Meet Jamie Dawes.
Jamie has been designing reworks for Frankie for almost a year now and we are very happy to have her on the team. We asked her a few questions to find out what makes her tick.
Give us a rundown of your life in fashion thus far and how you can to be the head designer for Frankie?
I started making my own clothes when I was 13 years old. I loved my home economics class so much that I somehow convinced my school to let me take 2 of those courses a year and no other electives. Naturally, after graduation, I went on to take the Fashion Design and Technology Degree program at The Wilson School of Design. I did my thesis on upcycling clothing and made an entire collection of garments from thrift stores. I love the idea of rescuing something that was overlooked, taking it apart, and putting it back together in a way that is unexpected, thus giving a garment a new life. I have always wanted to work for a company with the same values as mine. Landing the head designer position at Frankie after working in the industry for a couple of years at various companies was a dream.
What is it about Frankie that you love?
Well for starters I love that we are a Vancouver based company. It’s pretty rare to find that nowadays and the fact that we design and manufacture in our own studio allows us to monitor every step of our supply chain. We are able to keep vintage clothing and waste out of the landfill and make it into something with purpose again. The fashion industry is one of the leading wasteful industries in the world and the fact that we can still be involved and not add to the problem is inspiring.
What do you see for the future of sustainable fashion and how is Frankie playing a role in that?
Finally, everyone is jumping on the sustainable bandwagon. We as consumers have slowly shifted the mindsets of these mass manufacturing companies to finally see value in preserving our planet. Whether these companies have has an epiphany or they are just grasping at the next big thing, it doesn’t matter, it’s all for a good cause.
Frankie is an originator in this industry and has always been transparent about what we are all about. We are dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint while still offering the most fire women’s clothing in the game. Our girls have always known and loved this about our brand and that’s why we appreciate them so much. We do it for the right reasons and we look good doing it.
This is just the beginning of the trend and it’s about time. The fact that everyone is slowing coming around to the idea is not only great for our planet but it’s great for us as consumers in general.
What are your current style inspirations?
Streetstyle has become just as important as the runways show these days so always keeping up to date with what’s happening is very important.
At the same time looking for inspiration outside of fashion is what’s going to set you apart as a designer. At the moment, unconventional materials as clothing is incredibly inspiring to me and we will hopefully be seeing examples of this in our upcoming collections.
Top 5 instagram accounts and why?
I like all of these accounts because they all bring something different to the table. They all inspire me in different ways whether it’s Nicole’s custom reworks to Lukas effortless street style. I could name a million more but these are definitely the ones I keep my eyes peeled for and always look forward to seeing. Dachshund Bois because I need to break up the fashion overload sometimes.
Top 3 favourite sustainable brands?
I couldn’t just list 3. All of these brands offer a luxury product with sustainable values and its definitely worth keeping an eye out.
You recently attended complexcon with Frankie, what’s your thoughts on the current state of streetwear and how do you see women fitting into that?
It’s very exciting because in the past, women's streetwear was simply women wearing men’s clothing, but that's changing. We’re taking on a whole new role in the category and we’re not taking inspo from the men anymore. Complexcon was definitely the place to see these women all joined in one place. Streetwear can be so many different things but it always seems to boil down to the shoes. Whatever streetwear sneaker you are wearing you can pair it with any type of outfit and it looks good. From wearing flowy summer dresses to the hard tactical look, you can always wear a street style shoe and have it look dope. Women are so lucky because we have 100x more options than men do when it comes to clothing. We can wear any silhouette or shape and can truly get creative. Women are going to be at the top of street wear in no time, that’s why working for Frankie is so exciting. Its women designing for women by women really showcase the styles that we want but don’t see out there in the marketplace. Being at Complexion really got me refreshed and inspired again. To see first hand how much the women loved what we were doing really got me excited to go home and start prototyping.
Nike vs adidas?
I have always been a Nike girl. I can’t explain it. Maybe because Nike is American and Adidas is European, I was more heavily influenced by the American brands growing up. I just feel like the 3 stripes are a bit loud and I like the simplicity of the swoosh. It’s really just a personal preference but I appreciate the designs of both companies.
Louis Vuitton vs Gucci?
Louis Vuitton hands down. Virgil has taken the brand to a whole new level and I love everything he’s put out. He has taken something like high fashion and brought it heavily to the music scene, the skateboard scene, and has made it more relatable than ever before. Big inspiration.
If you could pick any clothing designer past or present to be your mentor who would it be?
It’s always been Balenciaga. Even way before they got into streetwear and became incredibly popular again. Cristobal Balenciaga’s work in the 1920 and onward would be my “if I could go back in time” moment. It’s always been modern, even back then. He’s always manipulated the relationship between clothing and women’s bodies and it’s so inspiring. It’s bold and one of a kind the way he deconstructs to create new things. Even a simple bubble sack dress looked effortless and chic. To learn his techniques or just to sit and watch him work would truly be incredible.
What is in store for the future of Frankie collective?
This is the most exciting question because there are a lot of things planned for Frankie. We have come so far since we first started but in my opinion, it’s just the beginning. We just opened our first physical store front downtown Vancouver and are planning our next location as we speak. We have a small team so getting the quantities we want is a bit of a challenge. Our drops usually sell out within the first day so we will be expanding our team in order to give you more!
We are also experimenting with materials that we have never used before and really pushing the boundaries of streetwear. We will be doing a bunch of exciting collaborations this year and working with a lot of new people, so stay tuned!
Follow Jamie here @jamieldawes