London born, Canadian raised, Jean-Pierre Braganza began his creative career studying Fine Arts at York University, Toronto. Whilst studying fine arts he specialized in Painting, however upon being selected for a solo show in the university he began to realize on the night of the opening that his heart lay in fashion, not painting. Realising the dim prospects of a career in fine art he became obsessed with what he was wearing, and began analyzing the dress code of others becoming more fascinated by this than the arrangement of his paintings for display. Obsessed with fashion TV and clothing, he realized and answered his existential question of what on earth to do with his life. Dating a model at the time, she introduced him to the fashion scene, the shows, the parties, the industry and from then on he was hooked, wanting more, and wanting to become a part of it.
“It got to a point where I thought if you’re really going to do this, you have to do it properly” so he moved to London to study Fashion at Central St Martins where his creativity was no longer stunted as it has been on a previous fashion course due to the technical aspects he was studying. Prior to graduation Jean–Pierre was hired by Roland Mouret where he’d previously interned. Whilst completing his final collection he was working for Roland Mouret which he tells me “was crazy”. Admittedly arrogant and ambitious he kept his head down whilst he was there: learning, watching and observing all the while thinking that one day he’d be capable of doing it himself. From this his passion, drive and need to set up his own label was born. “I feel like I don’t want to work for a machine I’d rather create a machine myself, that’s pretty much why and how I started my own label, just with that pure determination to create my own little world and to be the benevolent ruler”
Fortunate enough to be blessed with a photographic memory, Jean-Pierre is inspired by visuals within his environs: traveling, music, partying, everything around him. He’s particularly inspired by prog-rock band Tool, “because everything they represent and the artistic direction of the band itself really moves me and guides me “, of which he likens to a self-directed religion.
When he begins designing his concepts are tangible but rough and loose at the edges. His silhouettes are a long process of drawing, editing, chopping changing, twisting, manipulating and merging; discarding ideas until his studio is full to the brim with ideas. His concepts are more explored through his digital prints, which he adds to his black and white designs afterwards.
As he’s matured Jean-Pierre who once designed clothing for women for his own satisfaction and gratification now designs for a more realistic woman. These things he tell me he learnt over time with a prominent and dark moment in his career being when a girlfriend was going to a fashion party and each piece within his collection that she tried on was too out there, too extreme and not necessarily a versatile piece to be added to her wardrobe. He describes this a definitive low in his career, however it could be viewed in retrospect as a defining high as now he designs wearable garments for women who still have a strong aesthetic, who are empowering and adorned by his visionary creations. Without these moments, I daresay, he wouldn’t be where he is today. Jean-Pierre spoke about many learning curves within his career, illustrating the rough, smooth, highs and lows of being a designer. The future of Jean-Pierre holds more Jean-Pierre with the introduction of pre-collections, and the hopeful return of his menswear. For more, visit Jean-Pierre Braganza’a website.