Not too many designers can create a line that looks like a UN General Assembly and make it work. Stella Jean can.
The Italian designer with Haitian roots has made her mark in the fashion world with her sophisticated, yet wearable, pieces. Tapped by Giorgio Armani to present her spring/summer 2014 collection in his Milan show space, Jean is seen by the veteran designer as one of “the new generation of Italian designers that needs our support.”
Jean’s mix of masculine-feminine, African-European-Caribbean styling wrapped in a 50s silhouette is on full display in this year’s fall collection. Classic shapes of tailored jackets, pencils skirts and flowing trousers are given a fresh twist with wax prints from her mother’s homeland of Haiti combined with stripes and “traditional” motifs reflecting her Italian father.
But the 34-year-old isn’t just about fashion for fashion’s sake: She’s also involved with the International Trade Centre (ITC) Ethical Fashion Initiative, a UN project. Jean sourced her fabrics from artisans in Africa and Haiti, providing work and a reliable income for women in the areas.
“The world doesn’t need more clothes that are simply beautiful. We must start giving our clothes meaning,” she told the Swiss magazine annabelle in an interview.