JJ Martin exclusive interview

The La Double J way

The creative force behind hot brand La Double J, JJ Martin, talks about recycled fur, her grandmother’s jewelry and the book heroines that inspire her work. An obsession with all clothes vintage and a strong, crystal clear dose of healthy American curiosity led JJ Martin to the city that would become her destiny. At first considered by the then writer a destination, Milan slowly grew into a lifestyle, a brand, a life. Writing about her experiences as an expat / local, it was not long after that her husband urged her to see her website as a platform to sell her fantastic collection of vintage finds online. One thing led to another and her collaboration with silk maker Mantero, for which she dug through the brand’s archives to modernize old designs and impose her own style created La DoubleJ, a brand that is now considered one of the hottest ones in fresh, feminine fashion. Featured and adored by Luisaworld, her style identity is strong, as strong as her charisma, as it is unfolds in this beautiful and engaging interview she granted us with!

The La Double J way

The creative force behind hot brand La Double J, JJ Martin, talks about recycled fur, her grandmother’s jewelry and the book heroines that inspire her work. An obsession with all clothes vintage and a strong, crystal clear dose of healthy American curiosity led JJ Martin to the city that would become her destiny. At first considered by the then writer a destination, Milan slowly grew into a lifestyle, a brand, a life. Writing about her experiences as an expat / local, it was not long after that her husband urged her to see her website as a platform to sell her fantastic collection of vintage finds online. One thing led to another and her collaboration with silk maker Mantero, for which she dug through the brand’s archives to modernize old designs and impose her own style created La DoubleJ, a brand that is now considered one of the hottest ones in fresh, feminine fashion. Featured and adored by Luisaworld, her style identity is strong, as strong as her charisma, as it is unfolds in this beautiful and engaging interview she granted us with!

The La Double J way

The creative force behind hot brand La Double J, JJ Martin, talks about recycled fur, her grandmother’s jewelry and the book heroines that inspire her work. An obsession with all clothes vintage and a strong, crystal clear dose of healthy American curiosity led JJ Martin to the city that would become her destiny. At first considered by the then writer a destination, Milan slowly grew into a lifestyle, a brand, a life. Writing about her experiences as an expat / local, it was not long after that her husband urged her to see her website as a platform to sell her fantastic collection of vintage finds online. One thing led to another and her collaboration with silk maker Mantero, for which she dug through the brand’s archives to modernize old designs and impose her own style created La DoubleJ, a brand that is now considered one of the hottest ones in fresh, feminine fashion. Featured and adored by Luisaworld, her style identity is strong, as strong as her charisma, as it is unfolds in this beautiful and engaging interview she granted us with!

What was your first ever vintage purchase?
My first vintage purchase was in New York in the late 90s when I worked at Calvin Klein. I discovered the Chelsea flea market and would go every single weekend to wander around the vintage stalls. I fell in love there, especially with the old fur coats. I could not believe how cheap they were for something so extravagant. It was also nice to re-cycle old fur. I still have many of these coats in my closet.

What have your influences been, both as a writer and a designer?
I am hugely influenced by Italy and the Italians with whom I’ve lived for the last 18 years. I moved to Milan not knowing very much about fashion or design and through my job as a journalist was really given an in-depth education on both. It was also fascinating just to watch the stylish Italian women in action at work and at home and this was very much the inspiration for my website when it first came out and is still a section called Live Like an Italian. There is so much to learn from them- not just aesthetically but also from an emotional standpoint- they are very relaxed, very laid back and care more about living a good life than making a lot of money. It’s wonderful to see.

When did you find your own fashion identity?
Has it been a rough road or were you clear on it from a very young age? From a young age I was piling myself in my grandmother’s costume jewelry, which felt very natural. I always loved print and color but didn’t really know what to do with it. Once I began living in Italy I really started understanding how to put print together, how to layer patterns and how to combine it in ways that feel authentic but also well balanced. It’s the same principle whether I’m decorating the house or getting dressed in the morning.

