It’s only in its third year running, but Fashion Week San Diego is already playing host to a slew of highly talented (and mainly Southern California based) designers, including Jessica Faulkner.

Jessica dubs her LA designed and manufactured line “American sportswear meets global chic”, and she couldn’t be anymore spot on. Jessica’s collection shown at FWSD was fun, flirty, and full of retro athletic influences. Jessica’s personal aesthetic and perceptive attention to details shinned throughout her collection, making it a stand out show during Fashion Week.

Eartha Hubbell: We’ll start with a fairly simple question, when did you start designing and how did you go about pursuing your design career?        

JF: I didn’t start designing until after I graduated from SDSU. I wanted to go to grad school and get a Fashion degree, but had zero fashion or fine art experience. My friends Lisa & Sergio bought me a drawing set with books and I started to teach myself the basics. I enrolled in the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and started going to free sewing classes at the city college to play catch up on my sewing skills. 

EH: You were previously a competitive snowboarder, were you always interested in fashion and what inspired you to make the transition from sports to the fashion industry? 

JF: I competed on the amateur circuits while I was attending SDSU and did really well! As much as I loved it, I never expected it to be a career. Sports are a great way to learn endurance, resiliency and focus, which are important strengths in business. I was always interested in fashion, but understood that it would be a better move to go to business school before fashion school. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and I always knew that I would own my own business someday. Fashion was the next step that aligned with those feelings. 

METRO LIVING ZINE NEWS IMAGE CREDIT: Earth Hubbell, photographer

EH: What were your inspirations for the collection you showed at San Diego Fashion week, 2014? 

JF: The inspiration for all of my collections begins with all the travel and adventures I’ve been fortunate enough to experience in my life. From there it develops into a much larger concept where I open up my perception to all of the elements of the cultures and places I’ve explored. For the S/S 2015 Collection, I headed to Southeast Asia and visited Japan, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. While these countries are very independent and unique, there is an undeniable mood in the region that is young, uplifting, positive and spiritual. It’s the hustle and bustle of city centers, the exotic tropical mystique with a hint of retro revival in the air that made my creative wheels turn. The soft prints, rich textures and geometric shapes are a nod to the French colonial architecture in Vietnam, to the golden temples of Cambodia, the fisherman’s nets cast over the beaches in Japan, and to the traditional costumes worn throughout the region.

EH: How do you select the materials you work with in your collections?

JF: I use all of my senses in selecting materials I work with. Mostly sight and touch, but my extrasensory perceptions are important too. How will women feel in the fabric? How will they move? What kind of experience will they have in my clothes? I think about all of these things simultaneously because each of my designs is a part of me, a part of my experience in life. 

EH: Working in the fashion industry can be very demanding and intense at some points, what motives you and drives your work ethic?

JF: My family has raised me to be a hard worker and to take pride in everything you do. I am motivated by my vision and dream to continue growing into more of the successful fashion designer I already am and my mission, which is helping women build confidence. I get really emotional about this. Every woman is beautiful and every woman deserves to be treated like the queen that she is. This is my dream. I can sleep later.  

EH: What makes the Southern California fashion market unique and different from say, New York or other fashion forward cities?

JF: We have a specific sunny life and style here in Southern California.  I LOVE this question! It’s a totally different vibe in SoCal because we live in one of the best places on earth (sorry NY!) Seriously though, the vibe makes all the difference and women in California want the right amount of functional and flirty while maintaining a level of comfort for the active lifestyle. 

EH: For our final question, is there anything special you would like our readers to know, either about your FWSD collection, plans you have for the future, or even words of wisdom for inspiring fashion designers? 

JF: I would like readers to know that hard work and focus will be the deciding factor of your success. I see so many people enter this space and either aren’t focused, or can’t stay committed when things aren’t easy. If you want to reach the top of your game it’s a daily grind where you have to work like someone else is working 24 hours a day to take it away from you. I think Mark Cuban said that, but I’m totally stealing it.