Celebrity Parents recently sat down with fashion designer, mom-to-be, and our friend Josandra Armillas. Josandra spoke with us about fashion, babies and her beautiful collection, Luna by Josandra.
Photos: Gabbeli Photography
Hair/Makeup: Layna Roberts
How did you get your start in the fashion world?
I grew up in the West Village, and I was always exposed to the arts. I studied ballet at the Joffrey Ballet. My mom was a lingerie designer. I grew up going to her office and draping camisoles on forms.
After high school, I went to Parsons School of Design and then I landed an internship with fashion designer Catherine Malandrino. That internship turned into my first job in fashion. I was an associate designer for Catherine Malandrino for almost four years. I designed the collection, including silk blouses and dresses. I really related to the line from the draping, colors, and overall aesthetic. It was a great first experience in the fashion Industry.
I also designed for Calypso when they were doing their own collection. I designed the ready-to-wear collections for J. Mendel, which was an amazing couture-level experience.
When did you decide to create your own line?
I helped develop the collections for Alice and Trixie. After five years of working with them, I felt I had learned enough aspects of creating and implementing my design that I could go off on my own. Interestingly, each of the companies I had worked at were small companies. I had to do a little of everything, which taught me so much. I’m so grateful for that experience, now that I have Luna by Josandra.
Really? I didn’t know that about you!
Yes, my parents were hippies! [laughs] My father is from Argentina, so the Spanish word for moon is “luna”. I always liked the sound of the letter L and words that end with the letter A.
The collection is feminine and slightly ethereal. I love the look of Grecian draping and with delicate, subtle details. I also like to incorporate a slightly harder edge with the designs as well, so they are not too feminine or soft. That’s how I dress, and how I perceive my customers, too.
What were your designs like for Fall ’09?
My collection for Fall ’09 featured blouses that could be paired with black tights and ankle boots. I designed high-waisted pencil skirts; most of the skirts have a waist emphasis, which is an aesthetic that I’m loving right now. There’s also the boyfriend jacket, which is oversized and has an 80’s influence. Growing up in the 80’s, I am influenced by that time! The colors for this season were strong, with beautiful jewel tones such as deep purples and jade green.
Another notable feature of your work is that you create all your own fabrics.
That is a signature feature to the line. I might find a vintage print, and then work with the color to make it unique. The clothes are not created with commercial prints. Everything is signature to the collection, which makes each piece one-of-a-kind.
That’s amazing! It’s almost like walking art.
It is. I call the prints “non-print prints”. The prints are not large motifs; they are delicate, subtle, and distinctive.
Since fashion is always 6 months ahead, let’s talk about your Spring ’10 line.
The collection for Spring ’10 is inspired by this beautiful fairy book I found. The line is really soft, feminine and ethereal.
We should point out that while Luna by Josandra is not a maternity line, many pregnant women can wear your clothes.
Right. It’s not maternity per se, but the line is so versatile, it can be worn on all body types. Some pieces are more structured, but many silhouettes feature mocking at the waist. This makes them great on tall girls as well as someone who is five months-pregnant.
I think pregnant women want to stay in their clothes and feel fashionable for as long as possible.
Pregnant women can definitely be fashionable throughout their pregnancy. Sometimes women want to cover up completely, but wearing clothes a little more slender to the body can actually be more flattering. The idea is to mix it up; you could wear a more form-fitting dress and wear a cardigan or a boyfriend blazer over it. Up until now, I’ve been able to wear many of the pieces from my collection.
Which begs the question: Do you think you’ll go into maternity or baby design?
I don’t think so. I love making women’s clothing and I want to dedicate more time to this line, since it’s only one year-old. I’m sure it would be so much fun to design a collection for babies. If I had a girl, a little Baby Luna collection would be cute!
You’re having a boy in a few weeks. How has your pregnancy been?
The pregnancy has been great. I had a little fatigue in the beginning, but then I got the energy back. I have carried on with my work and my life. There’s nothing I can’t do except surf and horseback ride. As soon as the baby is big enough, those will be two things that he’ll definitely do.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to have a healthy delivery and spend time bonding with the baby. I also want to continue growing the line, focusing on PR and extending the collection to international markets as well. I want to slowly grow Luna by Josandra. This way, I can maintain the high level of quality that the line is known for, be with my family, and enjoy it all.