Jessica Bazan custom designs for Plus Size Women in high-fashion style!
A Natural Born Talent
It’s always exciting to find new talents in creative fields. Jessica Bazan is a shining example of an emerging new fashion designer in Los Angeles who is now on the verge of realizing her dreams and doing good for a lot of people in the process. She’s a person with a taste for the classic designs of the past and an eye on the future and is definitely one of the best and brightest new talents now up and coming in the field of fashion design in Los Angeles.
Originally from Houston TX, Jessica always had an artistic inclination and right out of high school wanted to open up a boutique flower shop, but she discovered how much she loved women accessories and went with that perfect path for her.
She was also taking classes at The Benz School of Floral Design at Texas A&M, but it was a visit to a friend in Los Angeles that really began to turn her career in the direction of fashion.
“I came out to Los Angeles to visit. At the time I was developing an interest in design and loved clothes and loved to shop, but had a hard time finding anything stylish that would fit me,” Jessica says. “It was next to impossible to find anything that I liked that was above a size 12 or 14. So I thought to myself, ‘why not become a fashion designer?’ I had always loved clothes, even in high school, and had read all the magazines. I didn’t see being a fashion designer as a career then, but I always enjoyed looking at vintage styles. I loved Art Deco, loved the draping and colors you saw in the sixties, loved the vintage look of the 50s, liked the stylings on “Mad Men” and just loved looking at books and catalogs for those earlier eras. And as I went shopping at thrift shops and vintage stores I began to be drawn in that direction. It seemed like a direction I really should be going in.”
When Jessica got to Los Angeles she saw all the possibilities in terms of fashion and design and fell in love with the garment district, with all the fabrics, resources and classes available in design. The first thing Jessica did when she relocated to Los Angeles was to buy a sewing machine. She had had one at home in Texas, where she watched her grandmother making clothes and learned about the craft of sewing. “I missed that, so I bought a sewing machine and some sample patterns and I taught myself to sew again. I realized how much I enjoyed doing that and I thought this was the direction I wanted to go,” she says.
Jessica still has the first dress she made with that sewing machine, and while it’s not up to her current standards, it’s an indication that the trip on a longer journey starts with that proverbial first step.
With her first dress successfully completed, Jessica thought that since she had so much fun sewing that it made sense to try and do it professionally. “I was here in LA, with all the resources, the schools, the fabrics, the raw materials so I decided to get serious about it and entered The Art Institute of California – Los Angeles,” she says.
At this point her motivation was simple. Jessica decided that she wanted to bring quality fashion to women who didn’t fit the ideal figure profile. “It was very difficult to find stylish clothing for woman in my size category.” She says. “There were no good real options in sizes 12 to 16. Anything you could find in those sizes was usually designed for older woman, and I knew from my group of friends that there were women like me who were younger in a larger size category who didn’t have any stylish options.”
It’s well known that most stores in typical malls cater to a crowd of women in their twenties and thirties in sizes 0-12. With no real options for younger women, Jessica decided that there was a category of women who were underserved in terms of style and she decided to create a line of clothing that would help these women dress with flair. Jessica not only has found a niche, but a market that will make her very well recognized and very well to do. She has a lot more natural talent than just catering to this large market of full figured women that even the most famous stores ignore completely, but she did design a dress for me, a size 4, that I wore at the Emmys. I was stopped a number times people asking “Who made your dress? It is gorgeous.”
Jessica hand sawed almost everything on the dress, and I teared up when I first saw this piece of art. It was not a dress, it was a piece of art! She is able to bring out the best and leave the rest. Her work complements you, your style, your personality and your body. She is the designer every woman dreams about and wishes to have.
“I wanted to create a line of clothes for women like me, and I decided to start with something classic, something that wouldn’t go out of style, and that’s where my appreciation for vintage clothing came in,” Jessica says. “These were styles that you could always wear, that had stood the test of time and wouldn’t go out of fashion. So I decided to work with these vintage classics and give women of my age group something they could wear anywhere and wouldn’t have to worry about being style-appropriate or being dated quickly.”
Beginning with some classily stylish dress designs, Jessica Bazan is now offering a classic look for women who are, like her, have a hard time finding quality designs in their size at the local mall. She is starting the line with dresses, which are hard to shop for, and will eventually evolve the line to include pants, tops, jackets and cardigans – a whole collection of basics. Her first samples were shown in a real world setting, with Jessica wearing the designs to school and socially, and were immediate hits. “People told me right away that I should be trying to sell these,” Jessica says.
That led to the development of a website to let Jessica show what she had to offer. “I started introducing a new design every Friday, up until the middle of summer, leading up to the development of my line for fall,” she says. For her fall collection she is hoping to be affiliated with a production house that will allow better pricing and quicker turn around. “Right now I am filling the orders by my hands, and I am getting custom orders also, but I am wearing all the hats for my design company right now,” she says.
As she develops her brand and expands her line, Jessica Bazan wants to send a message that fashion isn’t limited to the skinny girls that designers seem to love, Fashion can be for everyone and eventually she would love to develop a full line of clothing in sizes from 2 to 24.
“I want these lines to be all-inclusive and have a style where everyone can come into my store, regardless of size, and leave with something nice, something that makes them feel good. Right now, though, I am concentrating on a line of clothing in sizes from 12-18, because that group is most in need of having fashionable clothes. As I get into higher production runs I’m also very conscious about keeping the manufacturing here in the U.S. I feel very strongly about that, in giving jobs to people here.”
As Jessica initiates her new designs for woman in underserved categories, she would also like her designs develop into a full lifestyle brand. “I’d like to have a line that’s affordable, something in the mass market category and also a line of couture. I remember hearing that Melissa McCarthy got turned down by a design house because they were afraid that creating a gown for her would adversely affect their reputation. I would welcome an opportunity like that,” Jessica says.
And, welcoming an opportunity she did! After putting on her gorgeous white gown, my face has changed instantly. I became radiant! It lifted my spirit. I looked 29. That is when you learn how much the right size, the right design makes you almost another person. People gravitated toward me. I am looking forward to wearing this dress she made for me as often as I can because people just want to take photos with me in the dress and asking for her name. I do know that Jessica is going to get a lot busier and a lot sooner than she thought.
Catherine Durickas ( in the photo with Julin Jean) who is an actress herself, but also is the host of In the Loop was wearing Jessica’s gorgeous dress while interviewing Laverne Cox from Orange is the New Black, and Jerry O’Connel. (entertainmentscoop.com)
Feedback was given to Catherine that Laverne and Tara Reid loved the gown as well!
Moving forward, Jessica has a lot of plans for 2016, including showing her designs at a fashion show, a possible line of shoes and boots and increased awareness on the Internet and social media. “I just updated my logo for the line, which I call Mama Jbaz, and we’re continually putting up new information on my blog.” She’s also getting a lot of support from her instructors at school, helping to guide and shape her artistry and career.
“The message I’m trying to bring is that fashion helps define how a woman feels,” says Jessica. “I create these designs to help people accept themselves and feel better about themselves. That’s something I enjoy and something I get a lot of satisfaction out of. These fashions are created for the fun, curvaceous side of you.” As her publicist, I can say only one thing to her: “You have a very special talent young Jessica, and you discovered it early on, and I will enjoy every piece and every thought you will ever have and magically bring them into life as if manifesting came from your soul. And, that is divine! And divine is not only the closest of feelings to God, but also pure joy! Jessica is a blessing to all of us!”
For more information:
Pinterest: Mama Jbaz
Logo Design: Augustus Minniefield