Mollie Jaten proposes innovative garments, born of continuous research and experimentation, with a streetwear + cozy touch. It offers a wide range of garments, always in continuous evolution and the manual processing gives the creations those peculiar characteristics of non-uniformity and particularity, so each creation is unique. Wearing Mollie Jaten’s creations is a choice of ethics + is inspired by the Beauty of Destruction.
An interview with Mollie Jaten exclusively for Trend Privé Magazine
When did you first realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
While enrolled in a fashion course offered at my high school, I told my parents I was not going to attend college the following year, and instead was going to become a fashion designer. This was the moment I realized I really wanted to pursue a career in the industry. Unsure exactly how this was going to happen, they convinced me to apply for art schools so I could earn a degree in Fashion. I was hesitant, as I didn’t want a conventional college experience, but soon realized I had made the right choice. My first year and a half at SCAD consisted of foundation art classes, and I could not wait to get into the fashion courses. As soon as I did, my realization became my reality.
Define sustainable concept nowadays in fashion industry in five words.
Upcycle, Repurpose, Thrift, Generational, Circular
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?
I think everything that has happened to me to get to the point I’m at in my career was meant to have happened the way it did. I wouldn’t change the way I got here, so I really don’t believe there is anything I could go back and tell myself. Maybe this idea will change as I get further along in my career, but at the moment I think what I told myself to get to where I am today is why I am here, and I’m grateful for it.
What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out?
Since I really am still starting out, I luckily haven’t had a stand out mistake yet. I try to keep owning my business fun so that if I do make an error, it’s not the end of the world!
What is one thing you look at the models for your campaigns?
In line with my brand aesthetic, when casting models I think to myself, “if she were at war, she wouldn’t have her hair or make up done”, and this is how I want my models to look. A bit edgy, but still angelic. I like my female models to be slouchy, and a bit masculine. I often tell them to “act like a guy” when posing. This gives off a tom-boy vibe which defines my brand aesthetic. I just recently started casting male models. Fortunately, I have 3 good looking brothers who fit my brand aesthetic!
What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?
I think the fashion industry is reliant on social media today. Platforms like Instagram have become the most popular way to promote and sell a brand. Social media acts as a search engine to discover new talent, whether that be models, upcoming designers, exct. Social media has also created jobs in the industry being that becoming a brand ambassador or influencer is something very current.
What is your favorite and NON-favorite part about being part of the fashion industry?
My favorite part about being a part of the fashion industry is constantly being surrounded by talented, and creative people. Before I really became interested in fashion I was a bit lost, and fashion gave me an outlet and an environment that I love being in. It’s really cool to go to work every day with such inspiring people! The industry is super competitive, and it pushes you to be the best you can be.
My least favorite part about working in fashion is the negative connotations associated with it. I think that a lot of the times people think it’s a glamorous world to work in, but majority of the time it’s not. It is long days of shooting and even longer nights of working. I think you really must be in the industry to understand that fashion isn’t defined by the runway shows we see, but that it is a business, and a tough one to be in.
How do you want people to feel when wearing your clothes?
I hope when people wear my clothes they feel confident, and cool. I want them to feel like they are the best versions of themselves when dressed in MOLLIÉ.
Can you tell us how your brand makes a difference in the fashion industry?
My brand offers a unique viewpoint. It is influenced by utilitarian aesthetic, but is then juxtaposed with an element of beauty, something different than the usual military inspired streetwear line. Although it is very street inspired, the garments can work as transitional pieces, moving from day to night, which I believe is necessary to be current.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for a fashion designer?
I think the biggest challenge of being a fashion designer is “making it”. There are so many talented individuals in the industry, it’s unfortunate that not all are seen.
There is one important person, in your life, who pushes and motivates you to believe in yourself?
Although not in my life anymore, my relationship with my ex-boyfriend was the initial inspiration behind my first collection. He became my muse and my motivation. I thank him for inspiring me. It was my love for him that created my collection and now I’m even more motivated to create without that love apparent. I’m able to take the new emotions and channel them into my work. I’ve since learned that believing in myself is enough.
How do you think a big brand should motivate their collaborators and team members?
I think collaborations are important, especially amongst big brands. It gives a chance to work with other creatives outside their team to design something new and unique that’ll benefit all artists involved. In my opinion, big brands should motivate their team members and collaborators by reminding them that there is another team, brand, group of creatives waiting to take their place. The fashion industry is so competitive, I myself use this as a form of motivation. Everyone is replaceable.
How do you think sustainable can play an important role in fashion industry?
Sustainability is huge in the fashion industry as a ton of excess garments are made each year, with no purpose or later function. I think if the fashion industry in general limits the amount of product made, the surplus of material will decrease. This will not only help the environment, but also make garments more exclusive. The demand will go up, but rather than having excess, we can supply only what is necessary.
Thrifting, upcycling, and repurposing are all ways to practice sustainability in the industry, and I think a lot of modern day designers are using this to their advantage right now.
Describe yourself as a designer and how your feelings influence the creativity process?
I dated someone in the army for four years, and our relationship is what initially inspired me to build my own brand. The contrast between our lives was something I was really intrigued by. I used this juxtaposition as art. He wrote me love letters while away at training, and the feelings I had while reading his words, eventually influenced an entire collection. I saw vulnerability in the midst of chaos.
This is how I formed my brand identity. Finding beauty in destruction, finding love in war. I poured all of these emotions into my work, and was able to communicate our love story through clothing. We are no longer together, but I have formed new feelings. Sadness, anger, betrayal. Emotions strong enough to create. I’ve used this heartbreak to design and express my feelings in a new way, still relevant to my brand. My feelings influence my creativity an immense amount, but I believe it is best to broaden the concept so that it appeals to more. Not everyone can relate to this specific story, but many can relate to love, and heartbreak.
Would you like to involve other accessories designers in your future projects?
I would love to work with accessory designers on future projects! I love collaborating and definitely want to expand my brand into more categories.
Photography: Nicolette Cramer
Models:Taylor Ratliff, Sarah Horning, Nathalie Gratas, Julia Arcieri, Grace Arcieri, Christian Rasnake, Fiona James, Caroline Thomas, Emily Fry, Haiqi Liao