A Brand with History – JAC by Jacqueline Conoir

Vancouver Fashion Week sat down with designer RozeMerie Cuevas, founder and

designer behind the JAC by Jacqueline Conoir brand. A brand with history, JAC was

established in 1986, and has since expanded its collection into China and the

international Markets – RozeMerie shares with us some of the brand’s key

milestones.

 

 

M: What inspired your collection when you first began? Has that changed?

J: We initially started with Jacqueline Conoir, and that became a very well known

brand within Vancouver and Canada and after about 25 years that did evolve into

JAC by Jacqueline Conoir.

Our collection and our brand really is for the modern, urban, edgy fashionista that

loves style and edge, but is also very classic at the same time, so it’s timeless fashion.

Really, the brand consists of French feminine flare, north American cool, and Italian

sexy.

 

M: What motivated you to expand into the Asian Market? How has Asia been

different for your business?

J: We expanded to china in 2013 – what its done for our business is phenomenal; Its

given us a platform of 1.4 billion people to showcase in front of, and we’ve been able

to open numerous stores in a very short time. It’s allowed to expand the brand itself

in terms of product offerings. We’ve gone from from 2 collections a year to 4

collections a year, From 100 styles to 180 styles, our knight ware has expanded, our

down coats have expanded, our quality of fabrics have greatly improved. So really

the chance and the opportunity to move the brand and to produce in Asia has been

really fantastic for business.

M: What has been the biggest driver for your Business’s Success?

J: Well we’ve been in business for more than 32 years – since 1986 – yeah it’s a long

time! I think for a brand to last that long in such a difficult industry, I think you

really need to reinvent yourself, numerous times through the years. But you also

really need to listen to the consumer. We’ve been able to understand and speak to

our consumer through our brand, and we’ve been able to adjust it to grow with what

the consumer wants. So I think the key to the brand and it’s success is really being

different, though remaining true to what its always been, which is a quality product

at accessible prices with great trends and pieces that are really timeless.

 

M: What was your memorable moment so far as a designer?

J: Gosh, 32 years… it’d be difficult to choose just one moment. But I think overall, the

experience we’ve had with the JAC brand over the 32 years is really all of the

relationships we’ve developed. We’ve worked with some amazing people, and we

really believe that it’s the team that’s behind the brand that’s special. And that’s

what really forces the projection, and the forward growth. Of course I’m the founder

and designer, but it’s not possible to do this on your own. It’s the team behind it that

enables you to create what you want to.

Some other of the best moments has been, 8 time matinee grant recipients, we’ve

been fashion music arts awards recipients, we’ve been recognized by Vancouver

fashion week, but I think the biggest change to the success of the brand came when

we were offered a partnership in china, to develop the brand and distribute it there

and internationally moving forward.

M: What advice do you have for aspiring designers trying to expand their

brand into new markets?

J: Well, I think I would say that a lot of us get into fashion design because its

glamorous. You know, that three minutes walking down the runway feels like it’s all

about the fashion design, but I think we all must really know and understand that

it’s a really uphill journey; nothing comes easy and everything has its obstacles, but

the key is to actually look and remember that every challenge is an opportunity for

progress and learning, so view the challenge as an opportunity. Stay focused, stay

determined, do what you love to do – if you stay passionate about it, it will turn into

success.

 

M: If you could go back and tell yourself something at the beginning of your

career, what would it be?

J: I think I would have probably told myself at the beginning of my career to take

more business courses. Understand the business side of things, after all you could

create some amazing designs but if you don’t know the market yourself, or stay

within the budget or do the number side of things its really difficult to figure out

how to survive in the industry while your trying to grow it. So understanding the

business side really is something that is necessary, and it’s something I wish I told

myself.

 

M: How do you want women to feel in your clothes?

J: Part of our message in our JAC brand is to connect with the emotion, to connect

with the way women are feeling. And that message is, JAC lives freely, leads by

example, love life, projects success, inspires, empowers action and knows exactly

what she wants. So that message really embodies how we want women to feel, to

project themselves. We want to facilitate that for them, through the looks that they

can create with the JAC brand.

 

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