On a chilly Monday night in New York, Brooklyn based designer Jordan Saenz, known as her newly created label Jordan Alexandra, launched her debut collection “Suit Up With Bras.”
The 26-year-old Mexican-American designer took part in New York Fashion Week on February 16 by presenting her 8-piece collection that has been in the works for some time. Bringing her own aesthetic as well as years of experience working for designers such as Zac Posen, Betsey Johnson and Oscar de la Renta the androgynous inspired collection is setting her apart in the fashion world.
“It’s actually been in the works for three years now, under development. I think I have just always known since I was young that I wanted to be a business owner,” Jordan told us at her NYFW showroom. “I’m inspired by a lot of tailored clothing and menswear and I really wanted to combine two things that are very basic and make it into something unconventional but still maintain that wearability.”
The silk and cashmere pieces also feature several removable leather lingerie detailing that make each piece unique and creates a multi-faceted and functional wardrobe staple piece. Each look has a neutral base with unconventional black leather bralettes, leather lining and garter belts created and designed by the entrepreneur who graduated and studied at the Art Institute of San Francisco.
“At the age of 15, 16 I realized I wanted to go into fashion and a family member told me that I should take it seriously and that’s when I opened the door. As far as being inspired for this collection, I used to work for Oscar de la Renta and Betsey Johnson designing lingerie and I’m not a lingerie designer,” commented the designer. “I’m a Ready to Wear designer, Sports Wear so that sort of put me outside of my element. And having to go through all these lingerie archives and designing over 150 lingerie designs a week I kind of grew a liking to it. So when I left Betsey Johnson and Oscar I knew that I had to incorporate that into my collection and personal style.”
The collection was made in the New York Garment District and contains 55% silk and 45% cashmere and is made for a risk taker to provide warmth for winter without taking away it’s clean tailored silhouettes.
“I knew right away that I wanted to work with those colors. They were actually the first thing that I established and the inspiration came from those colors,” explained Jordan. “I think I even decided on the colors even before I decided on the whole lingerie, androgynous scheme. I always work colors first and then everything else comes after. Some people use it last but I work backwards.”
Soon the collection will be made available for purchase at select retailors and online at JordanAlexandra.com starting August 15, 2015 and hopefully we’ll get to see some of her collections on celebs around the world.
“Well if I could see someone wearing the line, like a celebrity, it would be Tilda [Swinton]. You can definitely how she ties in there. She is such an amazing representation of androgyny and femininity at the same time,” the designer told us. “She is one of my muses. Even if you go to my website you can see my model looks like her.”
“The way I look at it I really appreciate everyone’s work. I like to look at things in the design world objectively…I like to look at things and say, ‘Well that’s not my favorite but I can appreciate what they did with this, this and that.’ I like to stay open minded.”
Coming from a Hispanic background Jordan attributes her strong family bond for her success and inspiration.
“My family has always emotionally supported me and when they found out that I wanted to go into design my dad never questioned it. I think that it helps that I come from an artistic family, my sister is an actress and my father is a business owner and him and my mom have an artistic side. It’s nice to know that your family is on your side,” stated the 26 year-old. “Because I come from a Mexican-American family we are very close and I think that family, for me, family is number 1 so having that closeness to my siblings and my parents gives me that good energy and that contributes to my work.”
“At the end of the day you have to do what you love, even if it gives you grey hair. You have to do it because even though we kick and scream you have to choose the road that’s most rewarding,” concluded our interview with the young designer. “Either way if you do or don’t do what you love, it’s not going to be easy, [but it’ll be worth it].”
More looks from the collection below.
Images from Liz Calvario and courtesy of The Riviere Agency