Emerging Talent: Meet Designer Jennifer Diederich

There’s a time when you meet a designer and you both just instantly click. That was Jennifer Diederich and I. I first came across her eclectic colorful designs through a friend’s Instagram account, and was instantly mesmerized. I had to know more about this brand and who the designer was. Her collection is called, “Suite,” and she’s most ironically known for her quick escape coats. So how did Jennifer get her start and build her brand?

From “Project Runway” to now, I connected with the designer to learn more.

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How did you come to curate your personal style?

I have always had strong tastes and ideas. As a child, I ate whole lemons. I wore all neon outfits. I refused to participate in group activities where I felt like I couldn’t express my point of view uniquely. I  tried out all the trends and saw what worked on me. It wasn’t until my last year at the Fashion Institute of Technology that I started to pull all these ideas together to create my personal sense of style.

I have an affinity for old movies, playful colors, whimsical prints, dresses, swing coats, cocktail parties, and city life. Because I love these things, I always have them in my mind while  creating or shopping. I believe the most important rule in creating your own personal style is to only buy what you love. Always search out that detail that feels uniquely you.

Can you tell us the story behind Suite?

During a week-long stay at the Plaza Hotel, I couldn’t help imagining some of Eloise’s wardrobe getting mixed up with the luxury luggage destined for one of the splendid suites. That moment of inspiration sparked the idea for Suite, which is also inspired by vintage 50’s and 60’s bon ton clothing, playful prints, and all things colorful. It was also very important to me to create unique, conversation-starting coats at a price my friends could afford.

How did appearing on “Project Runway” alter your career?

Before “Project Runway,” I was designing embroidery designs for Blumarine in a small town in Italy. When I got back to Italy after filming the show, I wasn’t really sure what to do next. So, I slowly started creating custom dresses and developing Suite. As you start a brand or business, insight from others who have already created one is priceless. “Project Runway” helped to  facilitate  those introductions because people were curious to meet me after being on the show. However, any notoriety from “Project Runway” is only a foot in the door. The rest is up to you.

What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a similar path?

Fashion design may seem so glamorous, but in reality, it is made up of long hours, dragging bags around and sewing all night. You will need to be fully dedicated for success.

What Jennifer has learned along the way:

Listen to customers—their wants and needs

Try to search for innovative ways to reduce impact on the environment

Stick with what you know best, don’t try to be everything to everybody

Delegate work that you can’t do or don’t have time to complete

Surround yourself with supportive people, so when you get down on yourself, they can help bring you back

Be humble and kind

Reach outto people who inspire you

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