Born in Rome to a Haitian mother and an Italian father, 34-year-old Stella Jean presents ravishing collections for men and women. She has her own unmistakable style, symbolized by her trademark ‘Wax versus Stripes’. With her collections she strives for cultural equality and authenticity.
Wax represents her maternal roots. Haiti happens to be the first independent black republic in the world and draws much of its history from West Africa. Stripes symbolize her father from Turin.
Here’s how Stella explains her fashion on her website:
‘The “Wax & Stripes Philosophy” projects the culture of encounter: the two cultures never negotiate their own membership, instead mixing in response to the needs of the times. Fashion can be used as a cultural translator and a tool against colonization: re-establish the balance between symbols, stories and different worlds through style.
A succession of cultural trompe l’oeil, with the desire to branch into even more unexpected stylistic weddings, allowing cultural exchanges and dialogues to finally be equal.
The stylish mixture never strays into caricature or parody, remembering that knowledge and respect should never be subordinate to latitude, but instead must be a “priority”.’
Stella Jean works with the International Trade Centre, a cooperation for development in the southern hemisphere, to source prints made by women living in villages in Burkina Faso that are as colourful as they are varied. They are ethnic, she says, in the truest sense, ‘the world liberated from Western abuse and manipulators, to be returned to its authentic and far more egalitarian routes’.
We think her collections for men and women look amazing, streetwise, original and sensually elegant. Since her debut on Milan’s catwalk in 2012, she is proving again and again that her multicultural approach is a rich source of uniqueness and style.