Well, it's no secret - we're fond of Female Founders. We're also very big fans of the first female in this series; Jasmine Gescheit, the beauty and brains behind her brand Jasmine Alexa.
Having completed her Bachelor of Design (Fashion) alongside our Creative Director, we have a long lasting love of JA, watching both the founder and the brand flourish with every season. Breathing life into topics of importance through her recent collaboration with Australian retail giant The Iconic, JA has approached Mental Health using her apparel as a fundraiser. She has also steered her brand towards a greener future, choosing to work with recycled materials and local production to cut down on carbon emissions.
Read on to find out more about why we love this label and it's lady so very much.
AC: Tell us about your namesake label Jasmine Alexa. What was the inspiration behind the brand?
JA: I have always lived a very active lifestyle. Even as a child, I was always outdoors and always up for a challenge. I was, and still am, a tomboy at heart. However, as I grew up and dove into a career, I felt overwhelmed by my always on-the-go lifestyle, and couldn’t find clothes that would keep up with me and allow me to transition through my day with ease. I soon realised I wasn’t the only one feeling this way, so that’s where it all begun. Jasmine Alexa is timeless and elegant clothes for the modern, active woman, allowing us to move freely and with confidence through all elements of life. With no flashy prints or bright colours, cool but classic, less but better- Jasmine Alexa aims to seamlessly fits into our everyday life.
AC: You studied Fashion Design here in Melbourne, how does the Melbourne scene inform your aesthetic?
JA: I am a born and bred Melburnian so this city is in my blood. It has shaped my entire life from my career to my hobbies to my favourite coffee spot! But to understand this, you must understand Melbourne. Melbourne is a diverse, multi-cultural melting pot. It is a very active city. People are always on the go, always connected and always curious for more. It is also notorious for having 4 seasons in 1 day (it is currently raining and cold while I type this, and yesterday I was at the beach! Typical!). So the Melbourne lifestyle and the Melbourne way of life, definitely affects my design process and design thinking, because it also my way of life. As mentioned in the first question, it has ultimately shaped and inspired Jasmine Alexa into what is it today.
AC: Recently you have developed ranges using innovative materials, tell us about what you use and why.
JA: Last year, you guys, my dear friends at Ahimsa Collective screened Blue at an event, a documentary about the crisis that is happening in our oceans. I knew things were bad, but Blue made me realise how badly we have polluted our oceans with plastics and waste. It really hit home and I couldn’t get it off my mind. I felt a responsibility to make a change, so I set out on a quest to do so. I found an Italian textile company who have been making recycled textiles for the fashion industry since the 1980s and was blown away by their extensive range and the beautiful quality of their fabrics. This is where I found Econyl, a regenerated nylon yarn made from pre and post-industrial waste such as discarded fishing nets and carpet fluff, which is turned into a beautiful fabric perfect for performance leggings and crops. I have already launched one collection using Econyl, but by next year, all Jasmine Alexa performance garments will be made using Econyl. Aside from this, I am also introducing organic cotton into the range. Conventional cotton has one of the highest environmental impacts per kilogram of material. However, on the other hand, organic cotton only has a quarter of the impact and has a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. It is also grown as part of a balanced ecosystem, resulting in healthy soils and strengthened biodiversity, free from synthetic chemicals (fertilisers and pesticides) so not poisoning the earth and its farmers.
AC: Being an entrepreneur is empowering but challenging, what is your favourite part of the job?
JA: You can say that again! Being an entrepreneur has open my eyes to my strengths, my weaknesses and everything in between! It has allowed me to take risks which has given me the freedom to follow my dreams. Yet, it also comes with a lot of stress and sleepless nights, however I wouldn’t trade it in for the world! My favourite part of what I do though, is seeing my ideas come to life. What may have started as a small idea, or an out-of-the-box dream, seeing that concept in reality is the most rewarding aspect.
AC: Your brand in 3 words would be….
JA: Elegant, meaningful, ease.
AC: And finally, any advice for Fashion Graduates looking to go out on their own?
JA: Whilst I definitely do not have all the answers, I am someone who has taken risks, made mistakes, learned from them and grown, so I can shed a little light and some tips to those who are wanting to go out on their own. In fact, earlier this year, I was asked to address the current graduates from the Whitehouse Institute of Design, the same place I studied almost 10 years ago, and shared with them my 7 tips that I wish I could tell my 20 year old self at my graduation. I feel they are still relevant and true, so I will share them again.
- Don’t be afraid to dream big, but be open to opportunities.
- Follow your heart over your head.
- Know what you’re good at, but more importantly, know what you’re not good at.
- Stay true to yourself
- Be passionate and dedicated, and the rest will follow.
- What goes around comes around, so always be kind and be willing share.
- Do not seek the pursuit of happiness, but rather seek the happiness of pursuit.