Thursday, July 22, 2010

Le'Talk: An interview with fashion designer Kimberly Jurek

by Tara Sloane

For the past five years, the Twin Cities have been enthralled with the chic, wearable designs of local fashion maven Kimberly Jurek – and for good reason. Found in more than 20 boutiques worldwide, from Tokyo to Los Angeles to the Twin Cities, Jurek’s designs possess a perfect balance of breezy simplicity and high-end elegance: hippie, prairie, and bohemian influences add splashes of romance and exotic appeal to your wardrobe, without making it look like you tried too hard (if at all!). Borrowing inspiration from various elements in art and nature as well as from her international travels (look for Argentine-esqe bombas and braided faja belts in her fall line), Jurek’s work is inspired by a little bit of everything, and that’s how we like it. To celebrate the 5th anniversary of her line, Kjurek Couture, the veteran designer will be presenting her fall collection this Saturday at Arctic Studios, along with the highly anticipated leather and suede handbag line created in collaboration with Amanda Christine.

We caught up with Kimberly to chat about what inspired her new line, her take on local fashion, and what she has in store for Saturday.

l'étoile: Past lines have been noted for your use of rich colors and nature/art inspired textures. What can we expect to see on Saturday?

Kimberly: The 2010 Kjurek Fall collection is full of color and prints. Expect to see a blend of carefully chosen fabrics of silk, cashmere, boucle and cotton knits in black, turquoise, fuchsia, pea green, orange and cobalt.

Who are your favorite fashion designers, worldwide or local?

It changes season to season. But right now, I heart Anna Sui's fall collection. I think the blend of color, prints and layers is brilliant. Love!

From Kjurek Couture Fall 2010 collection

You've done a fair bit of traveling. Any place that was particularly inspiring for you?

This collection was largely inspired by my last trip to Argentina. I spent the months of December and January staying in Buenos Aires (which in my opinion has some of the most fantastic fashion in the world-every girl on the street looks like she stepped straight out of a magazine), and traveling south to stay along the coast in small beachy towns and finally crossed over to San Martin de los Andes in La Pampa region. This is where my inspiration came to base the collection on the style of the gaucho (Argentine cowboy). You will see this in the Bamboocha pants, traditional faja belts, and pancho style jackets. The other two themes woven in to balance out the femininity is boho peasant and bomba. I am in love with the large full circle ruffle skirts of a traditional bomba dancer, and I am so excited to have a group performing at the show. While putting together their costumes I was so inspired, that I wanted to include the flavor in the collection. The boho chic peasant is something I can't seem to get away from, I love it so much and is best seen in the peasant style tops and pocketed apron belts.

From the "Exclusively Fall" Runway show 2009

What is your take on the local fashion industry right now? How do your designs fit in? Who do you see wearing your designs?

I think the local fashion industry is growing and its exciting to see so many great ideas. I love Minneapolis, designers have heart here. I am glad to be a part of it. I partner a lot with Amanda Christine because we both are going in the same direction and we adore each other. We share a booth at market (in Las Vegas and LA) as well as reps and the last time we were showing together we decided to collaborate on a hand bag line. Its been a lot of fun to work out all of the details and styling of them. The hand bag collection is the perfect blend of Kjurek and Amanda Christine. The are full leather and suede have amazing details like horse bit handles and suede and metal fringe. I currently have Kjurek carried at Cliche, Drama, Gallery 360, Parc Boutique (new!), Fresh Face Loftique (new!) and Karma and am happy that the line has done so well for everyone. I feel like I design clothing for women who want to feel feminine and confident and who are looking for something unique.

From the Spring 2010 collection / Photo by Loren Kollmer

How would you describe your own work and aesthetic?

I would say that I am constantly thinking about my business. I want to keep it fresh and exciting and designing a new collection two times a year does that. I love the process of picking out fabrics and traveling to come up with different inspiration for each season. Currently I am finishing up the spring-summer 2011 collection and am in love with the prints I have chosen (I have over 15 prints in the collection!). My aesthetic stays true to the boho chic and femininity. I like to make simple clothing that feel great and are easy to wear. Nothing makes me happier than being in one of my boutiques and seeing someone try one of my pieces on and loving it!

What is the best piece of fashion advice you’ve ever been given?

The best advice or inspiration was from my collections teacher in Italy. The first day of class she said that no idea is original, everything has been done and sometimes you can blend ideas and come up with a style that is fresh but you shouldn't feel like "you" were the one who created it (we are all a product of our environment). It took the mystery and scariness out of designing for me. I am constantly inspired by everything around me, and by her saying that, it allowed me to open my eyes and look for ideas that I might not have thought of.

The K.Jurek 5-Year Anniversary Show is happening this Saturday, July 24th at Arctic Studios. For more info and locations where you can pre-purchase tickets click HERE. To check out Kimberly's work online visit

No comments: