A few weeks ago I had the privilege of photographing Jessica Li's American Harvesters collection. Before diving into the lookbook, here is a bit about Jessica:
Tell us a bit about your background. What has your creative journey been so far?
"I feel like I’ve always been a creative person. Growing up my mom used to sign me up for art camp in the summers to keep me busy but little did she or I know that it would grow into a passion. I guess you could say I got into fashion the way most girls do — through loving clothes and playing dress up. But the creative side of my wanted to take it to the next level and actual create the clothes I wanted to wear. That actually influences a lot of my creative process i.e. wanting to make clothes that I would wear. Another thing that influences my creative process a lot is the use of clothes to tell a story. I enjoy working off of narratives and creating clothes that follow that narrative. It’s like creating a character's entire wardrobe."
You’re from Portland, Oregon, does nature play a big part in your design process?
"I don’t think nature plays a part in my design process but I definitely think my background influences my inspirations. I’ve often worked with concepts surrounding nature and/or sustainability and I would say that comes from my love for the Pacific Northwest. I also had a very athletic background growing up which inspires the activewear and activewear-esque elements in my work."
Being an Asian American designer do you find that your background informs some of your design choices?
"Yes, aside from my upbringing, my ethnic background has played a part in my work from time to time. I did a collection about my life as an ABC (American born Chinese) and how I interpret that status. That was a fun collection because it had some tongue and cheek elements but it was also an introspective process where I was able to explore who I was."