Fresh Faces: 'Softwear' DESIGNER JESS MCKIE
Pattern maker and assistant designer at Creatures of Comfort in New York, Jess McKie’s sensibility is effortless style. Outside of her time in the studio, she’s working away at Skodia, a unisex label inspired by ‘softwear’- ultimate comfort, functionality and wearability.
Where are you from?
I grew up in the inner city suburbs of Melbourne, Australia and moved to New York 2 years ago.
What is ‘softwear?’
Softwear is a tongue-in-cheek term and basically describes anything that’s comfortable and inspiring to me, from Britney Spears in a Juicy Couture sweatsuit to someone’s dad picking up the paper in the morning, to men in everyday workwear on the street. It’s unisex and inclusive – those items of clothing you can see yourself settling into everyday.
How does your background pattern making influence your own line?
The construction of the clothing and attention to detail are really important to me. Whilst designing wearable everyday pieces, we try to include personal details that create a point of difference from other brands. For example, fur lined pockets in a sweatshirt, or regular sweatpants in an interesting fabrication.
You describe Skodia as a lifestyle brand.
I like to think of the brand as a lifestyle as it’s what I want to do in my spare time; make things with my friends and family. Anything that we can make ourselves we do. For example, this season’s knitwear is handmade by my mom in Australia. Collaborations like this are ongoing and not necessarily limited to clothing.
Can you tell us about a collaborative project you are working on at the moment?
Yes, the next thing I’m working on is a pair of ‘Chet Sweats,’ a collaborative sweat suit with Chet Faker. Other ideas are a wooden couch, a hand made bicycle and a cut of meat collaboration with ‘meat boys’ that will be deliver to your house.
Top 3 influential labels?
Juicy Couture of course, Patrik Ervell (MADE Fashion Week alum) and Lucas Ossendrijver’s recent collections for Lanvin.
Where can we buy Skodia?
We are currently in production, but the FW14 will be available on our e-store at the end of July and at Broad Meadows, a newly opened concept store on Mott St.
Photos by Nathan Perkel