On the Rise: Juan Carlos Obando

one of the best parts of being involved with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund is getting to work with up-and-coming talent, since each spring, we collaborate with the winners and runners-up on a capsule collection. this year, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund runner-up, eveningwear designer Juan Carlos Obando, gave us a closer look as the inspiration behind his collection.
We were struck by how beautiful your office is—it’s like an art gallery curated
with thoughtful objects.

Honestly, I have always been obsessed with bookstores and wanted to recreate that feeling in my office. I love books. I’m constantly drawing upon them for inspiration or to get an idea going. As for the objects, they’re mostly things I find on my trips—some are rare and old, others are just witty and new, but they make me smile and remember certain moments in my life.

Clearly your background in graphic design has influenced your aesthetic. Tell us a bit more about this transition from art director at Saatchi & Saatchi to fashion designer?
I think that transition hasn’t really happened yet! It’s so funny, people ask this question a lot. I do have things that heavily influence my collections and some of them really come from my interest in graphic design—from the design of the show itself to the lookbooks and garment construction. I think of it as one interlinked narrative.

We’re told you have 1,024 books in your collection. Any favorites?
Juergen Teller is fantastic, and Bruce Weber and really any issue of Egoïste are at the top of my list. And, for sure, anything from Matthew Barney and Richard Serra.
What do you love about 192 Books in Chelsea?
I really love it here—the lighting is great and it’s supercomfortable to browse through books in a tranquil environment. I purchased a Raymond Pettibon book I had been tracking for a while too.
Safe to say these design and art books act as a kind of muse for you when you’re designing?
Always. And sometimes they tell you what to avoid—it all works as a great educational source.

When you think about the pieces you created for us at J.Crew—a silk georgette blouse, a mixed-media jumpsuit, a flouncy polka-dot skirt—do any books in particular come to mind?
I’ll have to go with All-American by Bruce Weber.

Photography by Bryan Derballa.

Special thanks to 192 Books in New York City.

To shop the entire Juan Carlos Obando for J.Crew collection, click here.

On the Rise: Marc Alary

one of the best parts of being involved with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund is getting to work with up-and-coming talent, since each spring, we collaborate with the winners and runners-up on a capsule collection. this year, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund runner-up, fine jewelry designer Marc Alary, tried his hand at costume jewelry just for J.Crew.
Marc, photographed on set with a model wearing a Marc Alary™ for J.Crew passerina tee based on a watercolor design he painted just for us.

Marc told us the Metropolitan Museum of Art is often a source of inspiration for him so we tagged along on a recent visit.

You went to art school originally, what drew you to fine jewelry making?
I started out doing illustrations, but I was always frustrated that I couldn’t carry the illustration with me; I needed to have something I could hold in my hand. Eventually, I started working in fashion doing prints and graphics for T-shirts. It added a new dimension to my work as it related to the body, yet it still wasn’t enough. It was only when I first tried my hand at jewelry that I knew it was what I wanted to do.

Is there a particular period of art you feel is closest to the aesthetic of your jewelry?
That is a good question, but I’m not sure I have exactly the right answer. I’d say Etruscan art and the end of the nineteenth-century Art Nouveau and Lalique. Then there are artists who came much later—Calder, Giacometti and Les Lalanne.

What are your favorite parts of the Met?
I love the Greek and Roman art for the lighting in the gallery, as well as all the tones of the marble statues. But I also love the medieval art and European paintings.

How did animals come to play such a prevalent role in your jewelry design?
My mom was very passionate about animals, and she used to collect books and magazines like National Geographic. I spent most of my childhood flipping through those magazines and fantasizing about seeing those incredible animals in real life.

Apart from the Met, where else do you find inspiration?
In pretty much everything, from something I see in the street or at the flea market to literature (for example, the opera, The Tales of Hoffmann). It could be a show, a ballet or an opera, or a detail of a sculpture or a fountain.

What was it like to work with J.Crew on a collection of costume pieces?
It was very interesting as the turnaround time was very different. I had to let go of controlling every single aspect of the development because normally every prototype is done by hand in my atelier in the garment district. But it was a great experience.

Photography by Bryan Derballa.

Special thanks to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

To shop Marc Alary’s collection of costume jewelry exclusively for J.Crew, click here.

