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The Native American-Inspired Designs of B.JASH.I by Marcie Bain Combine with Victoria De La Cruz’s Model Expertise

Written By: Nicole Fera Meet the Ultra Fierce Winners of FWSD 2015
Photographed By: Michael Wesley
Designer: Marcie Bain
Model : Victoria De La Cruz
Styled By: Samantha DeWarf & Allison Andrews
Hair By: Michael Soberanes of Gila Rūt
Makeup By: Francisco J. Cossino of Gila Rūt
All Clothing By: B.JASH.I

The excitement in the La Jolla air was fueled by brightly colored fabric, plenty of glitter and textured garments that made hearts flutter. The first night of Fashion Week San Diego featured work by 12 different designers and the second night showcased an additional 11 coveted spots. At the end of the weekend, everyone involved was given the chance to vote for their favorite designer and model who they felt stole the show.

After votes were made and tallied, design label B.JASH.I took the number one slot this year for favorite clothing line. Designer Marcie Bain mesmerized the crowd with her incredible Native American-inspired garments and vision. A winning model was also chosen: Victoria De La Cruz was crowned queen of the runway. Both women have worked incredibly hard to reach this point in their careers. As each winner points out, the drive to succeed starts with a daring goal and ends with hard work.

Marcie Bain | B.JASH.I Founder and Designer | FWSD 2015 Top Designer

Q: How many years have you been participating in FWSD?

Marcie Bain: I have been involved with FWSD for two years now and FWSD 2016 will be the third year.

Q: Is this the first time that you’ve won?

MB: Yes, this is the first time I won at FWSD!

Q: In your designs for this collection, what specifically did you draw upon from your Karuk heritage?

MB: My inspiration for our SS 2016 collection inspired by the Native American medicine wheel.

Q: Could you elaborate a little more on your heritage?

MB: I am from the Karuk Tribe located in Northern California. It is nestled along the Klamath River. I was raised around my Karuk culture; from different local events throughout the year to daily language classes that were taught in our school for the Indian Club kids. I was also surrounded by my Mom’s family growing up and my maternal grandfather was a full-blooded Dane. I have yet to research further into my Danish culture to find a vast of inspiration there.  I am trying to mesh both to make an amazing Danish/Native American collaboration collection.

Q: What is your favorite piece that made it down the runway this year?

MB: My favorite piece that debuted on the runway was my finale look, a white dress with floor length fringe.

Q: That was actually my favorite piece out of the entire show! I have “must buy” written down in my notes next to that dress. How would you describe the clothes that you make?

MB: I would describe them as ranging from high end ready-to-wear to couture and avant-garde gowns and dresses.

Q: What are your favorite pieces to make?

MB: I enjoy all the pieces I make. I get inspired by each garment, jewelry and other accessories I create. I truly favor the detail that goes into each garment.

Q: Who would you say are the women that are wearing these clothes?

MB: The B.JASH.I woman is young and youthful at any age. The B.JASH.I woman is confident, outgoing, loves life and is a well-rounded lady. I imagine them to be like me: a girl who grew up in the outdoors, loves to hunt, fish, garden and explore life. But she can throw on an LBD with some major jewelry and walk the red carpet with anyone else and look flawless.

Q: She sounds like the woman many of us want to be! How long does it take to make one of these garments?

MB: The timeframe to make a B.JASH.I garment varies from a week to a month. It just depends on the construction and embellished details needed to complete the garment I am creating.

Q: What is your favorite part about FWSD? How does it compare to others shows that you have done?

MB: My favorite part of FWSD is everything, from the moment we kick off with the Spring Showcase to wrapping it up at the trunk show! FWSD has definitely set high standards that have not been met by any other show that I have attended so far. It is a production that is very organized and provides many events throughout the year for emerging designers to be showcased, highlighted and recognized. I think it is up to all of us designers to do our part but FWSD definitely lays the groundwork out for each of us to do our best.

Q: What made you want to design these beautiful clothes in the first place?

MB: From the moment I was a student at Fashion Careers of California I knew that it was the world of couture that captured my heart. That passion stems from the creativity that my culture has created for decades—collecting and creating items from the riverbeds and the forests for ceremonial regalia and baskets that were hand woven and used daily.

Q: What kind of a journey has it been to get to where you are today with your line?

MB: It has been an amazing journey! From the moment I was accepted into FWSD it has been a whirlwind of emotions and a lot of sleepless nights. That is a given, though, being in the fashion industry.

Q: What is the moment where all your hard work is worth it when doing a show or designing or creating?

MB: Each individual piece that I create is worth it once I see them completed and as the collection starts coming together. I guess watching each piece cross the runway is special too, especially the finale walk. It’s exciting when it all comes together; the music, the look on the crowd’s faces when they see each piece.

Q: Where do you see yourself and your clothing line in five years? 10 years?

MB: My projection for B.JASH.I in five years is that we will have established a loyal clientele and continued to grow each year. I am hoping to have a storefront in NYC within that time frame as well. For my 10-year goal, I would hope to have grown past all expectations and that B.JASH.I gowns will be a must-have for every red carpet, high-society event.

Q: How can all of our readers and fashion lovers purchase your clothing?

