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Meet Joanne Swift of Josie Chen Range/Cicero Design in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joanne Swift.

Please kick things off for us with some background on your story.
I’m the owner and creative director of Josie Chen’s range a semi precious line of accessories based out of Shanghai & LA . I started Josie Chen range back in 2010, originating from the UK, Im a trained fashion design, and have degrees in fine arts and textile design. After graduation in Japan, I decided to explore opportunities in China. Finally settled in Shanghai In 2008, It was at that time, I was asked by a friend to design a small capsule collection of jewelry pieces for a London store. It was my first time to make any kind of jewelry designs but I loved to go to the local markets , sourcing unusual elements and stones that really brought out my passion . With my background in design and the understanding of the design elements, I spend hours teaching myself how to fuse and fix claps, until I ended up creating a unique blend of femininity with an industrial edge. The collection quickly sold out and the brand quickly found its feet, I was quite surprised. It was then, I decided to create the brand and started to make capsule collections, which were sold throughout China and South East Asia, And Europe. Over the years I have had Asian and western celebrities wearing or purchasing my styles such as Katy Perry who purchased a piece from a collection store in Beijing, which really makes me proud.

The philosophy behind the brand and name was to reflective a Asian Designer who was bridging the market, and for me the most important factor was that nothing was made in a factory, each style was handmade and designed in house, with a small team of designers. I was really inspiration by the materials that i sourced locally. All of the materials were leftovers of precious stones and limited elements that brands had discarded and for that reason most designs have limited pieces. I would recreate the same styles in different materials, making all the pieces very unique. I was very conscious of the environment I was working and living in and I really didn’t want to add to more excess and I was able to remain true to the brand’s defiant, rock – chick attitude Now after many years in Asian, for the last two years, I has been inspired and fascinated by the energy and vibrance of Los Angeles and having travelled for work back and forth , I have now after six months a small studio downtown and I’m looking to create a bridge between Shanghai and LA and hope that people will accept my vision and styles.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The process has had many obstacles along the way, however, the challenge is to always to overcome them in the best and effective way possible, we have a very strong team and we work towards moving forward, and to keep improving our methods and processes to meet the brands needs. I believe its really important to keep on top of what’s happening with trends the environment and the new generation, they are driving the way they want to buy, with value and knowledge it was made ethically and in the right way. This can be considered a struggle for other brand but for us this is what moves the brand aesthetic and moves us forward.

Please tell us about Josie Chen range/Cicero Design.
We specialize in two areas –

Josie Chen range is a Semi-precious Accessories brand that really specializes in customization for individual clients and we work with a lot of Stylists for more editorial/fashion shows/Advertising/Films.

We do have stock items of three different lines, for both men and women’s, according to price point for more information Please email us.

We started Cicero Design in 2015 as a subconcept of Josie Chen range Ltd, We offer design services, sourcing, production, for start-up and established brands, to produce their collections in Asia, I work hand in hand with the clients through the whole design process; creating initial sketches, concepts, mood-board, fabrics, print design, trims and accessories. We will arrange the sample development to production as well as offering QC and inspection. We work very closely with fabric suppliers and mills, factories and wash houses specialized in small runs to large quantity orders.

Working on all product lines, men’s/women’s casual Woven’s, denim wear, sportswear, leather bags and accessories. Also, specialize in kids’ wear and swimwear, women’s wear, evening wear.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I think I would have really looked for an investor to help in marketing and planning, that was the area, I was lacking when I first started out, however, to be honest, it was also a different market different country economically, and things have also changed so much since we first started out, that being said, it might not have been as effective as it is now. Therefore, I believe that if you have an idea and you are passionate about it, their is no stopping you in making that idea or passion come to life, no matter the struggles, you will always find a way to deal with it when it comes about, whatever you do will also advance your learning, your career in some way other or you will meet new friends or clients that will also help and support you to move forward.

Pricing:

  • Josie Chen range 50-150
  • JC 150- 500usd
  • JC limited -above 1000UDS

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

I-Magazine #17, MOMO Chow Singer/Proformer, Josie Chen model Iya – Iva photographer.

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