Jill Aiko Yee Ask Anything

Ask Jill...

General Q's

How did you get your start in fashion?  

I attended school at Otis College of Art and Design, and majored in fashion graduating in 2006.  During school I had internships in LA with CFDA nominated designer Gregory Parkinson, and men's label Seize Sur Vingt in New York.  

What companies did you work at before starting your own line?  
After graduating, I found a job on the design team with LA designer Rozae Nichols, who owns Clover Canyon.  I also designed for contemporary women's leather brand illia. 

Why did you start this clothing label?  
It was a dream since I was younger to have my own company.  As I worked in the fashion industry I saw that there was too much of a divide between designers and their customers.  I want to connect with customers, and saw starting this label as an opportunity to do that.

What inspiration drives my clothing line?  
Nature, painting, sculpture, movement, and the people that wear my clothing inspire the designs.  Most importantly, I design for comfort, and individuality.

Why shop by appointment?
I love to work with people, hear their stories, and hear what drives them.  Connecting over clothes, and creative experiences gives meaning to my design experience, and lets me get to know each customer on a personal level, and hear their needs and concerns.

Why LA's Fashion District?  
The downtown area is growing by leaps and bounds.  Come explore what's new in the city -- some favorites include Ace Hotel rooftop bar, Cana private rum bar, Terroni restaurant, and Mazatlan Mexican Seafood diner.  All within walking distance of my design studio.   

Do you make custom clothes?  
Most custom items are developed from what exists already in the clothing line, and are altered for your specifications.  I also take on completely unique projects upon request.

How does the line work?  
I don't design on a typical fashion industry calendar with collections and seasons.  Most people have favorite items they wear no matter the season, and want to own more than one of the same item when they love it, so I design to fill those needs.  

Where does your fabric come from?  
All of my fabric is purchased in downtown LA's fashion district.  Most of it comes from designer deadstock which means it is high quality, and can be bought in smaller quantities.

What are care instructions for your clothing?  
Most of the garments can be cared for by washing with cool water, and drying by laying flat or hanging.  Clothing does not need to be washed every time it's worn.  This is good for the environment and longevity of your clothes.

Fashion Q's

What does hand dyed mean?  
Many of my fabrics have been hand dyed.  I take small batches of fabric around 2- 10 yards, and make a dye bath for it, then hang to dry.  After that, garments are cut from the fabric resulting in an all over color in the clothing.  Dye is not always entirely even on these fabrics because the nature of hand dye is imperfection.   Small bubbles and blips add character and are part of the garment's journey in being fashioned.   

What does hand dip dyed mean?  
The dip dye process happens after the garment is cut and sewn.  A fully sewn garment is partially submerged in dye bath resulting in an ombre effect of color change throughout.  

What does hand cut and sewn mean?  
A majority of the clothing in this line is cut and sewn by me in studio.  Cutting in smaller batches allows for less fabric wastage.  I use what would normally be thrown away to cut trims and make fabric envelopes.   

What makes clothing eco friendly?  
Many of the fabrics I use are made in LA.  Buying fabrics locally, and cutting / sewing in downtown means there is minimal waste transporting goods around.  Mass market production (the opposite of what I do) can mean getting raw goods for fibers in one city, shipping to another city to weave fabric.  Ship to another city for fabric sales, and even another for cutting and sewing.  Then shipping again for it to go into stores.  Shopping local doesn't just mean supporting local business, it can mean eco friendly as well!  

How can you tell quality of fabric?  
Quality and price of fabric are determined by many factors.  How the plant/ animal the fiber is derived from, was raised; the technique and machines, and work conditions used in making the fabric; the feel of the fabric, and ease of caring for the fabric.  Almost all of the fabrics used in this line are made of natural fibers - cotton, silk, rayon (a cellulose fiber) , wool. Natural fibers breath better than synthetics, but are not always more durable than synthetics.



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