4 Questions with: Jibri

Always with my eye on plus-sized fashion, I came across a few great brands on Essence.com’s article Top Twenty Brands for Curvy Girls including Jibri. The urban meets 5th Avenue chic line by Jasmine Elder of Atlanta. I had a chance to speak to Jasmine and get some insight on what influences her designs and what’s next for the up and coming powerhouse:

– Where did the name Jibri come from and what does it mean to you?

When I was in high school, a friend of mind had her clothes custom made by this designer named JIBRI Mann. I was immediately drawn to him. He taught me to really construct a garment.  He taught me to make patterns–He taught me so many things including the fact that it was necessary that I never ever stop dreaming big dreams. (Corny I know…but that’s exactly what he’d say).  A whirlwind of events (including fashion study in NY and Europe) lead me back to my sewing machine after an almost 10 year break and I started the line aptly named, JIBRI.

How (if at all) has growing up in Atlanta and southern style influenced your designs?
Good question. I think more so than Atlanta influencing my design style…my southern family in Atlanta probably did much more. My family is full of fashion lovers. My Father is insanely neat and tidy in his style. I think that’s where my love of tailored pieces comes from. My mother is a theme dresser and always has been. If she wears a Khaki Jumpsuit, she outfits it with woven espadrilles, ethnic glam jewelry and maybe…a safari hat! LOL She’s also a Classic movie lover so that’s where my attraction to vintage cinema and their wardrobes come from. My Grandmother loved ornate costume jewelry (much of which I still wear and use for various photo shoots). My Grandfather was a quirky dresser…Plaid flannel shirts and bow ties with polka dot suspenders and cuffed Levis. So…my design style was definitely influenced by my family of southerners. Classic cuts, vintage inspired, ornate textures, all with a sense of quirky humor. 🙂
– With brands like Fashion to Figure and Kmart LYS collections now available, how do you see yourself competing in the plus size market?
Well, I’m a designer, not a large discount retailer so I would never assume collections like those are my direct competitors. I think that as the industry expands, designers that are not linked with the traditional quality of plus sized clothing will be evident. As consumers become more familiar with the different lines and the quality and value of each, the market may be divided in a sense. Higher end plus designers may simply be re-categorized to “Contemporary Women’s Designer” slots.  I’m very eager to see a plus size designer be included in a mainstream fashion platform with non discount brand association. I think that as the market grows, the diversity of what each consumer is attracted to and expects will expand.
-You were recently named one of Essence.com top 20 plus sized lines (Congrats!) where do you see your brand growing from here?

Thank you! 🙂 I hope to be able to solidify JIBRI as a globally recognizable boutique brand for the glamorous, sophisticated and highly fashionable curvy woman.

Check out my favs from her A/W ’11 Collection below, and you can still order previous collections via her Etsy shop!

Hot Pink Cap Sleeve Dress
Houndstooth High Waist Draped Hip Skirt
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