Allow me to make a public declaration of my newest brand obsession: La DoubleJ. With vintage feeling prints, lady-like silhouettes and just the right amount of ruffle, it seemed to me that this label was the epitome of chic. Then I read their story and the brand became even chic-er. Hear me out:
“One Love” off the shoulder cotton dress
La DoubleJ was founded by J.J. Martin, a journalist covering fashion for the NY Times, Harper’s Bazaar and The Wall Street Journal. Although an L.A. native, Martin was stationed in Milan and fell in love with the vintage pieces worn by the uber-stylish European women she was covering for her stories. Rubbing elbows with these society mavens, Martin became a first-hand witness to some of the world’s most fashionable closets. She thereby acquired a discerning eye for high-end style, specifically vintage pieces.
Martin combined this knowledge, her natural charisma and her inner “L.A. cool” to start a business – a business whose sole aim was to resell high-end vintage apparel. But we’re not talking last season’s Prada – to qualify as “truly vintage” Martin would scour the streets for anything that was over 20 years old. She loved what she did and was quite successful at it, but quickly realized it was a tough business to scale… because oftentimes the goods, specifically the good goods, are very few and far between. If you’re lucky enough to find something old and valuable, often the owner doesn’t want to part with it or it’s in a condition that’s not resale-able.
So in September 2015, Martin decided to refine her business plan and create these vintage feeling pieces on her own. Partnering with famed Italian shop, Mantero Seta, a 145-year-old fabric manufacturer in Lake Como, she launched her clothing label. She designed ankle-grazing skirts, off-the-shoulder dresses and even button-downs – all made from the brand’s bright, 60’s inspired, colorful fabric. The pieces made their Stateside debut at a pop-up at Bergdorf Goodman earlier this year and are currently available on La DoubleJ’s website or MatchesFashion.com. Traditional sale channels are few and far between, but not by accident. Martin is aiming to keep the brand 90% direct-to-consumer and 10% wholesale. Which, if you ask me, makes the line a little more enticing in itself.
If you find yourself in Milan anytime soon, consider adding La DoubleJ to your itinerary. In the mean time, you can shop their goodies here.