We believe in reinvention. Our motto is, "Using what we have to reinvent our lives." Our one-of-a-kind garments are designed and handmade from carefully selected combinations of fabrics, including repurposed fabrics that have been rescued and refashioned.
What's important is how you will look and feel wearing a J.Mullin kimono. The sleek, luxurious linings, deep side slits, large pockets and roomy, flattering silhouettes will have you doing a double take. And, your wardrobe woes can step aside. A J.Mullin kimono pairs nicely with your favorite separates, unifying your look, and giving you the confidence that comes with having the right thing to wear for any occasion.
Meet the Designer:
Designer and Co-owner of
J.Mullin Apparel Co.
J.Mullin Apparel was founded by Joanne Mullin three years ago, when she and her husband, Bill, moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Kansas City. That was when Joanne started making kimonos, using combinations of new and repurposed fabrics.
After a career in corporate communications and a few years of interior design and decorative painting, Joanne started deconstructing and remaking denim jackets, using repurposed fabrics, leather, lace and trim. She sold several hundred jackets in the Bay Area through shows, galleries, boutiques and home shows.
While the reinvented denim jackets were popular, they were not for everyone. It became apparent that short fitted jackets were not flattering for many women, and could be confining and sometimes uncomfortable.
Upon moving to Kansas City, Joanne decided to create a more elevated line that more women would be able to wear. "I wanted to create a timeless, elegant layering piece that would be flattering and comfortable," she said. "I chose to design pieces that I would wear myself; something that could be paired with pieces that I already owned, and that would incorporate the beautiful fabrics I love to repurpose."
"I love to combine patterns, textures and colors, and I live and breathe for visual transformations. As an interior designer and artist, and now as a creator of beautiful garments, I especially enjoy the process and art of reinvention. I particularly enjoy the kimonos because they fit all different shapes and sizes, while being comfortable, elegant, practical, and above all -- flattering.
Each garment I create is a one-of-a-kind mix of fabric combinations that tells a story of its own. Each kimono is named for a woman I've admired in some way, or totally invented. Tucked inside the descriptions of each kimono, you'll find a little story about the woman who inspired each piece. It gives the kimonos a bit more personality, and gives it more meaning.
It is my hope that the stories each garment represents will empower and inspire whoever purchases it, bringing new depth and meaning to their own story."
The J.Mullin Apparel Co. donates all proceeds to not-for-profit organizations that help women experience their own renewal and reinvention.
Meet Our Team of Professionals:
We are blessed to have a treasure of talent and skill available to us through outside contractors here in Kansas City, who have been working along with us for the past few months to get our production and branding in place. We'd like to mention some key players:
Rightfully Sewn, a Kansas City non-profit initiative that provides seamstress training, professional development for fashion designers, and apparel production, took on the challenge of small batch production for 50 one-of-a-kind kimonos. We worked together to establish a standardized production process using different fabric combinations for each piece. They were very professional, and courageous, to take on such a project, but the results are beautiful, and we are moving ahead with a new pattern and a new production run for early 2022.
We are most appreciative to Jennifer Lapka, president of Rightfully Sewn; and Sarah Watts, Production and Operation Manager; and Sandra Romero, head seamstress, for their patience and professionalism. It is our honor to be a part of this initiative, which focuses on training seamstresses and propelling budding designers, while helping to reestablish Kansas City as an epicenter for the manufacture of affordable, high-quality American made garments.
Joanne's home studio. This is where Joanne selects the fabrics and designs each piece, preparing it for production.
Novella Brandhouse, a branding and marketing agency based here in Kansas City, worked with us on refining our brand messaging and marketing strategy. A certified Women's Business Enterprise and a Small Local Business Enterprise, also guided us through the process of developing our visual identity and brand elements. We continue to work with their very capable and talented team as we move toward our launch. For their comprehensive and personal approach and creative solutions, we thank Elizabeth McFadden, CEO -Director of Brand Strategy; Kelly Klinkon, Director of Marketing Strategy; Abby Ventura, Art Director; and Skeet Hanks, Creative Director.
Samantha Levi, Kansas City-based photographer and creative director, took on our project with passion and creativity, and worked with us to do a professional photo shoot with three models, a stylist, and hair/makeup designer. The whole photography team was great to work with! We especially appreciated the styling services and fabulous location/studio that was provided for our eight-hour shoot. Samantha's mastery of lighting techniques and ability to capture the essence of our brand was quite impressive. We are proud to showcase her beautiful photographs in our marketing and communications efforts.
With the continued support of these and other professionals, our vision of providing a new level of elegant ease to the sophisticated women of Kansas City and beyond, will become a reality. We sincerely thank all of you who have supported and encouraged us from the beginning, and all of you who are just finding out about us. We are looking forward to meeting more of you in person as we grow.
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