows, turned all the lights off. Then as the lights went off, all of a sudden, I saw a sky full of stars… That reminded me of the painting “The Starry Night” and “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. The light from the sky relieved me and at the moment I realized no matter how dark it is (how helpless and desperate you are), if you keep your head up and don’t give up, you will see the lights (hope) in the sky. That was the birth of my last collection.
TSCOF: Are you sick of people talking about millennials? Do you see yourself as a designer for young people, a new generation?
I won’t judge the thoughts and opinions from the others. Whether “millennials” or “generation x” or “generation y”, for me they are just some kind of “nicknames” used by some people. We are who we are. Each generation has its own path. Each generation has something valuable to inherit and some dross to discard. I want to be a designer for all people. The products I design are based on my thoughts and my aesthetics, and thus they may somehow contain some of my own personality (my labels). The purpose is never to use these characters to distinguish and select our customers, but to share these thoughts and aesthetics to whomever like my works.
If regarding about age, well I might be considered as one of the “young designers”. But it doesn’t mean that I am or we are all designing for our own age groups. In fact, many young designers even design with vintage and old-school styles. I don’t think any of us can or should represent our whole generation, because everyone is so unique and special. If there is a general characteristic of designers from our age group, I guess it might be the “diversity” of our design styles. Rather than forming a “new generation”, we are more like a group of diverse creative young people who want to share our ideas to the world.
TSCOF: How fashion competitions can change the business industry? Will you apply at some in the future?
Fashion competitions brings up consumer demands. The effect of fast fashion pushes companies to shorten their production cycle and increase their efficiency. In order to fulfill the expanding needs, new technologies and methods are being used on production side and sales side. For example, instead of traditional sales methods, companies now can develop mobile app to take orders, or they can collaborate with online e-commerce platforms, some even take orders through social software. As technology evolves, there will be more promotional, sales, and marketing methods for companies to choose. Finding suitable methods to apply on my business will be one of my major business development tasks in the future for sure.
TSCOF: How do you want people to feel when they wear your clothes?
I believe clothing is a “media” for people to express their thoughts and true selves. By offering simple products with attitude and essence, our goal is to provide a “media” for our customers to create their own unique fashion styles.
“You should be the one that defines who you are, not your clothes. Even the same piece of garment, when you dress it in different ways, or mix matching it with different pieces, you create your own unique styles. Everyone has unique personality and preferences. Be who you are, be true to yourself. Don’t let the clothes cover your true selves up.” These are the messages we want to deliver to our customers. So “your gesture (Jessture) is your own style.” We hope our customers find our clothes cozy and chic. And we also hope they can enjoy the freedom of creating their own fashion styles.
TSCOF: What do you think it’s your best-selling piece from your last collection?
There was a blue shirt from my last Spring Summer 2019 collection. It has a ruffled high-neck collar with a thin neck tie, and two detachable bellows chest pockets. I got many positive feedbacks about this piece. That was also one of the favorite looks for the press who watched my last runway show during NYFW.
TSCOF: What do you think about the opportunity of selling your products on online platforms, you think it might be a good showcase for your work and your future?
I believe e-commerce is an inevitable trend in the fashion retail market. For it reduces the costs of sales and brings up efficiency and convenience for sales and supply chain operation. It increases brand exposure and reduces geological restraint of the market as well, so that more people from different places will be able to see our products and purchase them easily. There is still some limitation for fashion e-commerce today however. There may be fitting issues, customers may want to touch and feel the materials. And the colors may not 100% correctly show on the screens, etc… However, I believe as more new technologies evolve, there will be solutions for these problems and issues in the future. In fact some big clothing companies have already been using 3D image and VR technology which allow their customers to see, feel and even try on the garments online. With the fast evolving speed of the technology, I am holding positive perspective to the future of fashion e-commerce.
TSCOF: What young designers need right now from fashion industry to grow up?
I think young designers, from themselves, they need prudence to enter this industry; determination to move on; courage to face unknown challenges, and passion to keep up. In addition, I believe young designers can grow even faster if they can get more opportunities and supports from the industry.
TSCOF: Last song played on your Spotify/iTunes playlist? Who is your favorite artist right now and would you like to see him/her dressed in your collections?
A song called “No Sleep for the Dreamer”, from Boy (a duo-vocal group). Simple lyrics, but the rhythm relieves me from stress and anxiety. I like many artists and singers. But there’s a Korean American singer, she is now a designer and has founded her own brand as well, she’s special to me. Jessica Jung, I first noticed her was because we had the same name. So I downloaded her music, and caught by her voice. I was just a young student at the time, and she was not yet a designer. Throughout the years, her voice and songs brought me courage when I was down and depress. And now we are both a part of the fashion world, how delighted. I would be so proud and honored if she can dress in my collection one day. That will be a goal for me to strive for as well.
TSCOF: List us three favorite designers / icons who inspire you.
Vincent van Gogh (well he’s not a designer, but he is one of my muses).
Alexander McQueen (I admire him)
Phoebe Philo (she inspires me)
Alexander Wang (I find resonance with his style)