All Eyez On...Jibri Couture
Original Post Date: July 2007
Belle-Noir (BN): Thank you taking the time to sit with Belle-Noir. Before we learn more about Jibri, tell us more about the woman behind Jibri. Who is Jasmine Elder?
Jasmin Elder (JE): Jasmine Elder is just a girl who loves all things beautiful and fun. I’m originally from Atlanta but I am truly a gypsy girl. I’ve lived all over the world. I get most of my inspiration from my journeys.
BN: What was the inspiration for starting Jibri?
JE: I’ve been creating my own garments since I was about 14 years old. I would stay up every night making something more shocking than the night before. I would glue and staple fabric together to make that “one day” look to have everyone in school talking all day—It totally worked. J Then I met Jibri Mann, my high school friend and fashion mentor. He taught me how to actually “sew” the fabric together and how to create a dream garment that I could wear forever. My company is named after him. As a plus size designer, people usually expect me to say, “I couldn’t find clothes I loved that fit properly”, but honestly—I never even looked. I had my own perspective—my own story and I wanted to tell it my way—through my clothes. When I looked around, I noticed that even if I had looked I would never find what I wanted. I knew I couldn’t possibly be the only fashion addicted wild child in a size 16 so I officially started designing a line of clothing.
BN: On your website you state that Jibri is "dedicated to creating street couture" Define "street couture".
JE: Well—the classic sense of the term Couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom fitted fashions. Throughout history, the designers deemed “Haute Couture” controlled fashion trends. Currently there are only 13 designers that have been approved as “Couturiers”, but today more than ever before it is clear that the inspiration for the highest form of fashion comes directly from the street. The real people—the real style makers. So Street Couture to me is just that— a combination of street style and Parisian Haute Couture.
Leopard High Waisted Skirt & Victorian Blouse
JE: I love love love Giambattista Valli (High fashion costumes—who could ask for anything more), Patrick Kelly (truly and innovator), Heatherette (Party Monsters – I love it), John Galliano (His clothes are like fantasies come to life), Abaete (Beautiful Time Pieces), and Comme de Garcons (Futuristic Nostalgic combination). So many…..I love designers that have fun. I love designers that mix two extreme inspiration palettes.
BN: How can a woman looking to purchase Jibri do so?
JE: My garments are available at various trunk shows and sample sales monthly. I’ve also formed a relationship with a very knowledgeable sales representative who is pitching my line to several boutiques nationwide. Information on all upcoming trunk shows, samples sales and the showroom can be found on my website.
BN: Will you be participating in any upcoming events?
JE:Check out the Events section on my website for upcoming events nationwide. [Editor's Note: Jibri will be featured at the LA Holiday Beauty & Fashion Bazaar on November 8, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA, hosted by Stacey London from the TV show What Not To Wear.]
Wrap Dress on F.A.T. Chance Model Tanisha Malone
BN: What is the most challenging part of being the woman behind Jibri?
JE: Just balancing my creative side with the business side. Most of the time my creative side moves much faster than the business side. I’m learning to “save a little something for the next round” and give each line a chance to grow before I move on.
BN: Where would you like to see Jibri in 5 years? 10 years?
JE: I don’t really have a timeframe for Jibri, but my main goal in this industry is to successfully produce a brand of clothing for plus sized women that is just fun. A mish mash of edgy, eclectic, unique, timeless pieces that a woman just loves to wear. That may seem minor, but it’s actually huge. Unfortunately, shopping for a curvy fashionista is not as fun as one would think. J Plus sized women shop for “work clothes” or “special occasion clothes” or “accessories”, but a line that always has something that’s just fun—something that can be integrated into the wardrobe for no particular reason---I don’t think that really exists yet. I want to fill that spot.
For more information on Jibri Street Couture, including images updates on events and where to purchase clothing from their latest line, please visit their website at www.jibrionline.com/.