we catch up with tatum jade the designer behind jaded. being mindful and completely vulnerable results in a sustainable and beautiful brand.
who inspires you and why?
experiences inspire me more so than a specific person. recently my childhood has given me a lot of inspiration. i want to tell the story of innocence, grief, appreciation, and growth. dealing with part of the past can be overwhelming but learning from our past and understanding how it affects our present is powerful.
do you have a muse?
both my grandmothers really push me to be better. my paternal grandmother taught me how to sew when i was young. she was so strong and loving. she was extremely strong in her faith and her family was everything to her.
my maternal grandmother is similar by way of values but she also showed me the fun that came with fashion. she has held on to clothes from as far back as her grandmother and has passed them down to me. those items are so special and irreplaceable. recently i’ve been paying more attention to the baby clothes she’s kept and gaining inspiration for the current collection i’m working on.
both of these women are pillars in my life. they sacrifice everything for who they love. and they love me... i want what they’ve taught me to come through my work and to make them proud.
how did you come up with the name jaded?
my middle name is jade. i’ve always appreciated my first name and how unique it is but it felt too easy. at the time i was 15 and overwhelmingly annoyed with society (especially my peers in high school). i was over the vanity, greed, the shallow materialism and bullshit views of what beauty really was/is. i wanted to create something that challenges that idea. turns out that’s exactly what being jaded is.
what kind of ethics do you believe in following while working in fashion?
i believe in being honest, and telling a story. being an artist bears this huge responsibility to stay true to yourself. i can make things that sell or are popular but it feels hollow to me personally. some of the best work in my opinion comes from artists who aren’t afraid to be themselves. designers like simone rocha and alexander mcqueen -- you can feel the importance of their work. it’s extremely personal. being completely vulnerable and creating something beautiful is what jaded is all about.
tell us about your career progression, where you studied/where you worked?
my nanny taught me how to sew when i was very young. i got a sewing machine when i was 14 and started altering things or deconstructing them and making new things from scraps. i had a fashion marketing class in high school and we had an assignment to put together an outfit for a runway show. we all went to goodwill and picked out our material. i got this shapeless candy striped dress and took it apart and made something new.
after highschool i went into cosmetology. i wasn’t able to afford an art or fashion school. i told myself that if i did this really well i could use my creative skills in the fashion industry and take advantage of any opportunity that may come. while doing hair i still designed and made clothes. i taught myself everything i could. eventually, i was a part of a show called raw. i created small collections, did the hair, picked music, and after two shows i knew this was it. less than a year after the second show i moved to new york with a dream. i had no job, nowhere to live, and didn't even know how to get around. one of my dear friends set me up with a job at a factory working for knickerbocker manufacturing. there i learned how to make various hats and leather goods. it was a great environment to learn and develop my brand. i created my jumpsuit there which was my first official design. i began to understand the process of creating, marketing, and going into production.
describe your creative process..
typically i’ll start with an idea of something i want to make and sketch it out. i’ll save photos of similar garments and research how they’re made. for my upcoming collection i’d like to capitalize on the innocence and purity of being young. looking back at photos of my mom and granny when they were young has inspired me to showcase the beauty of that time.
how do you get unstuck creatively?
it’s important to know it’s only temporary, you can’t force creativity. being in the present and taking in experiences of love, pain and passion. i try to be mindful. mindful of how far i have come in my life, mindful of the daily beauty that i can sometimes overlook, mindful of the fact that sometimes letting go is more productive than holding on. being aware of the darkness and pain gives us the power to understand it and mold it into something beautiful which feeds creativity.