She works together with women from Burkina Faso and combines their authentic West African weaving traditions and prints with Italian elegance and craftsmanship. Designer Stella Jean tells a personal story with her collection herewith she touches the highest echelons of the international fashion world. Last september, she was invited by none other than Giorgio Armani – it is rumoured on advice of Suzy Menkes and Vogue Italia’s Franca Sozzani – to participate in the official schedule of the Milan Fashion Week and show her eclectic collection in his Armani Teatro.
Stella Jean stands out with a spectacular mix of materials, prints, colors and bold shapes, a visual language that originates from the multi-cultural background of the designer. Jean herself describes the philosophy of her label as ‘wax and stripes’, in which the African wax textiles refer to the Haitian roots of her mother (in the 17 century was Haiti repopulated with hundreds of thousands of slaves from Africa, red.) and the masculine stripes to her Italian father. About the fusion of contrasting cultures Jean tells in an interview with the British Vogue: ‘Fashion can be used as a cultural translator and a tool against colonisation; it re-establishes the balance between symbols, stories and different worlds through style. Being part of a multiracial family in Italy in the Eighties not only shaped me as a person, but also inspired my professional path-however, it has been neither simple nor painless. Fashion gave me ample space to manoeuver and find a place where both of these cultures could coexist. This weak point became both a strength and a fresh start.’ Stella Jean was born in Rome thirty-four years ago and still lives there. After