Happy Sunday everyone,
Earlier this year, towards the end of May I was introduced to Bianca on social media. Bianca’s fabulous mom actually tagged me in her Instagram profile and I paid attention. I noted a beautiful young lady with several posts speaking about a new clothing line for Tall Woman called Jesse Queen!
Now I think you guys know me by now, and needless to say your girl was all over it immediately with the occasional stalking of Bianca included:). It is my duty to bring you the latest news in Tall Fashion after all.
Bianca and I connected and full of enthusiasm she gave me insight in what was to come for Jesse Queen. Excitement, Delight, Happiness, the urge to dance, pretty much every positive feeling in the book rushed upon me. The images of the line speak for themselves; Jesse Queen is offering pieces unlike anything we have ever seen before in tall fashion. Edgy, youthful, vibrant and fashionable casual styles are all things you will find in the collection.
Jesse Queen – Empowers tall women to dress well BECAUSE of their height, not IN SPITE of it!
Now here is one of our stunning 6’0 ft Tall Sisters, graduated college not to long ago and she is taking full control and decided to introduce a new tall fashion brand because she recognized the void that is out there. Calling it impressive would be an understatement. I was stunned and have a tremendous amount of respect for her creativity and ambition. Don’t talk about it, just do it! I sincerely hope this interview perhaps inspires more of our creative Tall Sisters out there take the leap.
Fall has arrived and the first items of the Jesse Queen collection are now available online for sale. New pieces will be added in October, you can see a sneak peak of those on the Jesse Queen Instagram account.
I am so glad that I can finally spill the beans! This was a hard one to keep quiet. Lets meet our Tall Sister!
What is your full name?
What is your current occupation?
I am a fashion designer and I am a wardrobe consultant for Iman Shumpert from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
How tall are you?
How has your height influenced your teenage / young adult years and your career choices?
I’ve always felt like being tall defined me, it’s what makes me….well…ME! It is always the topic of conversation when amongst strangers; I can’t go anywhere without hearing “are you a model?” “Wow, you’re tall” or “do you play basketball?”
On a full scholarship, I ran track and was a field athlete. Competing nationally in the High Jump every year since I was nine years old, I can say that my height was a part of my lifestyle, it made me who I am. I was a lot thinner in my teenage years so finding clothing was near impossible. Imagine trying to find a pair of size 0 pants with a 36″ inseam in 2002!
The “Tall Girl” store in New York and ALLOY were basically my only options. “Tall Girl” eventually closed. Most clothing catering to tall women at that time started at a size 6 or 8, so even then the pickings were slim. I could never wear any of the “cool” clothes my friends were wearing, and my mom had to buy me $300 jeans, from Neiman Marcus, at an age where I was constantly growing, just to find a pair that were “in” and fit appropriately lengthwise.
But unfortunately I often sacrificed a flattering fit for a fashionable jean with the necessary length. I’ve always loved fashion, since my elementary years. Playing dress up and receiving clothes as gifts made my day, never games or toys. My lifelong struggle of being tall and fashion forward is definitely why I’ve chosen this career path.
Please share a bit of your journey with us. What brought you here today as Founder and Creative Director of Jesse Queen?
Well, this is actually my second line. My first line was a collaboration on an unisex line titled Unbothered that I co-designed with Def Jam recording artist Teyana Taylor after I graduated from Georgia Tech, last year.
I was already designing in my spare time while I was in school and she also had ideas already in the works, so collaborating worked out perfectly. We’re both into the androgynous look, so that was the theme behind our designs. With that comes oversized tops, longer sleeves, and lengthier pants; which worked out in my favor because I was able to wear our clothing.
I then realized that I started to prefer to wear our line versus going out and buying clothes because it fit me better and was fashionable. I was finally able to wear sweatpants and jackets comfortably. But because unisex clothing is such a limiting genre, it made me start to think what if I made my own clothes? Then I thought wait no, what if I created clothing for tall women period? And well…here I am!
Bianca Stewart: “I live by the quote, – Create the things you wish to see – That’s exactly what I’m doing!”
In your own words, please describe your brand Jesse Queen.
As tall women, we don’t have to go to great lengths to stand out, because we do so naturally. The Jesse Queen collection strives to not only aid tall women in exemplifying professional success, but to also provide casual clothing at extended lengths that are young, vibrant and current. For tall women to stop having to dress in spite of their height, but to dress because of it. Combating the outdated, “tall and awkward” stereotype, for women to take pride not only in the way they dress, but in the way they feel.
Please give us a glimpse of the design process, how did you arrive at some of the pieces in Jesse Queen’s first line?
The best part about designing this line is that I identify directly with the struggle of finding clothing. I live by the quote, “Create the things you wish to see.” That’s exactly what I’m doing! There are so many directions that I want to go in because I feel like I’ve missed out on so many trends and simple statement pieces! Sometimes I have to redirect my focus and remind myself that my line has to have a flow, I can’t just create random pieces that I’ve always wanted to wear! I also like to keep my designs simple but unique. Whether it’s adding a zipper, or an unexpected angle, it could even be the color; I always like to think of something that gives each piece an unconventional flare.
Please tell us about your FW15 collection; where did you draw inspiration from?
I am inspired by, and want to promote self-confidence. It wasn’t until I started doing research that I realized that there are so many tall women who aren’t comfortable with themselves and don’t like being tall because of the constant inconveniences that come from it. I want this line to be that confidence builder that pushes these women to embrace their height! So to start, I wanted to cover the basics.
I go to a lot of business meetings, consulting on various projects for my client, Iman Shumpert. I often find myself scrambling to find something appropriate yet fashionable to wear. That conundrum prompted me to open the line with a few whimsical suits in varying pant lengths and it will be onward from there to pieces that go anywhere life takes the fashion savvy tall woman. I want this line to be a tall woman’s dream! What do we as tall women need? What are the things that we wish we could wear?
This FW15 collection will provide wardrobe essentials for whatever the occasion calls for! From business suits, to sweat suits, this collection’s flattering fits will transcend trends. One that boasts beautiful and simple yet atypical design elements that are cross-generational.
What can we expect to see in the future from Jesse Queen?
Jesse Queen is exploring the concept of feminine identity. Vulnerable, yet strong, you can expect floaty fabrics contrasted with daring design and detail.
How do you think the ‘Tall Fashion’ industry will evolve over the next 5 years?
I would hope that with social media democratizing retail, smaller start-ups such as myself can take up where so many established retailers have failed. So that luxury department stores such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks can come to the realization that they are neglecting this segment of the marketplace. I would love to create a movement that triggers a shift in the industry to a place where in the next 5 years companies won’t be able to afford to avoid producing for our market.
Is there anything else you would like to share with your Tall sisters?
Love yourself! There’s only one you, stand tall, be confident. In a world where the average rule, embrace being above average. At some point we all choose who we are and a personal truth that we hold about ourselves. Speak positively to yourself and hold a personal belief that your height is great and it is a part of who you are!
Thank you for sharing your story with The Tall Society! #TallGirlsUnite
“I want this line to be a tall woman’s dream!” Bianca said. Well my Tall Sister, you are well on your way! Thank you for stepping up and offering your Tall Sisters another amazing fashion forward option. I love everything I have seen so far and I will be on the edge of my seat waiting to see what you do next.
Just in case you were all wondering. Yes that is Bianca in all of the images. The designer modeling her own pieces like a pro. We are rooting for you Bianca!
Shop Jesse Queen on jessequeen.squarespace.com
Ladies I want to hear what you are thinking so leave your comments below!