What was your first ever vintage purchase?
My first vintage purchase was in New York in the late 90s when I worked at Calvin Klein. I discovered the Chelsea flea market and would go every single weekend to wander around the vintage stalls. I fell in love there, especially with the old fur coats. I could not believe how cheap they were for something so extravagant. It was also nice to re-cycle old fur. I still have many of these coats in my closet.

What have your influences been, both as a writer and a designer?
I am hugely influenced by Italy and the Italians with whom I’ve lived for the last 18 years. I moved to Milan not knowing very much about fashion or design and through my job as a journalist was really given an in-depth education on both. It was also fascinating just to watch the stylish Italian women in action at work and at home and this was very much the inspiration for my website when it first came out and is still a section called Live Like an Italian. There is so much to learn from them- not just aesthetically but also from an emotional standpoint- they are very relaxed, very laid back and care more about living a good life than making a lot of money. It’s wonderful to see.

When did you find your own fashion identity?
Has it been a rough road or were you clear on it from a very young age? From a young age I was piling myself in my grandmother’s costume jewelry, which felt very natural. I always loved print and color but didn’t really know what to do with it. Once I began living in Italy I really started understanding how to put print together, how to layer patterns and how to combine it in ways that feel authentic but also well balanced. It’s the same principle whether I’m decorating the house or getting dressed in the morning.

What was your first ever vintage purchase?
My first vintage purchase was in New York in the late 90s when I worked at Calvin Klein. I discovered the Chelsea flea market and would go every single weekend to wander around the vintage stalls. I fell in love there, especially with the old fur coats. I could not believe how cheap they were for something so extravagant. It was also nice to re-cycle old fur. I still have many of these coats in my closet.

What have your influences been, both as a writer and a designer?
I am hugely influenced by Italy and the Italians with whom I’ve lived for the last 18 years. I moved to Milan not knowing very much about fashion or design and through my job as a journalist was really given an in-depth education on both. It was also fascinating just to watch the stylish Italian women in action at work and at home and this was very much the inspiration for my website when it first came out and is still a section called Live Like an Italian. There is so much to learn from them- not just aesthetically but also from an emotional standpoint- they are very relaxed, very laid back and care more about living a good life than making a lot of money. It’s wonderful to see.

When did you find your own fashion identity?
Has it been a rough road or were you clear on it from a very young age? From a young age I was piling myself in my grandmother’s costume jewelry, which felt very natural. I always loved print and color but didn’t really know what to do with it. Once I began living in Italy I really started understanding how to put print together, how to layer patterns and how to combine it in ways that feel authentic but also well balanced. It’s the same principle whether I’m decorating the house or getting dressed in the morning.

LA DOUBLE J

$493.00

LA DOUBLE J

$1,243.00

LA DOUBLE J

$612.00

LA DOUBLE J

$700.00

LA DOUBLE J

$493.00

LA DOUBLE J

$1,243.00

LA DOUBLE J

$612.00

LA DOUBLE J

$700.00

LA DOUBLE J

$493.00

LA DOUBLE J

$1,243.00

LA DOUBLE J

$612.00

LA DOUBLE J

$700.00

Had you ever envisioned yourself as a designer, before you came accross your desire to create a simple silk dress for yourself?
Never! When I started the website I was just using my journalistic skills to tell stories about the creative women in Milan and I was selling vintage clothing and jewelry, which was a passion project of mine on the side. Making new clothes was a completely unplanned and spontaneous development. I started with one single dress, then did one skirt, one shirt and now we have an entire world of ready to wear, from outerwear and evening dresses to swimwear and beach clothes. I also developed a home collection, starting with a set of printed plates and printed table linens that has now grown to include Murano glasses, porcelain vases and even bed linens. We work exclusively with small historic Italian manufacturers and have created a whole world of high-impact print and color.

Who is the woman you design for, who do you have in mind?
The women who enjoy our products generally know about fashion, they are a sophisticated customer who is looking for something special and unique. At the same time, they are not stuffy and unhappy. Our clothes are joyful and uplifting and so are the customers who like them. La doublej is very much about raising your vibration, bringing a higher level of energy to yourself and those around you.

