The perfect addition to anyone’s wardrobe is a transitional piece that can easily complement a day-wear work ensemble and just as seamlessly impress at a cocktail party or while dining at a 5-star gourmet restaurant, later that evening. Upon hearing the term T-shirt, usually the image drummed up is one of grueling workout-wear or a rumpled bit of fabric thrown on before heading out to run errands, yet, designer Jacqueline Piron has revolutionized this form of fashion that has been known for comfort and casual by making gorgeous and quality tees that are versatile and attractive, yet maintain the comforts of late-night lounge wear
Inspired by her travels to Europe, Japan and the United States, including various historic cities, Jacqueline has named her collections and individual pieces based on these cities along with important people in her life. One individual who holds a special place in the designer’s heart is Piron’s mother who designed “one-of-a-kind luxury sweaters made with French angora, pearl buttons from Harrods, silk and mohair yarns from Germany and Italy,” as the designer relays herself.
La Vie Chic had the pleasure of speaking to Jacqueline about her road to success and her plans for upcoming collections. When it comes to Piron’s training, education and inspiration that has been pivotal in allowing her the business sense to build a brand and continue to achieve such recognition, it all comes down to a mix of hard work and experience, along with enjoyment of the world around her.
“I graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business and travelled extensively to Europe, Japan and the United States. During my trips, I honed my business skills and gathered inspiration from museums, art and fashion from around the world. [T]ravel definitely impacts my designs. Whenever I visit a new city I always visit their fabric stores to find unique embellishments. I also visit museums and galleries – I am a big art fan! So I will pull inspiration from colours in paintings. Finally, I love looking at the local street style. Every city has a different feel and different style. I will just park myself at an outdoor café and take it all in.”
The notable Canadian designer also shares that doing a bit of research about the market and what was missing from it, also caused her to find a niche and fill a void in the world of transitional and chic fashion.
“I am combining my love for business, and fashion and picking up where my mother left off; incorporating similar embellishments to my luxury t-shirt designs. There is a missing market for beautiful, quality shirts with unique embellishments and a superior fit.”
When it comes to staying focused and succeeding in the competitive fashion industry, Piron reminds that balance is key.
“In this business every day is different and exciting. Some days involve sitting down with my designing team to design a new collection and meeting with the production team. Other days include photo shoots and events. The key to succeeding in this industry is balancing the business side with the events and networking. The days can be long (especially in high heels!) but it’s worth it in the end.”
Although from looking at her collections and attending her runway shows, which I had the pleasure of sitting front row for, and was entirely impressed, might I add, Jacqueline has experienced challenges and bumps along the way while building her brand to be what it is today. As in any line of work that involves relying on others for various skills and collaborations, Piron notes that it has been finding the best team members to fit her brand and her vision, which has been the most challenging feat.
“The biggest challenge I face is finding the right team members. This is especially critical in the luxury market. My team includes sewers who are leaders in their field and have an eye for detail. My shirts are made from the finest quality materials so it’s important to find the right people who know how to work with the specific materials (i.e., bamboo lycra, Japanese lace and leather from Italy).”
The latest Jacqueline Piron 2016 collection is all about the New York city-chic woman . The designer describes the collection as “a little sexy, a dash of cool and a hint of class,” also sharing that she “focused on black, white and grey colours and unusual cuts that flatter all figures and mix with a variety of wardrobe pieces.”
Piron also reminds that she designs for all women from 18 to 80 years of age, stating that although women of vastly different ages wear the same pieces designed by her, they will style them completely differently to suit their own original look.
“For example, some wear a white blouse underneath the shirt for work and others wear the plunge shirt with leather pants for a night out,” Jacqueline says.
Piron has more than incredible designs to show for her hard work and smart business sense. She has received an award from CAFA as the hottest emerging designer and her line has also been welcomed into Canada’s top luxury department store, Holt Renfrew. Piron shares her excitement about Holt’s acceptance of her pieces.
“Being accepted into Holt Renfrew was amazing. Holts is Canada’s top Canadian retailer and I am so grateful for their support.”
Stylists are constantly keen to get their hands of Jacqueline’s latest tees and some top celebrities have donned the stylish and versatile duds by the designer- Beyonce, Jessica Chastain, Jessica Alba, Lea Michelle, Jamie Cheung, Rachel McAdams, Chloe Grace Moretz to name a few. Piron shares about a handwritten letter she received from actress Jessica Chastain, and the excitement she felt when she read it.
“When I received a handwritten card from Jessica Chastain saying how much she loved my shirts was another meaningful moment. I started jumping up and down when I read it and actually severely injured my foot! But it was worth the pain, [haha].”
All the love that Piron has received for her fabulous designs of women’s tees has got the beauty thinking about expanding to menswear. Jacqueline has already dabbled in the world of men’s fashion by launching her own Swarovski crystal bow ties but sees herself designing men’s tees in the next five years.
When it comes to advice she has for aspiring designers, Jacqueline is candid and straightforward about the fact that balance and not letting the creative excitement take a hold too much is pertinent, so that the budding designer avoids getting in over their head financially.
“I would tell them to balance your business plan and your creativity. It is easy to lose yourself in the creativity and drown in expenses -look book shoots, fashion shows, public relations, etc. – but the key is to have a strong business plan and keep your expenses in check.”
To learn more about the Jacqueline Piron brand and to shop her gorgeous pieces, visit the Jacqueline Piron website.
By Jessica Ashley Dafoe