Jessica Zanotti | kristinit
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06 Dec kristinit


I first came across Kristinit last Spring when the designer, the lovely Kristina, invited me to her home to have tea and view her most recent collection. With that gesture alone I already knew I liked this woman; who doesn’t love a cup of tea while viewing art in the form of clothing? (Well maybe not everyone, but that’s this girl’s idea of a good time). When I peeped the collection on her site, the little girl inside me started doing her happy dance, as it was so on par with my own personal aesthetic. Needless to say, I could not wait to see it all in person, and excitedly replied RSVP to her invitation. When stepping into Kristina’s studio and seeing the collection in person, inspiration began swirling round and round in my head from the beauty I was surveying in front of me. It was this feminine-vintage-loving-stylists’ dreamdrobe (aka dream wardrobe). “The Secret Garden” meets “The Little Women” vibes with a collection full of ruffles, girly silhouettes, pussy bow ties, off the shoulder tops; all in alluring vintage and sustainable fabrics. The custom vintage silk fabric was my favorite with its buttery smooth hand that gave me the good kind of chills. You know something is special when it triggers pleasant sensations in your body.

Realizing how connected I felt to the pieces, the fabrics and the designer, I knew we had to create something together. As it happens with most shoots, I see a full collection or certain pieces and images/visions start popping into my head, mental Pinterest mood board-ing if you will. As I held the Paramour dress in my favorite vintage silk, I envisioned it against a complementing floral background and velvet chair. The perfect Fall green of the plush velvet Kelly Dress inspired visions of being shot against brick or stone. While dreaming up these images in my head I realized I had the perfect location: my Granny’s house. Floral walls, vintage chairs, and antiques galore adorn her house that has become an unconscious source of inspiration throughout my life. As Kristina and I talked we decided that we had to put a shoot into action to combine our creativity.

I schemed and conceptualized and pulled a team of amazing women together to bring this shoot to life. We indeed shot at my fabulous Granny’s home in Pasadena. The shoot happened to be a week after the election and I, like many others, was upset and wondering how to use my voice to express within my creativity and work. I came up with the idea of the LOVE TRUMPS HATE sign that my mom (whom I call my new assistant) and I made from vintage fabrics. And the Pussy Power book was made to represent feminism. I was pleased that Kristina was game to add these little touches to the shoot, and could not be happier with the results of this project.

Read on to learn more about Kristina’s journey to creating Kristinit, what inspires her and advice for those looking to start their own clothing line.

-Tell me about your journey to starting Kristinit. What paths lead you to where you are now?

“I was fascinated and attracted to clothing from a very early age. I was always going to my mom’s scarf drawer and taking her silk scarves and tying them around me to make little dresses. I was always designing little collections and watching old movies. I was mesmerized by Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and Joan Crawford and the costumes they wore. When I went to college I studied art and costume design. I also spent time studying costume design in London and New York and this was my first career. I was always making clothes for myself on the side using vintage pieces of fabric and reclaimed clothing. I loved the idea of giving new life to a garment and transforming it into something unique and magical. The main editor from LUCKY magazine saw one of my reclaimed silk jackets that I had designed using vintage heart print silk. My business took off from there and the next thing I knew I was dressing celebrities and being picked up by boutiques like Fred Segal, Bona Drag and Anthropologie.”

-What inspired you to start Kristinit?

“Kristinit was inspired by a desire to live out my dreams and be my own boss. Life is too short and precious to not follow your heart and make a go of it!”

-Where do you get your inspiration from?

“I am inspired by strong women who love themselves and are confident in their power and femininity. There is nothing more attractive than a woman who believes in herself! I think that the right clothing can definitely contribute to this feeling of confidence and beauty. I love designing clothes to make women feel special and beautiful! My favorite time period in fashion are the ’60s and ’70s because it was such a fun and sexy time.

I also spend a lot of time in nature and I love art galleries and museums and travel. I feel like anything really can be a source of inspiration if you see it with eyes that are open and looking for beauty!”

-Who is the Kristinit girl? Who would you love to see wearing Kristinit?

“The Kristinit girl knows herself and isn’t like anyone else. She doesn’t try to fit into a mold of a certain “trend.” She knows that true style comes from being an individual and that true beauty comes from kindness, compassion and being generous. I’ve had the tremendous honor of having style icons such as Blake Lively and Scarlett Johansson wear Kristinit. To me these women epitomize femininity and confidence. I would love to see Emma Watson, Taylor Swift and Michelle Obama wear Kristinit. These women do so much to give back to the world in terms of charity and inspiration.”

-I love the natural fabrics you use, can you tell me a little bit about the process of sourcing these fabrics?

“Part of my collection is sourced from dead stock or vintage materials. To keep our supply chain as sustainable as possible, we make sure our suppliers take social and environmental standards seriously. By sourcing locally when possible, and screening all of our suppliers, we minimize environmental impacts and ensure there’s no unfair or unsafe labor that goes into making our clothes fabrics.”

Who are your style icons?

“I am always inspired by the rock ‘n’ roll women of this era like Patti Boyd, Jerry Hall and Marianne Faithfull to name a few. These women epitomize confidence and glamour. They were true fashion pioneers! I also love the glamorous stars of the 1930’s and most of all my mom. She epitomizes love and everything that I aspire to be as a wife, business woman, and aunt to my little boys Henry and Wally.

What advice would you give to women thinking of starting their own clothing line?

“Don’t give up and don’t take no for an answer. If you dream about it, you can make it happen!”


Photographer: Liza Boone

Creative Direction/Styling: Jessica Zanotti

Hair & Makeup: Stacey Bisel

Model: Terra Grantham

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