Had you ever envisioned yourself as a designer, before you came accross your desire to create a simple silk dress for yourself?
Never! When I started the website I was just using my journalistic skills to tell stories about the creative women in Milan and I was selling vintage clothing and jewelry, which was a passion project of mine on the side. Making new clothes was a completely unplanned and spontaneous development. I started with one single dress, then did one skirt, one shirt and now we have an entire world of ready to wear, from outerwear and evening dresses to swimwear and beach clothes. I also developed a home collection, starting with a set of printed plates and printed table linens that has now grown to include Murano glasses, porcelain vases and even bed linens. We work exclusively with small historic Italian manufacturers and have created a whole world of high-impact print and color.

Who is the woman you design for, who do you have in mind?
The women who enjoy our products generally know about fashion, they are a sophisticated customer who is looking for something special and unique. At the same time, they are not stuffy and unhappy. Our clothes are joyful and uplifting and so are the customers who like them. La doublej is very much about raising your vibration, bringing a higher level of energy to yourself and those around you.

Had you ever envisioned yourself as a designer, before you came accross your desire to create a simple silk dress for yourself?
Never! When I started the website I was just using my journalistic skills to tell stories about the creative women in Milan and I was selling vintage clothing and jewelry, which was a passion project of mine on the side. Making new clothes was a completely unplanned and spontaneous development. I started with one single dress, then did one skirt, one shirt and now we have an entire world of ready to wear, from outerwear and evening dresses to swimwear and beach clothes. I also developed a home collection, starting with a set of printed plates and printed table linens that has now grown to include Murano glasses, porcelain vases and even bed linens. We work exclusively with small historic Italian manufacturers and have created a whole world of high-impact print and color.

Who is the woman you design for, who do you have in mind?
The women who enjoy our products generally know about fashion, they are a sophisticated customer who is looking for something special and unique. At the same time, they are not stuffy and unhappy. Our clothes are joyful and uplifting and so are the customers who like them. La doublej is very much about raising your vibration, bringing a higher level of energy to yourself and those around you.

Writer to writer question: Which heroine is she, from which book?
Goddesses in Every woman! It’s the book that just inspired our goddess collection. It’s written by a Jungian analyst who explains how the Greek Goddesses are symbolic of universal female archetypes whose stories and learning lessons are just as applicable today as they were thousands of years ago. Our women are deep and want to develop other sides of themselves. They are not superficial fashion people.

Your ultimate fashion icon?
I’m not looking to anyone as an icon. I’m looking inside myself and finding out what gets my own heart beating and what creates energy inside of myself. I think it’s important for women in general to get closer to their own inner experience rather than looking outwards for cues.

How has your experience as a journalist helped you in the creation of your brand?
Fashion today is so much about connecting with people and telling stories. I think that’s actually my talent. I’m always thinking about how our customers will react and interact with our clothes, our messaging, our images. It’s not enough to just show up and sell someone a dress. People want to be part of something bigger. That’s what we do at La DoubleJ. I’ve just finished a week in London where we launched our goddess project and held a series of women’s circles along with offering Qi Gong sessions. It was amazing to see how women connected with this material.

Writer to writer question: Which heroine is she, from which book?
Goddesses in Every woman! It’s the book that just inspired our goddess collection. It’s written by a Jungian analyst who explains how the Greek Goddesses are symbolic of universal female archetypes whose stories and learning lessons are just as applicable today as they were thousands of years ago. Our women are deep and want to develop other sides of themselves. They are not superficial fashion people.

Your ultimate fashion icon?
I’m not looking to anyone as an icon. I’m looking inside myself and finding out what gets my own heart beating and what creates energy inside of myself. I think it’s important for women in general to get closer to their own inner experience rather than looking outwards for cues.

How has your experience as a journalist helped you in the creation of your brand?
Fashion today is so much about connecting with people and telling stories. I think that’s actually my talent. I’m always thinking about how our customers will react and interact with our clothes, our messaging, our images. It’s not enough to just show up and sell someone a dress. People want to be part of something bigger. That’s what we do at La DoubleJ. I’ve just finished a week in London where we launched our goddess project and held a series of women’s circles along with offering Qi Gong sessions. It was amazing to see how women connected with this material.