MB: Our website bjashi.com is currently under construction, and will launch with our SS 2016 Collection in April. As of now, we are available at various FWSD events and purchases can be made via email through Paypal and/or Square Reader on all social media sites.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about what your upcoming line will be like?

MB: It will be inspired from native plants and flowers from California with splashes of Karuk basket patterns throughout the collection. I will be printing my own textiles for the first time, just for this collection. Faux succulents will be transformed and embellished into amazing one-of-a-kind clutches, jewelry inspired from the surroundings of the Klamath River.

Never a Dull Moment: “When I’m not designing clothes, you can find me at home doing something crafty. Whether it’s making jewelry or drawing with my youngest daughter Ashawnee or baking some cookies for the upcoming holiday, I’m always up to something.”

Girl on Fire: Something most people don’t know about Marcie is that growing up she dreamed of being a smoke jumper or a top fuel race car driver as opposed to designing her magnificent clothes.

Spin That Wheel: The Medicine Wheel is interpreted differently by each Native American tribe, but it is an embodiment of the Four Directions as well as Mother Earth, Father Sky and Spirit Tree. Black, red, yellow and white are often the four colors of the wheel.

 

Victoria De La Cruz | FWSD 2015 Top Model

Q: When and how did you know that you wanted to be a model?

Victoria De La Cruz: I was invited to do a photoshoot when I was 15 for a quinceañera magazine. I had such a great time that it sparked an interest in fashion and the world of modeling. After receiving some training, I did more photo shoots and eventually runway, which became my passion.

Q: How did you get your start in this industry?

VC: I was cast to participate in Fashion Week San Diego four years ago and after that is when my modeling career really began. I am very proud to say that I am one of the original FWSD models. Since then, I have walked in Fashion Week LA and traveled to NYC to model as well.

Q: What is the hardest part about doing what you do?

VC: I would definitely say the hardest part is making sure to represent the product well. In modeling it is not just the designers a model represents; it is also the makeup artists, hair stylists, photographers and camera crews. They all have a vision of what they want the model to look like and it is my job to accomplish that. And in the world of art and fashion, visions can sometimes be drastically different; it can become difficult with so many talented people counting on me to execute the perfect look, the perfect image, the perfect walk down the runway. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. It has to be epic every time.

Q: Is this the first time that you’ve participated in FWSD?

VC: My sophomore year of high school back in 2011 was the first time I participated. I was so excited to be a part of Fashion Week San Diego. I still am.

Q: Is this the first time you’ve won?

VC: Yes, and it is an incredible and humbling experience.

Q: What is the best part about winning this award?

VC: To be Fashion Week San Diego’s Top Model is to be part of something really important. Allison Andrews and the FWSD team have placed our beautiful city on the map as a leading platform for emerging fashion designers, models, photographers, fashion social media and hair and makeup artists. I am so incredibly proud to be part of this iconic journey and experience the evolution as it continues to grow as a national and international brand.

Q: How do you keep any insecurity out of your life so that you can do this job?

VC: If anything, modeling has diminished my insecurities. This industry can be cut throat if you let it or it can be a great opportunity to challenge yourself as a person. Modeling has taught me focus, commitment and has helped me build confidence through my experience. I am quite comfortable with the person that I am.

Q: How do you stay in such amazing shape?

VC: I drink a lot of water to keep my body hydrated. I eat as healthy as possible for a college student and I try to exercise when time allows. My favorite machines are the treadmill or stair climber.

Q: What were some of your favorite looks at this year’s FWSD?

VC: It’s super difficult to pick because every designer brought such amazing collections. But I have to say I loved Scott Rich’s eco-friendly collection—it’s so much fun, comfortable and ready to wear. Sasha Bravo has stunning jewelry. She truly has a gift for designing beautiful and unique pieces. I felt invincible walking the down the runway in NaPóstol Couture. And, of course, our top designer B.JASH.I. Wow! Her designs are a statement of art, culture and beauty.

Q: Who was your favorite designer?

VC: All of the designers in Fashion Week San Diego are so talented in their own way it would be hard to pick just one. This year I had the honor to open for Scott Rich and to walk for NaPóstal and Sasha Bravo. All three of these designers have amazing talent and all of their designs are so incredible and unique in their own way. I loved every single piece I got to wear.

Q: What do you do when you are not modeling?

VC: I am a full-time college student and I also spend time with family and friends. I try hard to keep balance in my life, as it can get pretty hectic at times.

Q: Where would you like to be in 10 years?

VC: As long as I can remember I have always wanted to help animals, so 10 years from now I hope to be a veterinarian working with species at-risk or near extinction. It is hard to see on a daily basis how we are losing so many beautiful animals. Someday I hope to change that even if it is in a small way.

Native Knowledge: “Something most people wouldn’t know about me is that I know how to dance Polynesian. I’ve been dancing ever since I was 3 years old and love it!”

Meltdown: Victoria admits that she is a big food lover so a favorite is hard to choose. “I really enjoy eating fondue though; The Melting Pot is definitely one of my favorite restaurants!”

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La Jolla, CA 92037
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S M I Z E /// Like You Mean It: Get to Know FWSD ’15’s Top Designer and Model.