This year for International Women’s Day, we’re all about spreading the love and highlighting female founders that are for the greater good. We’ve chosen to feature Jacqueline Lopez of Jaline – a sustainable womenswear label specializing in ultra-feminine, sophisticated, handwoven accessories and beachwear. Read on for our interview with girl-boss, Jacqueline Lopez, and check out our joint giveaway at the end of the interview!
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where are you from, and how did you get started in the fashion industry?
A: I was born in NYC, but grew up in Spain till the age of 16, moved back to nyc and have been here since. I graduated from FIT with a bachelor's degree International fashion business. I worked in the fashion industry for 14 plus years, holding different roles Sales, Buyer and
Merchandiser. The different roles essentially formed me to become an entrepreneur. I am a self taught designer, my journey began when I moved to Mexico City in 2010. A trip to Oaxaca, exposed me to the most incredible artisanal textiles and I knew then I wanted to learn and create modern pieces from this ancient craftsmanship.
Q: You work with a lot of female artisans based in Oaxaca, Mexico. How important to you is it to keep the business operated mainly by women?
A: Working with women artisans has been an eye opener, I met the women in 2015 at the time there was a male whom I dealt with and shortly after 6 months he left for the US, never to be heard from. At that very moment I worried only because he presented himself as the
master weaver but Lidia and Sara understood and demonstrated they were capable if not even better. At the beginning they never left their town without this man, and through the years I am so proud to tell you they have their own bank account, they bought a car in 2019, they live better than with him and love what they create.
Q: What is your design process like? Where do you find inspiration?
A: My design process starts with vintage sourcing, it starts with a print that is then recreated using elements I find in old books or textiles then I start creating the color palette. This is then translated into my handwoven. I prepare a powerpoint that I present to Lidia and Sara. They are so creative,
interpreting design elements that would merchandise back to my prints. I find inspiration from my travels, museums and vintage.
Q: What are some of your favorite Jaline pieces?
A: It’s funny because I like to design large long dresses/ caftans. Given I am 5’3 would seem strange but I love the volume and dramatic effect of the pieces. This season I love my new accessory line of bag, bucket hat and lulu shawl. And always love Katherine dress and Camila caftan.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about how sustainability ties into Jaline’s mission?
A: Jaline has been sustainably made by women in NYC since 2015. Our cotton textiles are handwoven by female artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico, using looms that are centuries old and require no electricity, thus producing zero carbon footprint. We design with intention, while advocating for women’s rights, environmental health, and use recycled cotton thread as often as possible. Our goal is to preserve cultures while proactively honoring the future of our planet.
Q: What advice would you give other women looking to start their own fashion label?
A: Through Jaline I hope to inspire other designers to work with artisans and learn about their craftsmanship. My advice; would be if there is an interest in working with artisans to feel free to reach out to me. Since I know first hand how to work with the communities and my vision is to expand and bring more communities together in order to create more work.
We’re kicking off celebrations for International Women’s Day by teaming up with Jacqueline and Jaline to bring you a stylish and sustainable giveaway! One lucky winner will win a pair of our NEW lab grown diamond floater studs and the gorgeous Lulu Shawl in Black & Ecru from Jaline! Head to our Instagrams to enter the giveaway: @montserrat_ny and @jaline_resort
For a special look at the Lulu Shawl from Jaline, see the incredible video below of the making of the shawl by Jaline’s incredible artisans in Oaxaca