Modest fashion with Laura Jane
Disappointed with the clothing available and unable to find pieces that matched her design aesthetic, British designer Laura Jane set out to create her own brand. With bright prints and bold pieces, Laura Jane has since created a collection of flattering pieces that can be worn by anyone. One of the brand's key values is modesty, a trait Laura describes as a strength. According to her; beauty is not necessarily in what you reveal, it is in that that you keep hidden. Here to speak about her modest clothing line, created with the highest quality fabrics, is designer Laura Jane.
Describe a typical Laura Jane wearer?
My designs are very afro-centric, hence my wearers are people who are looking to express that or express heritage. They are also people who are interested in wearing bold prints and standing out.
You only graduated in 2016, and already have set up your own brand. What gave you the guts to start so early?
I couldn’t find an existing company that I fit into due to my strong design aesthetic. When I do something, I feel like I want to do it with 100% of my ability. When I don’t love something, I find it hard to put 100% into it.I started selling accessories and such on Etsy, although it didn’t reflect what I wanted my brand to be. As a result, I decided to launch my brand properly the summer after I finished University.
What has been the most difficult part?
Understanding and trying to create new content has been quite a big challenge. When you first start out, you’re up against a lot of bigger brands, and you are involved in doing all tasks of the brand. I do all the accounting, social media, designs, marketing designs, etc.. And as you can imagine, it is quite difficult.
Why did you use the psalm ‘fearfully & wonderfully made’ as being central to your brand?
As a Christian, my main inspiration is God and I feel like that should be reflected in my brand. I believe every person is fearfully and wonderfully made and I believe my clothes should instil that too. My clothes should instigate confidence and personality in the wearers.
One of your brand values is modesty. Tell me about this value, some might perceive as a negative trait, and how your brand exhibits this.
In the beginning, I too thought modesty was a negative thing. Although, the more I learn about people in general, the more I recognize that beauty is not skin deep. Beauty is not necessarily shown in what we reveal. I’d like to help other peoples see that too, you don’t have to reveal everything to be sexy or beautiful. I just want people to feel comfortable without having to bare all.
Your most recent collection is Mosaic. Why did you choose this as the theme?
Basically I loved the way mosaics are fragmented, yet still joined together. Pieces don’t necessarily have to be perfect in shape or size, but every piece has a place in the bigger picture. I wanted to play with the detailing and mismatching of different details to create a bigger picture.
What’s your favorite piece of your collection and why?
My favorite piece is the Assymetric Fit & Flare skirt because I usually don’t like wearing fitted clothes myself. I sometimes feel when clothes are too fitted, they accentuate your problem areas. Personally, I prefer flared skirts to pencil skirts, but others might prefer the pencil skirt so, I mixed the two together. This allows for more room to move while still having a really nice sleek fit.
Who is your favorite fashion designer?
God really is my main inspiration. Other than him, Andrea Iyamah. I found her this year and loved the way she uses shape and color in her work.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I would love to find a manufacturer in Africa as it would add to the ethos of the brand. Many tailors and seamstresses work in Africa and I would love to provide them with a sustainable source of income.
I would also love to expand to a place where I can give other young designers a platform to grow. I find it very difficult being a young designer myself so I would love to give back to them through events or apprenticeships. I would also like to start looking at getting stockists for my brand as, although it’s amazing to sell through my website, I would love to stock it somewhere else.