True Urban Culture had the pleasure to speak with Tiffany Jones – the founder and CEO of LoveJones Collection – about her passion for retro and vintage clothes and we are going to take you Behind the Seams on her upbringing and her biggest influences for the creation of her design company.
1. What was it like growing up in California and who were some of your biggest influences that inspired your style of clothing design?
New York City is high fashion-wise, there are many celebrities, but Los Angeles is definitely a different culture. Everybody does their own thing. They kind of dress how they want to dress and I feel like that let me probably come into the whole fashion thing like we dress how we want to dress. We express ourselves when we get dressed. LA is dope, it’s a dope place to be, it’s beautiful, we have beautiful weather, and it looks like a vacation all the time, so I’m just blessed to be from California. For the people who inspired me, I would probably say Pharell. He definitely inspires me, all he kinda dresses like different. And Kanye West of course, now and when I was growing up, definitely Kanye. Vashtie fashion-wise and I can look to her when it comes to different styles and what’s next. She’s into fashion, a DJ, she does different things, and she’s a dope creative type of person.
2. If you weren’t a clothing designer, what would you be doing instead?
I have a science degree. I’ve graduated from Jackson State University to be a nurse practitioner so I’d be definitely in the medical field doing something.
3. Did you decide to build your brand during or after your degree?
I’ve always wanted to do fashion, I’ve liked cutting up clothing since I was in middle school. My parents made me go for a science degree, but it’s a good thing, I can use my left brain and right brain, so I can say I’m blessed. It’s something I can fall back on. I’d take care of my degree first and then pursue what I really want to do which is fashion. I ended up leaving the whole science industry these past years so now I’m all dedicated to solely doing my business and living forward fashion.
4. I understand that the name of your clothing label previously was LoveJones Vintage. What inspired the change to LoveJones Collection?
I don’t just want to do vintage. I feel like I ended up cutting retro stuff that wasn’t vintage. Retro and vintage are different you know; vintage is more dated than retro, to me, I trust retro and I wanted even more so to trust signature items later on. I don’t just want to be vintage anymore.
5. What resources did you use to initially start your own clothing collection?
It was all about thrift stores. I will go to the thrift store almost every day as much as I could after work, I’ll be there first. I’ve been thrifting for over a decade. I also got my favorite stuff behind me. I’ve always gone in early before people can actually get there and I’ve been collected all kinds of retro and vintage items for years. I can show you my favorite one if you want
These are some of the stuff that I found in Santa Monica. I don’t really know what era they’re from but they’re super dope. I made this a couple of years back, it’s super sporty; I like sporty stuff, it’s a jersey that I’ve cut and made it shorter.
I’ve also sold worldwide 2oo hundred of these fabulous Adidas top that I’ve reworked
6.Take us Behind the Seams in the day to day operations of your company. Do you micromanage everything on your own or do you have a team of people that help you with your day to day operations?
I’ve been doing this for a while, but I’ve kind of been starting and stopping, so right now I have yet to go a little bit further. I did have an intern, but now, it’s me doing everything. So firstly I get up and do my daily things like preparing myself, exercise and then I’ll go on, I start creating. As I said, I have several high pieces, so I just pick some of them and make something new every day. I’ll do that, and if I have orders I fulfill them, go to the post office, yeah, some things like that. I like to update my Instagram – it’s just a routine -check my emails, my website, make sure everything is good to go, make sure my payments are ready to go through. Concerning the shooting, I shoot all over Los Angeles. I recently did a photoshoot in front of the Nipsey Hussle and Kobe Bryant wall. Hopefully, in the future, my sister will be able to shoot for me. She’s trying to get into photography soon. For the sewing part, it’s half and half. At the time, I was working and doing my business so sometimes I didn’t have time and had somebody who sewed for me. Since I am not working anymore, I’ll probably do the sewing part myself and work on improving and getting better.
7. What is your signature piece from your collection and is it also your proudest design? And I also saw that Beyonce was wearing one of your bodysuits, how do you feel about that?
My signature piece is the jersey bodysuit. I went viral for that in 2015 so that’s definitely something that put me on, I am very proud of it. That was a guy giving an idea and it took off. I took off from there, I went really hard for three/four years, I kind of stopped and I am coming back now. So I would definitely say the jersey bodysuit is what I am pretty much known for. Concerning Beyonce, she was wearing one, but her stylist actually copied me. I have posted one jersey bodysuit like months before that event and that went viral, I was all over the blogs. Her stylist actually copied me and everybody was like “give her credit for her idea” type of thing, you know. And I just blew up from there.
8. What was it like collaborating with Christina Milian? How did that collaboration come about and who would you like to work with in the future?
Ceraadi was working with Christina at that time and I also have another connection with Ceraadi through somebody I was working with; he kind of connected us, he always liked my stuff and was following me saying “your things are dope TIff” ‘I’m going to set the girls and check you out”. Christina was already emailing me and asking me if I wanted to collaborate with her, but I also connected with her through the girls which are Ceraadi. That’s where that came from and I ended up redesigning pieces for her at the time she still had her clothing line. In the future, I would love to and be able to work with Nike and other sporty brands. But definitely, Nike is my favorite one.
9. Your designs are heavily based on classic NBA throwback jerseys, were you a fan of the NBA growing up? I also saw an Instagram post on your page showing Kobe Bryant’s daughters.
I love the Lakers, I am from Los Angeles so I would say the Lakers. I’ve been playing basketball for one year, but I was too girly for it. My brother definitely put me on to my fellow NBA, like how to play games and everything. So, I would say I am not a die hard basketball fan, but I do have an appreciation for the game. Kobe inspired all of us, his work ethic, and just how hard he went. I just felt the need to honor him in some kind of way over this past year and will continue doing it as I go into this new year also.
10. What are your plans to expand your business going into 2021 and beyond?
I want to go into men’s stuff and also want to take a break from the retro jerseys and do some denim type of stuff, use other materials, even why not do children’s stuff, one step at a time. I’ve taken a break and now I am coming back, creating my hype again. It’s fun stuff I am making and doing by myself. I’d like to bring some more little funky pieces for this new year. I feel like I am focusing solely on jerseys right now and I can say that I am more than that; I can do everything. There’s a lot more coming this year for sure. I pray to go as hard as I can.
11. What advice do you have for aspiring designers out there?
Something I need to work on is consistency, I need to be more consistent. Stick to it, get a plan, and take care of your customers, you want to be able [sic] that your customers come back so you want to create that kind of relationship.
12. What does True Urban Culture mean to you?
True Urban Culture represents the essentials of urban culture, when I hear urban… I think of honestly being black I feel like it’s a black thing, a black culture. I think of urban communities, spray paint on the walls, streetwear fashion, and what it solely is, the true identity of black culture.