CFDA Fashion Awards: A Love Letter

through our partnership with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, we have the opportunity to work with some pretty impressive up-and-coming talent. on Monday, the CFDA hosted its annual awards event—often dubbed the Oscars of fashion—that recognizes both heavy hitters and names you may not have heard of yet. here, Jenna gives us a cheat sheet to the night’s biggest winners.
Bethann Hardison with model Iman.
From left to right: Liya Kebede, Chanel Iman, Bethann Hardison, Iman and Joan Smalls.
Dao-Yi (left) and Max (right) with Jenna in a peekaboo tank and Jeffries tuxedo jacket, both Public School™ for J.Crew.
Maxwell Osborne and designer Wes Gordon.
Past CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund nominee Wes Gordon with the stunning Liya Kebede. Wes was nominated this year for the Swarovski award for womenswear.
Menswear designer Todd Snyder (left) with actor James Marsden (right).
Rihanna, who wore a leave-little-to-the-imagination custom dress by Adam Selman, took home the fashion icon award. When she accepted her award, she said, “Anna Wintour makes the rules and I break them.”
Fine jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher (left) with model Anja Rubik (right).
Fashion Calendar founder, Ruth Finley accepts her award.
CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund runner-up Marc Alary (left), who was nominated this year for the Swarovski award for accessory design with Vogue Fashion News Director Mark Holgate (right).
The designer and his partner, Seth Weissman.
A Jenna, Karen and Courtney sandwich.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen of The Row, who took home this year’s accessories designer of the year award.

Photography by BFAnyc.com

To learn more about this year’s collaboration with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, click here.

On the Rise: Public School™

one of the best parts of being involved with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund is getting to work with up-and-coming talent, since each spring, we collaborate with the winners on a capsule collection. this year, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School took the top prize—and last night they added the CFDA menswear designer of the year award (!!) to their growing list of wins.
Designers Dao-Yi (left) and Maxwell (right) of Public School. The model wears a Love PS boys tank and an Earliblaze vest vest, both Public School for J.Crew.

The pair launched Public School, a menswear line, back in 2008 and have been designing out of Manhattan’s garment district ever since. As the name suggests, both guys came up through the New York City public school system (Maxwell at P.S. 41 in Greenwich Village and Dao-Yi at P.S. 69 in Queens), and the city acts as a kind of unofficial muse for them.
This February, the guys shook things up and presented a small women’s collection for fall/winter 2014 that went down the runway along with their men’s designs. (Jenna especially loved a pair of slouchy pants they designed, above, that had faux silk boxer shorts popping out the top.) For the J.Crew collaboration, they also tackled womenswear, designing eight pieces, including a mesh peekaboo tank, the Jeffries tuxedo jacket and the PS sweatshirt.
The guys hit the streets near Midtown’s garment district; outside Maxwell’s alma mater, P.S. 41.

Photography by Bryan Derballa.

To shop the entire Public School for J.Crew collection, click here.

New York Fashion Week Roundup

during New York Fashion Week, Jenna showed her support for this year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winners Public School and Juan Carlos Obando, as well as past recipients like The Elder Statesman and Altuzarra, by attending their shows. here, a closer look at some of the Fashion Week action…
Photography by Bryan Derballa.

For more on our New York Fashion Week presentation, click here.

Winner’s Circle

it’s that time again, and we’re sending a big congrats to this year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner, Public School, and runners-up, Juan Carlos Obando and Marc Alary. here, we break down everything you need to know about the competition—including when to get the exclusive collections the winner and runners-up created for us…

Started in 2003 by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and Vogue magazine, it’s a design competition that helps up-and-coming talent develop their businesses. The designers are judged by a committee made up of industry leaders, including Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg and our very own creative director, Jenna Lyons.

The winner and two runners-up are awarded $300,000 and $100,000 cash prizes, respectively, to empower them to pursue their design plans. They also have regular meetings with an assigned business mentor and are given the opportunity to work with Jenna and J.Crew’s design team on a capsule collection to be released in late spring. Plus, there are the (unlimited) bragging rights…

Collections by Public School, Juan Carlos Obando and Marc Alary for J.Crew will be available at jcrew.com on May 21st. Watch this space.

To learn more about our exclusive collaboration with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, click here.

Gatsby Fever

we admit, for months we’d been counting down the days leading up to the release of Baz Luhrmmann’s The Great Gatsby. in honor of the movie’s debut and our soon-to-be-released CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund capsule collections, we’re taking a look back at last fall’s Fashion Fund competition—a finalist challenge sponsored by Tiffany & Co. that fittingly asked the designers for their own take on Gatsby style…
Party photography by Hannah Thomson.

All other photography by Bryan Derballa.

Be one of the first to shop the limited-edition CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund collections on May 21st by signing up for our pre-sale here. Then explore more of our CFDA Vogue/Fashion Fund partnership here.

Getting Ready

look who we spied putting on the finishing
touches before heading out to tonight’s event…

Photo by Bryan Derballa.

© 2014 by J.Crew. All Images and materials are copyrighted by J.Crew unless otherwise noted.

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