It’s not easy being a saint, and JJ Martin does it in style. As the creative force behind La Double J, a Milan-based clothing and homewares company, JJ has maxed out whimsical maxi dresses to fabulous formal wear and epic casual looks. La Double J dresses, skirts, blouses and outwear have sashayed through every party and decorated every It girl. Laura Ashley, it’s not.
“What I love most about Italy is just being so close to the creativity and the art history – you can just walk out the door.”
JJ is enthusiastically particular and particularly enthusiastic. You can tell from her prints and from any conversation with her. She is neck-deep in Milan and can get down about anything- from vintage dresses and vintage waiters to the city’s renaissance which is happening right now. She considers herself a home body yet she’s up and on top of La Double J, its collaborations and her friends, a collective of creatives. Attentive, dynamic and incredibly well researched, JJ does the work which is why she was able to transform a vintage clothing e-shop into an international label of her own designs. And it helps that she’s in Italy, where historic design and textile companies are still (fingers crossed) producing.
American journalist, designer and ecommerce entrepreneur JJ Martin created an entirely made-in-Italy fashion house:, “La Double J ” which is the love child of her two passions: vintage clothing and sciurre, high-octane Italian housewives and society belles who embody the class of beautiful decorations, meals and parties. Even though I am innately overwhelmed by prints, I fell in love with La Double J dresses for the peculiarity of some of the designs (my favorite is the Bouncy Dress with rainbow doves flying all over it). and for the quality of the fabrics, another fascination of JJ’s.. She sources fabrics like Crepe de Chine, crispy cotton (a thick, almost started cotton), silk and Jacquard from Italy’s heritage textile companies, and works with Mantero, a four-century old print archive and silk company whose revolutionized to the 21st century, for her prints. For her homewares, she collaborates with Murano glass makers and Italian ceramic artists. The result is that every La Double J piece is entirely made in Italy. And you can feel it.
MORE FROM THIS EPISODE
Want to hear how JJ went from fashion journalist to fashion house? Find out where she loves to sit pretty in Milan? Pull up a chair and press play.
(00:46): Double J J Martin’s introduction
(02:48): The beginning of JJ’s career
(05:12): The birth of La Double J
(11:06): Moving to making vintage clothes
(12:57): Understanding the vintage prints
(15:09): Understanding archived prints
(17:23): Why are Italian made clothes expensive?
(19:41): Understanding Milan better
(30:14): What’s next for La JJ?