Fortrove News

J.J. Martin is taking a new look at retail and the fashion world. Her Milan-based fashion and home goods brand La DoubleJ has been around for six years and has achieved this milestone through non-traditional means. In an interview with Glossy, Martin discusses her business and more.

When it came down to advancing the business, Martin said, “My company was melting down, as all retail businesses were at that time — all fashion companies were and probably still are. There was a lot of stress on the team, a lot of anxiety — we weren’t really sure how we were going to pay people, etc. So, first of all, we started getting really creative. We started introducing new products, lower-priced items — I did a whole line of T-shirts that were based on the pandemic, like 'Hope has not been canceled' and 'Ready to resurrect.' And I will say that the internal work I was doing on myself — to ground myself, to root myself, to really stay focused on this higher beingness — really infused into the company itself. And I was able to stay very calm in that period and to do what I do best, which is to inspire people. I got really lucky that I was in this, sort of, altered state for three months. It was a highly creative time — not only for our products and not only for my spiritual practice, but then I kind of blended the two. This was the first time, during the pandemic, that I really sat down and addressed our DoubleJ audience and started talking about mental health, and tools and tips and tricks that I have found to be instrumental in improving my state of mind and improving my relationship with myself. And that was really amazing to see the way people reacted to that, to see how many people were interested in that. And I never expected to do that. And I never imagined a place for spirituality inside a fashion brand. But I’m just getting feedback from our clients, our shoppers, our women, our community that that’s also something that really means a lot to them. So it’s a pleasure to share it.”

“I have always told people that I want to do way more than just sell people a dress," said Martin when asked about what differentiates her company with others. "I just had an interview today for our fall collection with Vogue Runway, and on some levels, I even hesitate to be on Vogue Runway. It’s almost like this pressure of subscribing to the old, traditional rules of needing to look a certain way, be a certain way, do the right things in order to fit into the fashion system. And I just think there are people who do that so much better than I do. And I would never claim to be one of these [Central] Saint Martins-trained, incredibly talented designers like a Raf Simons or a Balenciaga that’s doing couture-level fashion. That’s not what we’re doing. I’m not a runway-based brand; we’ll never get on the runway and try to compete in that arena. I think it’s really important to understand what your core gift is, and that’s not my gift. But I think I have a gift for communication. I have a gift of empathy. I really feel into what people need and what they’re saying… And I have a real gift for color and print. And I’ve always had this, my whole life. I’ve always been attracted to color and shine and sparkle and brightness. And living in Italy for these last 20 years — just being around the chicest people on the planet really starts training your eye. So that’s really where I think we’re gifted.”

Information originally sourced from Glossy.