Juantiesha Christian is an Omaha Fashion Week veteran and the designer behind the brand SuShe by J. Tracey. Read on to learn about what inspires her and what she’ll be bringing to the OFW runway this season!
How did you get into fashion? Tell me a little about your background.
I was always intrigued by fashion as a kid. My mom gave me old clothing and I would make clothing for my Barbies. When those ran out, I cut up some of her other clothing and got in trouble! When I was in college I designed some costumes for my sorority's pageant, which reignited my passion for design. I started to explore fashion design after graduating and participated in a few local shows. I signed up to do Omaha Fashion Week's second annual show, which kickstarted my career in fashion.
Describe your brand and the point of view you wish to convey. What category does your brand fall under?
My brand features eclectic and modern women's ready to wear. The goal of my brand is to help women stand out in a crowd and separate themselves from the norm. My clothing has a balance of femininity and uniqueness, while allowing customers to choose the garments that best fit their style and personality. Though my collections are cohesive, there is a diversity of styles. Each of my garments has a personality of its own and there is something for everyone to enjoy!
What are your personal goals or goals for your brand?
My goal is to get SuShe by J. Tracey into stores and to go global. I have made custom garments for customers in the UK and Canada, but I want to be known across the world. Another huge accomplishment would be to dress a series of celebrities that I have my eye on, including Christina Hendricks, Leslie Jones, Danai Gurira, Dascha Polanco, and Tyra Banks to name a few.
Describe your favorite project or projects that you have worked on.
One of my favorite projects happened to be one of my most stressful and most time consuming projects. I had the opportunity to work with a doll company, Trinity Designs, that makes sorority dolls and recently a breast cancer awareness doll. They brought me on board to make outfits for three dolls (one being for a Lifetime TV show personality). It was difficult, having no formal training in doll clothing design, because the anatomy of the doll is much different so you cannot just simply scale down the measurements. Sewing certain components, such as buttons and pockets, is harder, because they are much tinier. However, seeing the final result and hearing the feedback was very rewarding. I look forward to working with them on future projects.
Where did you find inspiration for your new collection?
I found inspiration from "Satisfaction Not Guaranteed,” which is a series of idiotic and amusing sketches.
What customer are you designing for?
My target market is a woman, late 20s to late 30s, who wants her personality to match her clothing. My clothing speaks for itself, so it will say a lot about the client wearing it.
What sort of design elements can we expect from you this season? What materials, colors, shapes, or patterns will you be using?
I will be utilizing color blocking and the use of patterns (artwork by Nathan Gurnon), as I have in previous collections. I am also mixing in androgynous components, inspired by men's dress shirts, which you will see a lot of in the garments and in the origami accessories. My collection will also feature quite a bit of outerwear constructed from neoprene.
Juantiesha’s website will be launching shortly before Omaha Fashion Week, so stay tuned for more. In the meantime, follow along on Instagram to keep up with her work and plan on stopping by her pop up shop during The Homecoming Show on August 25 to get a close up look!