With a, “creative process driven by a need to constantly transform objects of dark subject matter into things of beauty,” designer and leather maven Jackie Capozzoli has brought her full accessory line, JAKIMAC, to the front of the eco-conscious fashion industry.
In 2010, Jackie founded her label JAKIMAC by making jewelry out of restored leather from a family-owned shoe store.
Leather has always been an alternative fabric, signifying a rough or rebellious lifestyle. I reshape this raw and often unforgiving material fitted wearable sculptures. In addition to leather, pieces are adorned with animal bones, rough and fossils, some over 1 million years old. Each holds their own mystery. – Jackie Capozzoli
This LA-based designer emphasizes how important it is to her to up cycle all of her leathers and materials from her local community; and to this day the proud designer can say she has never purchased a full leather hide.
Through her innovative eye, she is able to breathe new life into a material that was once rough. Today JAKIMAC is styled alongside renowned designers and sold in boutiques around the globe.
Check out our interview with designer Jackie Capozzoli of JAKIMAC
In what way does your background in digital art influence your jewelry label?
My background is actually in fine art, painting and drawing. I taught myself Photoshop, which landed me a job at an internet start-up company. There I had the opportunity of working with talented co-workers, most of which were photographers and graphic designers.
Through this dynamic work environment, in connection with the job of editing over 50+ images a day, I became hyper aware of how to present yourself in the digital world. I learned the impact imagery and copy has for your brand, and how this can make or break you. So, my digital background doesn’t have a direct influence each JAKIMAC design, but it does influence my creative choices for JAKIMAC’s branding.
Is there anything you wish you’d known before launching your brand? Anything you’d do differently?
Sometimes I think I may have been better off majoring in business or fashion design instead of spending my undergrad years making still-life paintings of Kentucky fried chicken and dabbling in performance art.
Designing for me began as a hobby – I didn’t know what a business plan was, nor did I have a brand mission statement. Plus, everything was funded by what little life savings I had in my bank account.
However, this initial lack of knowledge of the fashion business allowed me to take huge design risks and approach JAKIMAC with an open mind, allowing it to grow organically and change with me.
Besides supporting LA’s local fashion industry, why do you feel it is important to promote that JAKIMAC is a LA based label?
The words “Made in LA” has an affiliation with West Coast culture and lifestyle that I identify with, however that’s not solely what I’m after for JAKIMAC.
One of the great things about LA is that you can make just about anything here. It’s a huge city bursting with creative & manufacturing resources. All our pieces are 100% handmade in our LA studio – I feel it’s my responsibility to support my local economy and pave the way for other brands to do the same.
Plus, it’s genuinely rewarding to see your product make a full circle from concept to creation firsthand, no matter what city you make your product in.
JAKIMAC recently launched on JewelMint. What has this experience been like for your brand?
Jewelmint has been a great promotional help, we’ve gained exposure as a brand and they’ve helped create a buzz across multiple social media platforms.
However, the most rewarding part has been reading feedback from Jewelmint members who comment on products. It’s a mixed bag, positive and negative comments, some even shocking reactions to a specific piece.
No matter the tone, each comment is informative and helpful as I continue to dream up future collections and gather what’s working and what’s not. My designs are bold, leather-heavy statement pieces. They aren’t for everyone – and that’s not a bad thing!
Any helpful advice you’d like to share with other emerging designers?
I’ve found the most important thing is to be true to yourself. Cliché, I know, but if you stick to the simple idea that your designs should be a reflection of yourself, you will be OK.
Don’t make a design because it’s what’s hot right now, or simply because you know it will sell. If you’re in this business just for the money, get out now.
JAKIMAC is such a fun name! What is the origin?
The MAC in JAKIMAC may have originated from friends and past employers calling me a “Machine”, when it came to working on a project I was passionate about.
Often, I become consumed with a design and have to see it through ASAP, even if that means lack of sleep or eating macaroni n’ cheese for two days.
However, the real truth behind JAKIMAC is it just popped into my head one day. I knew I didn’t want to use my full name, Jackie Capozzoli. JAKIMAC is easy to spell, has a ring to it, plus it doesn’t rhyme with a pasta dish.
Note: JAKIMAC is currently displaying a POOL Tradeshow, Booth 706. Stop by and say hello if you’re there!