We were very idealistic, and what we asked for is probably not even possible. But, as an artist you have to shoot for the moon.
Begun by best friends turned business partners Jenna Wilson and Cary Vaughan, Ace & Jig has turned a passion for textiles into a dream career. Blending art and business, fashion and friendship, they together create designs that yield not only innovative patterns, but a heartfelt community of support and style.
In so many ways, style is about personality. What we wear or accessorize with is one of the most accessible, often unconscious forms of expression. It is personal and unique, one of the many ways we seek to individualize ourselves in a crowded world. But clothing is also representative of ways in which we belong: a uniform, a burka, or a pink knitted hat, for instance. It is a symbol of our mood, how we feel about ourselves, how we spend our time, and what we value, whether that be style, comfort, or functionality. Increasingly there is a current of consumers choosing to fill their closets based not on these factors alone, but on the integrity of production. Sustainable fibers and equitable labor standards may make items more expensive, but outfit us with more than mere material. They clothe us not only in a “look,” but in purpose.
In the world of sustainable, “slow” fashion, Ace & Jig is a self-proclaimed “textile love story,” a brand that revolves not around the incessant arc of trend or restless consumer bias, but around far-flung friendships and a collaborative community.
Jenna Wilson and Cary Vaughn met as interns, paying their dues in the ranks of fast fashion. As young designers with a shared affection for vintage-inspired textiles, their friendship grew as did their familiarity with New York’s fashion scene, the good, bad, and disposable. It wasn’t long before they recognized in one another a kindred spirit. “We were interning together at this high-end boutique that started their own brand,” Jenna begins. “Because it was a small business, we did everything from cleaning the toilets, to dressing celebrities in Paris,” Cary adds. In the crucible of those experiences, Jenna and Cary solidified a deep friendship, and continued working together as they transitioned through those early years of their careers. “It was a great period for us in figuring out what we would do differently, to be honest. We both reached a point that we were ready to do things a little differently, and do them for ourselves.”
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