Not everything is black and white. For Lasell College graduate Jesenia Lopez, the most interesting things can be found in the contrast and the in between. The first collection, Undivided Collective, by her New York City-based NMBR09 brings a new feel to the covert urban fashion scene with unisex collections inspired by the symbolism of duality between the conscious and subconscious mind. The NMBR09 design is rooted in two inverse concepts, that of black/white and curved and straight lines representing duality and ‘simplexity.’ The lush materials and geometric shapes are anchored in a design technique that maximizes the beauty of the human form, stimulating the functions of the wearer and touching the desire of the human subconscious. Jesenia’s contrasting design elements evoke different interpretations of the poles of individual human experience and their representations in art of dressing. Both fresh and complex, we talk to Jesenia about jumbo scrunchies and existential matter.
How and why did you start designing?
The art of design has been passed down in my family from generation to generation, from seamstresses to carpenters. I come from a family of makers. My mother and aunts instilled the curiosity of creation in me by teaching me how to make jumbo scrunchies and clothing for my dolls in my childhood. With the knowledge I have today, I understand that I started designing because of the alchemist in me (as a believer in transmutation) – I live to bring ideas to life in new forms.
What is your biggest hurdle building a brand today?
I find the biggest hurdle is building [a brand] from the ground up with the limited resources there are for young independent designers without having to sacrifice your vision.
What do you think about fashion today?
My view on fashion is that it is one of the most important mediums we use to express ourselves. It is the interpretation of time and space with the constant evolution of our soul. Today, I feel it has transcended class, race, and gender and become more inclusive.
What is your fashion philosophy?
The art of dressing should be fly and effortless. I believe the best of wardrobes stand on their classic and timeless pieces. That is the philosophy I transmute into my work.
What inspired this line?
The Undivided Collective is inspired by the conscious collective. Spirit. Existential matter. Experiencing ourselves in infinite time and space and finding comfort in the process of being.
Where do you go and what do you do for inspiration?
I find myself inspired by past, present, and future experiences – my own and others.
Any tips and tricks of the trade?
Be yourself. Stay true to your spirit, to your truth.
Find your unconscious in Undivided Collective launched today.