Writer to writer question: Which heroine is she, from which book?
Goddesses in Every woman! It’s the book that just inspired our goddess collection. It’s written by a Jungian analyst who explains how the Greek Goddesses are symbolic of universal female archetypes whose stories and learning lessons are just as applicable today as they were thousands of years ago. Our women are deep and want to develop other sides of themselves. They are not superficial fashion people.

Your ultimate fashion icon?
I’m not looking to anyone as an icon. I’m looking inside myself and finding out what gets my own heart beating and what creates energy inside of myself. I think it’s important for women in general to get closer to their own inner experience rather than looking outwards for cues.

How has your experience as a journalist helped you in the creation of your brand?
Fashion today is so much about connecting with people and telling stories. I think that’s actually my talent. I’m always thinking about how our customers will react and interact with our clothes, our messaging, our images. It’s not enough to just show up and sell someone a dress. People want to be part of something bigger. That’s what we do at La DoubleJ. I’ve just finished a week in London where we launched our goddess project and held a series of women’s circles along with offering Qi Gong sessions. It was amazing to see how women connected with this material.

LA DOUBLE J

$1,243.00

LA DOUBLE J

$737.00

LA DOUBLE J

$493.00

LA DOUBLE J

$475.00

LA DOUBLE J

$1,243.00

LA DOUBLE J

$737.00

LA DOUBLE J

$493.00

LA DOUBLE J

$475.00

LA DOUBLE J

$1,243.00

LA DOUBLE J

$737.00

LA DOUBLE J

$493.00

LA DOUBLE J

$475.00

Favorite part of your creative process?
I love bringing the sources of inspiration to the team- whether it’s print or pattern or a story line about goddesses or spirit animals. I also love explaining what we do to press and to final customers. I’m not someone who hides in the design room. I love to take our creations out on the road and let them shine.

As a journalist, what is the one question you would ask yourself? What have you not been asked, yet?
What my utimate goal is- I’d really like to move away from the operations of the company and into a more inspirational role. I say to my team that I want to become the Chief Spiritual Officer. It’s my goal to inspire people and help them reach their potential; whether it’s doublej employees or our customers.

Where does California meet Milan, in your brand’s world?
The Californian side can be seen in our playfulness, our sunny optimism, the way we are upbeat and laid back. I’m very casual, and very direct in my communications… and I love salads which is very Californian and not Italian at all. WE are also very Milanese in the sense that we are maniacs for quality and for design. Italians have taught me so much in those two realms. There is also a sense of honor in the way people dress in Italy. No one goes around in their yoga pants. Thank God!

Favorite vintage shop?
I love the weekend flea markets in South Beach Miami.

Favorite era in fashion that you would wholy carry to the present, if you could?
The 1970s were the best in terms of bold prints and romantic silhouettes.

Favorite part of your creative process?
I love bringing the sources of inspiration to the team- whether it’s print or pattern or a story line about goddesses or spirit animals. I also love explaining what we do to press and to final customers. I’m not someone who hides in the design room. I love to take our creations out on the road and let them shine.

As a journalist, what is the one question you would ask yourself? What have you not been asked, yet?
What my utimate goal is- I’d really like to move away from the operations of the company and into a more inspirational role. I say to my team that I want to become the Chief Spiritual Officer. It’s my goal to inspire people and help them reach their potential; whether it’s doublej employees or our customers.

Where does California meet Milan, in your brand’s world?
The Californian side can be seen in our playfulness, our sunny optimism, the way we are upbeat and laid back. I’m very casual, and very direct in my communications… and I love salads which is very Californian and not Italian at all. WE are also very Milanese in the sense that we are maniacs for quality and for design. Italians have taught me so much in those two realms. There is also a sense of honor in the way people dress in Italy. No one goes around in their yoga pants. Thank God!

Favorite vintage shop?
I love the weekend flea markets in South Beach Miami.

Favorite era in fashion that you would wholy carry to the present, if you could?
The 1970s were the best in terms of bold prints and romantic silhouettes.

