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.
A TALK WITH JENNIFER MOICA, FOUNDER OF JEN MM DESIGN
33: Does your brand position itself as a SUSTAINABLE brand?
Behind the name JEN MM DSGN is myself, Jennifer Moica as the Designer and also the person who does every step of the design and production process. All the pieces are handmade and are either one-off pieces or have a limited availability. Working like this takes a lot more time than for a usual collection to to finish and to make it as good as possible. So this puts me in the slow fashion section and so I believe it is a sustainable brand. As this is something I chose to do, to take time to create pieces that have good quality, good design and clothing that people want to wear and can wear longer than just supposed to some fast fashion pieces or cheaper ones. So for me slow fashion is conscious, quality, ethical and sustainable. So I think that puts JEN MM DSGN in this section.
33: How the brand was born and how many people are involved in the team now?
When I finished my studies I never thought of having an own brand. In the end that’s kind of what’s happened. So here we are.
After the work experiences that I did, I decided to start my brand because I always had an urge to create my ideas. I loved working with other Designers, to see how they work and learning from them pushed me more to do my own designs. I think before I needed a kind of guidance to go through step by step. That’s why it took me time to comprehend that now I can do it. I am still learning but one never stops to learn and that’s a good thing even if it means that I have to do mistakes. This path is a path that takes patience, consistency and love for it, I also had people who supported me and still do. I think that’s one of the main ingredients, loving what you do with passion and commitment. Nothing works out straight away. I also had my brother beside me who also encouraged me to create menswear pieces. From then on I started with little projects and collaborations creating T-shirts, caps and other streetwear pieces for DJs and singers. As I love not just drawing but also photography, I started with doing every step on my own starting from the inspiration, design, pattern, fabric research to the final product and photo shooting. For now I am the person behind everything, from the beginning of the idea and inspiration to the shooting. It’s hard but in the end it is satisfying and worth it and also having a lot of support from a lot of lovely people.
33: What do you think is the biggest challenge for sustainable brands right now?
We are living in an age where sustainability is getting a greater importance the more time passes. Managing waist to reduce environmental impact is very important today.
33: How do you want to achieve the long-lasting concept for your brand?
Of course nothing happens overnight. In future I would like to show more, maybe if I have the possibility also to a wider audience and to get my message and brand
image through to people. Maybe creating more ranges of products and being more accessible for costumers who are interested in the brand. As this is still a young brand I also hope to evolve and grow in what I do. I am very excited to go one step further.
33: How do you determine what is durable design?
A durable design should be in my view well made. It should be a good quality product made out of long-lasting material, have a design that is simple but modern and timeless and that can last in the long-term more than short-term.
33: What happens to that part of a production that does not get sold? How
far do you go in terms of sustainability?
As my designs have a limited availability and some are unique pieces, I will keep them stocked and will get sold for less the next one or two seasons. Of course some pieces might not get sold straight away and there’s some kind of dead stock at the end of the season but for a young brand and designer that’s normal. I think this is the best way for my products. The designs and the products even after one two seasons (or more) are loved by people who buy them and that I appreciate.
33: Where could you serve as a role model for others?
Never thought of that before but I think in terms of role model I am someone who never gave up and am happy and glad that I chose what am doing now. It did took me some time to feel confident in creating what I have now. And I think this is important, to love what you do and keep believing in it. Of course sometimes it is hard and frightening. Being happy and surrounding yourself with positive and supporting people helps. I am not sure where I can be a role model but I only can repeat that if you have passion for something and love doing it or just want to try something out, do it. Otherwise there’s really no point in doing something you don’t believe in. Sometimes it is a long steep way, but what isn’t. With consistence and patience you’ll get there sooner or later.