It’s 2020 and young Black girls still don’t often get opportunities to showcase fashion boldly while sharing their input with the designer and having fun with new looks. Jabella Fleur is out here to change that. If you’ve scrolled through Instagram, chances are you’ve seen these nostalgic images featuring young Black girls in vintage-inspired fashion. The Insta-account was founded by designer Alissa Bertrand, an Atlanta-based designer who originally wanted an outlet to show off her creative work. Her gorgeous young daughters are front and center, modeling the clothes and the audience agrees: her account has over 30,000 followers.
Get to know Alissa Bertrand, Founder of #JabellaFleurGirls
This month, we spoke to Alissa Bertrand about her design process, how she works so well with her daughters, and what’s next on the radar for her work in our Pretty Birds series.
Alyx Carolus: Jabella Fleur is a wonderful celebration of young black girls and is so well executed. How did you come up with the idea?
Alissa Bertrand: Jabella Fleur was put together in the hope of seeing powerful, beautiful Black girls in a positive light, a way in which they’re normally not shown! Through fashion, styling, and photography, I capture the essence of the Black girl in times not normally associated with Black excellence. I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer and create clothing that has a vintage aesthetic and brought back the element of nostalgia in fashion.
AC: The aesthetic you have created is so distinct with a playful vintage feel. Who are some of your style inspirations or muses?
AB: I don’t have any style inspirations that I look up to. I use what I have around me and I love to look at art, artists, architecture, travel, and vintage textiles to let my imagination flow. My muses are my three youngest daughters, who are the inspirations behind my designs and who I design for.
AC: We don’t often see young Black girls getting to have fun with clothes and being photographed in a way that is both nostalgic and fashion-forward – how has the response been from Black moms and Black women who encounter your work?
AB: My work has been liked by all walks of life. The audience following my work always lets me know that what I’m doing is amazing! I’m not sure if it’s more so that the Black community is not used to what I’m doing or they haven’t found me yet. Who knows, but I hope to show more of what I do and in a positive way!
AC: You’re a designer of upcycled clothing in Atlanta and collaborate with your daughters – how has that experience been? How has your home base influenced your work?
AB: The girls and I work so well together. We’re a team now and we know one another very well. The girls have their own ideas, give their input about the silhouettes, and will often share what they love about pattern prints. When we shop, we discuss and go through prints to share who likes what. I’m the designer, with all the ideas and the photography, while they let me know what they do and do not like. My home influences most of my work! I’ve created an artistic sanctuary, where I can think and be free with all my many ideas.
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With some wings and a little pixie dust, anything is possible! Listen to a little song Ella made up💕❤️🦋We started our 1st day of homeschooling and I feel excited, with the fact that I get to control what they learn and how they learn, along with what pace we choose to learn! I will be following a general homeschooling program on what they should know, and learn, but I get to customize it and add what I feel is important as well! I also feel it’s important to truly teach them Black history and African history each week, rather than once a year for one month, like they do in public school. If you have any tips, please share, and if I have any, I will definitely share! TIP #1 BEING ORGANIZED IS KEY 🔑 🤪 ✨plus each one has chosen an extra curricular subject that they’d like to learn more about! -Ella wants to take singing classes🎤 – Jada want more science 🧬 👩🏽🔬 – Jayla wants to learn to cook 🧁 . . . . . . . . . . #jabellafleurgirls #kids #kidsfashion #kidsfashionblogger #kidsfashionphotography #kidsfashionmagazine #kidsfashioninsta #letthembelittle #letthembekids #homeschoollife #homeschoolcollective #homeschoolfun #fashionablelife #fashionablekids #kidsbrand #blackartists #blackmomsblog #kidsvintage #vintagekidsclothes #vintagekids
AC: June 2020 saw a renewed interest in highlighting Black creatives especially on social media.How can people support you in your creative endeavors?
AB: Yes, I saw a major increase in my Instagram following (Jabella Fleur is currently at over 32,000 followers) When I saw the jump in my audience, I asked those to only follow me because you love what I do and are interested in photography and styling. Just because you see a Black family, don’t feel obligated to follow and support because you feel bad and want to look as though you’re supporting Black people! I want people to follow this fashion journey and be excited for what’s to come because they have a genuine interest in my work.
AC: And finally, any future plans for Jabella Fleur and Alissa Bertrand?
AB: I have so many plans for Jabella Fleur! I’m currently working on a children’s fashion line that will be expanded to women’s wear. Hopefully, we’ll branch out into boys, menswear, and household goods! I’m starting out small, but truly hope to grow with the support of the Black community and everyone at large, who want something new and interesting in the world of fashion and home goods!
Want to see more? Follow Alissa Bertrand on Instagram!