Jakke founder Nina Hopkins on the power of faux fur

Ethical womenswear label Jakke, known for its bold, colorful vegan leather and faux fur coats, made its London Fashion Week debut with a collection inspired by the powerhouse outfit from the 1996 film, ‘The Associate’.

Hopkins, who has designed for major brands including Topshop, founded Jakke in 2015 with a mission to create a cruelty-free brand based on her affordable luxury faux fur designs. The brand has attracted a legion of fans thanks to its playful outerwear offered in bright hues and bold prints on realistic faux fur made with recycled polyester made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.

Image: Jakke AW23

In recent years, Jakke has expanded its ethical offering to include vegan leather outerwear and separates. For her pre-spring 2023 collection, she’s using a flexible, comfortable-to-wear fabric that’s 30 percent biobased, made from coffee ground waste. By using this fabric instead of 100% petrochemical-based PU, the brand has reduced the use of virgin materials by 30%.

Even Jakke’s puffer jackets are filled with 100% recycled polyester, while his shirts are made from GOTS-certified 100% organic cotton that is traceable to the farm and does not use chemical fertilizers, pesticides or GMO seeds, and his woven blouses y The denim looks are made from Tencel, a biodegradable fiber made from sustainably grown wood.

Image: Jakke AW23

Jakke’s makes its London Fashion Week debut for AW23

For his LFW debut, Hopkins drew inspiration from power dressing for fall/winter 2023, with a collection spotlighting Jakke’s outerwear essentials, along with more elevated takes and a continuation of the expanded lineup. brand in prêt-à-porter and accessories.

For his presentation, Jakke transformed 100 Gray Inn Road into an office space complete with retro computers, corded phones, Rolodexes, and copiers. The space set the perfect stage for his powerful ’90s-inspired clothing collection, filled with menswear-inspired designs like oversized coats and button-front shirts, along with new skirts in various midi and mini, belted silhouettes. so that the waist can be cinched and cinched. Sheer knit tops for a sexier silhouette.

Other highlights included its signature sustainable faux fur coats and vegan leather jackets updated with longer lengths, boxer-like fits and oversized, as well as the introduction of tailored faux-wool coats.

Image: Jakke AW23

Jakke also increased her accessories offering, adding to her faux fur bucket hat and mittens with large oversized faux fur scarves and two new bags, the ‘Carrie’, a crossbody fanny pack and ‘Greta’, a clutch with twisted handle

Furthermore, Jakke adds that this AW23 collection is also 100 percent cruelty-free and 75 percent less harmful than previous collections.

“Power clothing used to be about women wanting to be seen as equals to men,” Nina Hopkins, Jakke’s creative director, explained in the show notes. “Fortunately, fashion has changed and power clothing has evolved, and as a result, the line between men’s and women’s clothing has never been more blurred than it is today.”

Image: Jakke AW23

FashionUnited talks to Nina Hopkins, Founder and Creative Director of Jakke

Hopkins tells FashionUnited after her presentation at LFW about the inspiration behind her label, her focus on design and low-impact fashion practices, and what’s next for her contemporary brand.

What inspired you to launch a cruelty-free and ethical fashion brand?

Initially, my love for animals inspired me to create a brand based on cruelty-free materials and processes. It was on a visit to China that I got the idea for Jakke; I went looking for some faux fur for a major high street brand and at the market, they had real fur displayed alongside the faux fur. I noticed that some people couldn’t tell the difference between the two, which just goes to show that real fur is so unnecessary.

As time went on, my customers also began to want a more sustainable product, which encouraged me to explore new and exciting fabrics and technologies. Most of our collections are now made from recycled bottled plastic, and in the future we are also looking at plant-based fibers.

How would you describe the aesthetics of your brand?

Our design aesthetic is Scandi cool. The name Jakke means ‘jacket’ in Danish and emphasizes bold colors and playful prints.

Image: Jakke AW23

Outerwear was your initial focus – what product expansions are you most excited to develop?

We’ve already added cruelty-free knitwear and faux fur to the collection, and within the SS23 collection, which launches at the end of March, we’re introducing softer pieces such as dresses, pants and skirts.

We want to be seen as a ready-to-wear brand and not just a category brand and with the expansion of new categories we hope this will change in the future.

What does sustainability in fashion mean to you?

We recognize that no brand selling new fashion can be truly sustainable, so we prefer to use the terms “responsible” and “low impact” to describe our philosophy, which is based on respect for the planet and the rights of everyone involved in the manufacture of our garments. , in addition to not harming animals.

Image: Jakke AW23

How do you implement sustainable practices in your designs?

Responsible, low-impact fashion starts with me as a designer and continues through every step of our product lifecycle; from sourcing to manufacturing, retail and end of life garments. As a designer I try to make sure the fabrics I use are as natural as possible, this can also be difficult as a vegan brand.

Our goal is to create pieces that can be worn season after season and that you will turn to again and again. We ensure the highest quality construction so that our pieces can be passed down from generation to generation instead of ending up in a landfill.

Our sustainability consultant keeps us abreast of the latest fabric innovations and best practices to ensure sustainability remains at the forefront of everything we do.

What made you want to exhibit during LFW?

LFW is one of the biggest platforms for fashion brands and it’s exciting to see more contemporary brands getting the chance to showcase themselves. As for the brands on show, it really has changed in the last 5 years, for the better, and there seems to be a lot more excitement around contemporary brands. There’s a lot of new talent in London, there’s a lot of buzz and it seemed like the right time to showcase it.

We were meant to showcase this past season of LFW, however obviously a lot of last season’s schedule couldn’t go ahead as planned, so this was our debut season.

Image: Jakke AW23

What are the biggest challenges facing your business right now?

For us, Brexit remains one of the biggest challenges in the business.

What advice would you give to anyone starting a fashion brand?

There are so many people who want to start brands and the market is becoming saturated. It is important to find your niche. Have a different design aesthetic, specialize in a particular product, get it right, and grow from there.

Jakke was initially launched as a faux fur brand specializing in bold colors and prints, which immediately caught people’s attention because there was nothing like it on the market at the time.

What is the future of Jakke?

Our plans for the future include expansion. We recently opened markets in the US, Korea and China and we expect to grow here. Currently the UK and Japan are our main markets in terms of sales.
The UK doesn’t have many contemporary RTW brands and we want to fill that gap by growing more categories while maintaining our ethos.

Image: Jakke AW23
Image: Jakke AW23

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