One of Australia's most iconic designers, Jets, has been creating some of the most in-demand swimwear that has graced our abundance of stunning beaches and we have been lucky enough to chat with the head of this leading label. Since taking the reins in 2001, Jessika Allen has taken the brand to new heights creating a seriously fashion-forward, beach-friendly, wearable collection that has something for every women.
What led you to creating JETS?
We took over the label in 2001. My partner, Adrian woke me up from my sleep one night and said “let’s buy JETS”. It was a big leap for both of us but we knew it was the right decision. The key to re-launching an established brand was to be loyal to the existing customers and also to understand the potential of the brand. We took a well-respected brand and injected a new focus and signature design style with an awareness of the original design philosophies.
You have used some of the biggest names in modeling for your campaigns including Miranda Kerr and the up-and-coming Perth girl, Nicole Harrison. How do you go about choosing the face of JETS?
This season up-and-coming Australian models Nicole Harrison and Stephanie Cherry feature in the Evolution Campaign. In casting Nicole and Steph they fit the garments perfectly, carried them well, looked fabulous in front of the camera and had personality - this is exactly what we look for in JETS campaign models.
In the development of our first campaign to re-launch the brand we used Miranda Kerr. This was Miranda’s first major advertising promotion and our first presentation to the market of the new direction for the JETS brand in Australia.
What do you attribute as being the key to the unbelievable success you have achieved here in Australia?
A lot of hard work! We have put everything into driving JETS to where it is today - I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
Success has also come from understanding what women want in their swimwear – to feel confident and beautiful. Understanding this and knowing how to fulfill their needs have been key to the success of JETS.
What inspires each collection?
This year’s collection Evolution 2012/13 was inspired by a woman of today, tomorrow, and the future – an exciting new era for JETS, an evolution.
As the brand grows and my life changes, new inspirations come forward. From modern technologies, traveling with my husband and daughter, or a special piece of artwork, furniture or book – I am constantly being inspired by life.
What do you find are the most enjoyable and most challenging aspects of creating each collection?
The most enjoyable aspect of creating collections cannot be easily defined. The creative process is exciting and challenging; knowing that you’re starting fresh and creating a new collection for the season ahead can be daunting. From establishing the vision of the collection and sourcing new fabrication, to designing new shapes and textiles - each collection brings an exciting new beginning.
Who do you design your swimwear for?
We pride ourselves as a brand who designs with fit, fabrication and fashion at the forefront. This design philosophy means JETS is designed for real women – each with a different mindset, lifestyle, and personality. She is fashion-forward, timeless, classic – the JETS woman is ageless.
When purchasing swimwear for summer what do you feel are the key things to consider?
As the sun starts coming out and the weather gets warmer, shopping for swimwear can seem quite overwhelming after covering up through winter. When shopping for your perfect suit it is always helpful to have an idea of what type of garment you’re looking for. Feeling confident on the day you set out on your shopping trip is important.
Be open to trying on different styles and don’t shy away from asking for assistance.
What matters most is how you feel in the garment – you’re the one who will be wearing the piece all summer long!
What advice would you pass on to other young designers wanting to launch a swimwear label?
Be prepared for a lot of hard work – further your education in design and business, build relationships with people who will bring you positive outcome and inspire you, and don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. It can be difficult to find your niche in swimwear, but once you know what you’re good at and what people respond to positively, keep pushing the boundaries.
Take full advantage of internships and work placements, try to be the first to put up your hand up and don’t be intimidated to step out of your comfort zone. Utilise social media for networking and getting your label known, even set up an online shop – it is a global community so the opportunities are endless!
What does the future hold for JETS?
In the digital world we live in, the future is very exciting. I look forward to presenting our swimwear to women through social media and other next-generation digital platforms.
However what I am positive of is more beautiful swimwear that will make women of all ages and backgrounds feel glamorous and confident!