Jennifer Moica, Italian young designer, born and raised in NRW, North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany, showed from an early age the passion for creating and drawing. This passion lies in the families DNA. Her grandmother, from Sardinia, had a love for sewing and tailoring for the whole family and friends. Jennifer attended the AMD Academy for Fashion and Design in Düsseldorf. During Fashion Design study she improved her skills, creating and developing a design concept and showed a lot of passion and determination. Meanwhile she did presentations and presented her collections and works on the runway, amongst which in 2011 and 2012 won twice the „Fresenius New Talent Award 2011 in Fashion Design (B.A.)“ and the year after the „Fresenius New Talent Award 2012 Fashion Design (B.A.)“.
After her work experience in Düsseldorf and London, she decided to start a label from scratch, so in 2015 she opened her first online store and JEN MM DSGN brand.
FOCUS ON: JEN MM DESIGN, A CHAT WITH JENNIFER MOICA
KREEP: How did your passion for design start and how your creative process work?
Since at a young age I was very fascinated about art, paintings and anything other that had deep meaning to it, anything that not just has an outside beauty but which has an impact on me. I was always someone who loved drawing, like probably many designers did when they were little. Obviously design and art were my favourite things to read, research and even at school. So very early fashion became somehow part of it as it’s also about expressing yourself and the creation of something new. This not only relates to art or design but also to music. For me design or fashion is a way to create something that is now or what will be future-wise, something that is important for me, to express myself and create a piece that is in my head, and make it alive just how I imagine it.
Normally it all starts with the inspiration, depending on what it is, something I read, a quote a certain image, even the smallest detail, a fabric pattern or an idea, anything that excites me to research more about the subject. Further research leads me then to other aspects of the theme which inspires me to develop the basic idea that I put down and visualize by doing collages, drawings, trying to write the first few lines. This stage is basically collecting the inspiration and trying to put the topic and my message together and trying to resume the ideas of what my designs could look like which can change while working later on the toiles. This part is very interesting because it leads you to different things and topics and aspects you haven’t even thought about it in the first place when starting to research.
After I got my designs I chose for the theme, do the first patterns, first toiles and later fittings which also can change while working and fitting them. Then follows the search for the right fabrics, sewing the first pieces, eventually grading and thinking about how the styling and shooting is going to look like. This is the plan that I follow most of the times. Sometimes it also can be the other way round, which means first the design idea that I’m excited about to do, then follows the rest. I don’t rigorously stick to one plan or process. It can change from time to time. I believe a creative process can differ as well as inspirations do.
KREEP: How fashion nowadays helps and motivate you to become a fashion designer?
I can be inspired by a lot of different things, what I see, hear or read. Inspiration is everywhere for someone more than for others. Therefore I can get inspired every day. I think it is very important to see what current trends are and what is going on in the fashion world. I always do research on trends, collections and other topics to be up to date. When the research meets my inspiration it does get me motivated to keep on working on it. But the most important thing is to know what’s going on, what are the newest things right now, which ones will be and what is going on in the world as well to understand and to get inspired.
KREEP: Can you tell us a little bit about your references for the last collection?
My last collection is called „Impulse of time“. It means to be into the pulse but together it’s a drive, a motivation of an unexpected act, a tendency to do something unexpected. Our time is beating and needs a drive to steadily be new and vibrant. It invites to be more spontaneous, couragious, curious to new ways and not being afraid with experimentation. In between todays monotonous blacks and whites there is an energy missing that I have been searching and proposing in this collection. A new impulse to catch and that gives you strength. Inspired by Yve Kleins’ art and forms of Le Corbusier the collection is put together with strong blue tones, the infinte that the artist had in mind and outlines of simplified naked bodies which in my own way translated into prints.
KREEP: Are you sick of people talking about millennials? Do you see yourself as a designer for young people, a new generation?
My brand, JEN MM DSGN is urban wear fused with alternative focusing on menswear, womenswear and unisex as well as accessories. The brand targets young people which might also be millennials or not, that’s questionable. I do welcome anyone who loves and likes the style my designs have and love wearing them. I also got a lot of older generation who loves my brand.
KREEP: How fashion competitions can change the business industry? Will you apply at some in the future?
Well, I think fashion competitions are great for young designers to showcase their work and their skills as it is very difficult nowadays to break through and to make their way to this industry. It’s also great to get support and to achieve a greater audience. I never got the chance to apply to any competitions but I hope in near future I can do so.
KREEP: How do you want people to feel when they wear your clothes?
First of all he or she must feel himself or herself. Not awkward or anything, just feel confident in wearing the piece, unique and happy. Every single design is handmade and almost the majority of the products are one-off pieces. Once someone said, when wearing my designs one can feel the difference and see oneself not in the usual outfits but different to other clothes they wear and they also feel good wearing them. Hearing that is really satisfactory and it is what I intended to do with my clothing.
KREEP: What do you think it’s your best-selling piece from your last collection?
Together with t-shirts and jumpers, the bomber jackets of each my collections, either womenswear line or menswear line, are always the best-sellers.
KREEP: 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?
Not everything is as easy as some people think it is. I think this a good way and opportunity for designers above all for young designer to sell and showcase their collections online. I do also sell and showcase my work on online platforms. I think as a young designer and a young brand it is important to show your work wherever you can and be visible when you get the possibility to do that. Presence is essential to show what you can do, even if it is online.
One point I noticed and realized being at the beginning: be visible as much as possible and wherever you can and show what you can do.
KREEP: List us three favorite designers / icons who inspire you.
There are so many I really like and who inspire me. Alexander McQueen’s designs, his vision, the way he presented his work on the runway were extraordinarily brilliant! He was unique. He created a world an illusion where you could not only see but also feel what he wanted to convey with his collections. Like diving into his mind. He was and still is one who influenced me a lot. Others that inspire me are Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo. I love their style, aesthetics and their silhouettes, detached from the traditional ideal of beauty which is really inspiring. I also love the world of Gareth Pugh.
Every silhouette has a very strong statement. And I do like Vivienne Westwood. I like her creative process, getting inspired by art, historical epochs, culture and is also a political activist and fights for environmental issues.