How One Designer's Persistence Led To Milan Fashion Week
This weekend the fourth installation of Haiti fashion week is underway, with the theme "Nurture Haiti." The event brings more than 40 designers from the Caribbean, the U.S. and the Dominican Republic to showcase their collections from Nov. 5 to Nov 8. This years fashion week is also honouring Haitian-Italian designer Stella Jean and France for being pioneers in the fashion world.
Jean, whose mom, Violette Jean, is from Haiti, and Italian father, Marcello Novarino, uses the mothers maiden name as a way to represent both her origins. Something she's also mindful of in her designs.
Jean's designs merge the exoticism from her creole heritage with the craftsmanship of her Italian roots as seen in her 2015 Spring collection (courtesy of Fashion Bomb Daily) pictured below.
Jean started out in the industry as a model when she dropped out of university to pursue it. She's a self-taught designer who in July of 2011 won the prestigious Vogue Italia talent competition "Who Is On Next." This after having been previously rejected two years in a row British Vogue discloses.
3 words, never give up! Here's an entire fashion week honouring her talents, and yet this may never have happened had she given up and not applied for the contest the 3rd time around. Jean debut her collection in 2012 at Milan Fashion Week, and in 2013, in an unprecedented move, Giorgio Armani personally selected her spring/summer 2014 collection to show in his Teatro show space during Milan Fashion Week.
Not only shouldn't you give up, but don't let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. Jean is self-taught!! Jut because you didn't get formal education doesn't mean you didn't get educated. And if you have to prove yourself again and again until "they" take notice, then so be it. Don't give away your power and let others dictate your future. Keep at it and stay persistent.
Last year Jean collaborated with the International Trade Centre's Ethical Fashion Initiative. As a result, the printed fabrics for this collection were sustainably sourced, hand-crafted and aimed at helping trade workers in disadvantaged communities in Africa. You know how I feel about giving back. It's the bomb. You should do it. Lol.