Favorite part of your creative process?
I love bringing the sources of inspiration to the team- whether it’s print or pattern or a story line about goddesses or spirit animals. I also love explaining what we do to press and to final customers. I’m not someone who hides in the design room. I love to take our creations out on the road and let them shine.

As a journalist, what is the one question you would ask yourself? What have you not been asked, yet?
What my utimate goal is- I’d really like to move away from the operations of the company and into a more inspirational role. I say to my team that I want to become the Chief Spiritual Officer. It’s my goal to inspire people and help them reach their potential; whether it’s doublej employees or our customers.

Where does California meet Milan, in your brand’s world?
The Californian side can be seen in our playfulness, our sunny optimism, the way we are upbeat and laid back. I’m very casual, and very direct in my communications… and I love salads which is very Californian and not Italian at all. WE are also very Milanese in the sense that we are maniacs for quality and for design. Italians have taught me so much in those two realms. There is also a sense of honor in the way people dress in Italy. No one goes around in their yoga pants. Thank God!

Favorite vintage shop?
I love the weekend flea markets in South Beach Miami.

Favorite era in fashion that you would wholy carry to the present, if you could?
The 1970s were the best in terms of bold prints and romantic silhouettes.

Your five reasons to love Milan, plus one funny thing that keeps on happening to you, since you started living in the city.
I love the sophistication of the city, I love the way people entertain at home rather than meet friends at restaurnats, I love the way all of the waiters at the cafes and restaurants remember your name and what kind of coffee you like, I like how it’s small enough to feel cozy but big enough not to drive you crazy and I love how it’s now filled with so many new creative people. It’s much more interesting now than it was 18 years ago when I first arrived. A funny thing that has happened is how foreign and uncomfortable I felt at the very beginning of living in Italy. I didn’t know anyone, nothing worked, every ATM machine was always broken, the stores were always closed. I complained so much. But after about 5 years, I started to ease into the differences in culture. I stopped complaining and began to really look around and be grateful for every detail of this magnificent country, city and people. When I started doing that my life changed. Milan opened up to me. My career soared. My happiness increased. It was all due to gratitude. Funny, no?

Your five reasons to love Milan, plus one funny thing that keeps on happening to you, since you started living in the city.
I love the sophistication of the city, I love the way people entertain at home rather than meet friends at restaurnats, I love the way all of the waiters at the cafes and restaurants remember your name and what kind of coffee you like, I like how it’s small enough to feel cozy but big enough not to drive you crazy and I love how it’s now filled with so many new creative people. It’s much more interesting now than it was 18 years ago when I first arrived. A funny thing that has happened is how foreign and uncomfortable I felt at the very beginning of living in Italy. I didn’t know anyone, nothing worked, every ATM machine was always broken, the stores were always closed. I complained so much. But after about 5 years, I started to ease into the differences in culture. I stopped complaining and began to really look around and be grateful for every detail of this magnificent country, city and people. When I started doing that my life changed. Milan opened up to me. My career soared. My happiness increased. It was all due to gratitude. Funny, no?

Your five reasons to love Milan, plus one funny thing that keeps on happening to you, since you started living in the city.
I love the sophistication of the city, I love the way people entertain at home rather than meet friends at restaurnats, I love the way all of the waiters at the cafes and restaurants remember your name and what kind of coffee you like, I like how it’s small enough to feel cozy but big enough not to drive you crazy and I love how it’s now filled with so many new creative people. It’s much more interesting now than it was 18 years ago when I first arrived. A funny thing that has happened is how foreign and uncomfortable I felt at the very beginning of living in Italy. I didn’t know anyone, nothing worked, every ATM machine was always broken, the stores were always closed. I complained so much. But after about 5 years, I started to ease into the differences in culture. I stopped complaining and began to really look around and be grateful for every detail of this magnificent country, city and people. When I started doing that my life changed. Milan opened up to me. My career soared. My happiness increased. It was all due to gratitude. Funny, no?

