Jijibaba — founded by artist-designers Jaime Hayon and Jasper Morrison — was created on the principles of “good design, good solutions, and good materials”, Hayon tells BoF. The first Jijibaba collection is a 38-piece offering that includes workwear jackets, straight-cut chino trousers and cotton shirts, manufactured in Italy, France and Portugal.
“Many fashion designers launch furniture and interiors collections, so this is just the opposite of that,” Morrison tells BoF, of the trend that has seen Fendi release furry footstools, Hermès making marble coffee tables and Dolce & Gabbana emblazoning kitchenware with its Sicilian prints. “Our worlds are very visual, whether we are looking at a chair or whether we are looking at a garment. While it initially might not seem it, launching clothing is actually a natural extension of what Jaime and I already do in our own work,” he continues.
This is the first time a brand created by furniture designers has launched at Dover Street Market — the collection will be stocked in London, Tokyo and New York, and DSM will handle the inventory numbers branch by branch: the brand has financial backing from Richard Schlagman, who introduced the duo to DSM. Through Jijibaba, they will use the skills and aesthetic of other creative industries — art, architecture and design — and apply them to garments: some of the shirts in Jijibaba’s first collection were inspired by patterns Hayon had used on ceramics, porcelain and tapestries. “There is a link between my three-dimensional work and the development work for the Jijibaba collection,” says Hayon.
The brand identity is democratic: each season, a new designer-in-residence will create the line. “What we are aiming for is to establish an evolving collection created by a community of designers who come from a product background. We thought this would be an interesting new offer to the market. We are not just a fashion label, we are a creative brand,” says Hayon.
Both Hayon and Morrison have created one-off fashion items before, but this is the first time they have designed a full ready-to-wear collection. “The approach is similar [to product design] though there are different problems to solve with clothing, for example, detailing is equally important but clothing is less about structure and more about shape,” says Morrison. Hayon and Morrison will act as creative directors, commissioning artists to design items they feel are lacking from the collection — each garment will launch when it is ready, rather than dropping seasonally. “The idea is to be coherent and to respect each of the designer’s styles,” says Hayon. “We are not creating one definitive style, we are creating an evolving collection that will reflect the style and spirit of its designers.”
What this means for brand consistency will remain to be seen. This is the first time Hayon and Morrison have worked together since meeting on a flight to South Africa 10 years ago: rather than working together on each item, they designed their own pieces within the Jijbaba range. Morrison’s garments are more functional, classic and utilitarian, where Hayon’s are clean but playful — with a chicken embroidery or a tribal print — but the general aesthetic and approach to fabrications is consistent. “The type of consistency we want to establish is that creativity rules above everything,” says Hayon. “We are open to different points of view.”
Launching into Dover Street Market is a huge seal of approval for such a nascent brand. "Jijibaba is a unique offering," Adrian Joffe, president of DSM, tells BoF. "DSM is always aiming to give spaces to people with a vision and something to say, and the idea [for Jijibaba] seems like something really new. I knew and liked Jasper and Jaime's work so was intrigued to see what they would make... We are sure it will find its place at DSM." The collection — which launches on September 15 —will also be displayed as part of an instillation at the Design Frontiers exhibition at Somerset House, from September 18.