Introducing: Alissa Bertrand of JaBella Fleur
Introducing: Alissa Bertrand of JaBella Fleur
This season, I am so excited to introduce you to Alissa Bertrand, designer and creative stylist, and founder of JaBella Fleur Designs. This summer, at the height of the BLM movement, a fellow social mama showed me her Instagram page, and I fell in love immediately - I just knew we had to work together! Her mix of color and pattern along with the prominent vintage vibe is so much of what we love at Pink Chicken, and I hadn’t seen something so creative and original in a long time. Although there wasn’t enough time to design actual prints together (but maybe in the future?!), we gave Alissa prints from our Early Spring group and asked her to design Mommy & Me dresses - and of course, she has the most perfect muses with her 3 adorable daughters!
Please get to know more about Alissa and JaBella Fleur below:
1. Where did you grow up / Where do you live now? I was born and raised in Santa Clara, California. I then moved to Atlanta, Georgia for a better opportunity in providing for my children with my husband.
2. How long have you been designing? I’ve been sewing for over 20 years now, and started designing a little over 5 years now!
3. How did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer? And how did you come up with such a creative, original idea for your platform? I’ve always been involved in the arts, from dance to acting and even drama camps, including art. Nothing ever compared to sewing and designing. When I was in high school, taking sewing classes, that’s when I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer. Creating pieces that told a story and making you feel like you wanted to be where that story was taking place. Upcycling and reworking clothes to create something new, is not a new concept, but for me, that’s what I can afford! Fabrics started to become really expensive and I never really liked what was in the stores, because I absolutely love vintage prints and textiles! I wanted to start creating a look that wasn’t like the rest and brings a sense of whimsy with a vintage feel in what I create.
4. Where do you find your eye-catching fabrics? I thrift mostly to find all the fabrics I reuse and sew with! I look for vintage prints and textiles, including home linens.
5. How would you describe your personal style? How does this affect your work? My personal style is exactly what I sew and design now! I design what I would wear, but in smaller sizes for my girls! I love what I do and I believe it shows through what I create.
6. Your 3 daughters seem to be the perfect muses - how are your girls involved in the process? The girls love to help pick and choose garments that I upcycle. We work together by discussing what looks good together, what should be created and styles they like. After all, I create for them, with them in mind the whole time and what they love.
7. Your platform showcases young Black girls in a beautiful, celebratory light - have you seen more support for your work when the BLM movement put a spotlight on Black creatives and artists? My platform is to showcase beautiful black girls in a positive light, in images and fashion that were not necessarily seen or shown on black children! I wanted to be the one to break that and show images to all who have never seen images like this, including people in my own black community. The BLM movement did put a spotlight on me, and I only asked those to follow because they wanted to and truly enjoy what they see and what the girls and I create, not because they felt like they had to follow a black account, but because they saw true art!
8. Describe your most memorable moment as a designer so far? I have many moments where I sit back and can’t believe that this is real, but I’m truly a humble person! Moments that stick out to me the most are when people tell me, they’ve never seen black girls in such a positive light and wished they had as a child! That means the most to me.
9. What has been your biggest struggle as a designer so far? To be honest, I only wish I had more hours in the day to complete projects and create as fast as my mind is working!
10. How would you describe your experience working with Pink Chicken? What did you like most about it, or find the most interesting? Pink Chicken is the very first collaboration I’ve done with designing for a company, and I could not have ask for a better experience! This still feels unreal to me! I’m still in awe, that so many truly love what I do, and so much so, that they trust me to design for their company. To be honest, my favorite part was being able to design whatever I wanted and watching it come to life through each and every detail, down to the fabric selection! Thank you so much!
10. Any sneak peeks or hints on any upcoming works or projects? For all those who have wished to wear my designs, something amazing is in the makings!
Shop the JaBella Fleur x Pink Chicken pieces here!