Out of stock

LA DOUBLE J

$1,350.00 SOLD OUT

LA DOUBLE J

$1,243.00
Out of stock

LA DOUBLE J

$618.00 SOLD OUT

LA DOUBLE J

$987.00
Out of stock

LA DOUBLE J

$1,350.00 SOLD OUT

LA DOUBLE J

$1,243.00
Out of stock

LA DOUBLE J

$618.00 SOLD OUT

LA DOUBLE J

$987.00
Out of stock

LA DOUBLE J

$1,350.00 SOLD OUT

LA DOUBLE J

$1,243.00
Out of stock

LA DOUBLE J

$618.00 SOLD OUT

LA DOUBLE J

$987.00

Five things you miss about the States.
I miss the big delicious healthy salads, I miss my girlfriends from highschool, college and from my New York days, I miss the service, I miss the speed of everything and how everything always works! I miss the yoga in Santa Monica, which is very particular.

Piece of clothing you can’t live without.
I feel like a princess in my doubleJ pemberly dress. It’s instant princess material. Every woman needs a dress that makes her feel like a princess.

Three items necessary in every wardrobe?
Flat boots, a silk twill swing dress, a camel hair coat.

Give us some tips on wearing vintage, or vintage inspired designs like yours, please!
Vintage is great when it’s mixed with modern pieces. If you want to wear a vintage dress, wear modern shoes and a modern bag. If you have a fabulous vintage handbag, then pair it with a modern clean dress. Otherwise you will look costumey. A lot of vintage has great prints; You need to understand your level of pattern tolerance. I love to layer a lot of pattern but not everyone does. So if you are just starting out you can try just one silk blouse in a vintage print and pair it with your jeans or black pants and build up from there with a printed skirt or coat. The same goes with your house. It’s nice to mix eras. And it’s nice to have your table brightened with touches of print either from napkins plates or vases. The choice is yours!

Five things you miss about the States.
I miss the big delicious healthy salads, I miss my girlfriends from highschool, college and from my New York days, I miss the service, I miss the speed of everything and how everything always works! I miss the yoga in Santa Monica, which is very particular.

Piece of clothing you can’t live without.
I feel like a princess in my doubleJ pemberly dress. It’s instant princess material. Every woman needs a dress that makes her feel like a princess.

Three items necessary in every wardrobe?
Flat boots, a silk twill swing dress, a camel hair coat.

Give us some tips on wearing vintage, or vintage inspired designs like yours, please!
Vintage is great when it’s mixed with modern pieces. If you want to wear a vintage dress, wear modern shoes and a modern bag. If you have a fabulous vintage handbag, then pair it with a modern clean dress. Otherwise you will look costumey. A lot of vintage has great prints; You need to understand your level of pattern tolerance. I love to layer a lot of pattern but not everyone does. So if you are just starting out you can try just one silk blouse in a vintage print and pair it with your jeans or black pants and build up from there with a printed skirt or coat. The same goes with your house. It’s nice to mix eras. And it’s nice to have your table brightened with touches of print either from napkins plates or vases. The choice is yours!

Five things you miss about the States.
I miss the big delicious healthy salads, I miss my girlfriends from highschool, college and from my New York days, I miss the service, I miss the speed of everything and how everything always works! I miss the yoga in Santa Monica, which is very particular.

Piece of clothing you can’t live without.
I feel like a princess in my doubleJ pemberly dress. It’s instant princess material. Every woman needs a dress that makes her feel like a princess.

Three items necessary in every wardrobe?
Flat boots, a silk twill swing dress, a camel hair coat.

Give us some tips on wearing vintage, or vintage inspired designs like yours, please!
Vintage is great when it’s mixed with modern pieces. If you want to wear a vintage dress, wear modern shoes and a modern bag. If you have a fabulous vintage handbag, then pair it with a modern clean dress. Otherwise you will look costumey. A lot of vintage has great prints; You need to understand your level of pattern tolerance. I love to layer a lot of pattern but not everyone does. So if you are just starting out you can try just one silk blouse in a vintage print and pair it with your jeans or black pants and build up from there with a printed skirt or coat. The same goes with your house. It’s nice to mix eras. And it’s nice to have your table brightened with touches of print either from napkins plates or vases. The choice is yours!