JJ Martin: "Joy and courage make everything possible"

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JJ Martin

The smallest common denominator in her projects is a subtle and happy balance of colour, research and innovation. If she had to make a wish, it would probably be for a home in Bali.

 

Sunny, exuberant and curious – that basically sums up Jennifer Jane Martin, known to all as JJ, queen of vintage and founder of the brand La Double J.  But, if you think about it, this American reporter and Italian businesswoman isn’t easy to define. Discovery and metamorphosis seem to be what drive her. Colour, and a love of beautiful things, the source of her energy. JJ doesn’t believe in charts and homologation, and one of her greatest strengths is having lived in cities that are as diverse as they are engaging -– Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Milan – that have shaped her and driven her to live the present intensely. Now she would rather live on an island. Probably Bali, if she had the choice.

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Bat cave, Design Week 2020

How would you greet people who don’t know you? With a smile!

Your main character trait? Stubbornness.

What did you want to do when you grew up? Fashion, fashion, fashion!

What do you value most in your friends? Loyalty, cheerfulness, open-mindedness.

What makes you happy? The balance, the harmony between my male and female energies.

What excites you? Creating something new.

What frightens you? The moment just leading up to creation: the blank page or looming emptiness, or whatever you want to call it.

Favourite stylist? Paul Poiret.

Favourite furnishing designer? The Ancient Egyptians!

Who are your imaginary heroes? The Ascended Masters.

A real-life hero? The Divine Mother.

What’s your design like? My pieces all share a common root: a sense of joy and nonchalance.

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Clap JJ

Your first fashion memory? My granny’s cheap & chic necklaces.

For you vintage is…? Hidden treasure ripe for discovery.

Who is your “Sciura”? The magical Milanese woman who has a rare gift of being able to take care of her home, her wardrobe and her table in that all-Italian style.

Three books you’d recommend to your best friend? The Places that Scare You. A Guide to Fearlessness by Pema Chödrön; The Gene Keys by Richard Rudd; We the Arcturians: A True Experience by Dr Norma J. Milanovich.

Your favourite colour? All of them! Pretty much the whole rainbow.

Your favourite fabric? Silk twill, from Lake Como (produced by Mantero).

People you like to dress? I love dressing strong, free, creative and radiant people like Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow or my spiritual guide Sandra Walter.

Three homes you’d like to dress? A bamboo house in Bali: a convent in Sicily and a villa in Como. Also a villa in Venice!

Your home is …? Brightly coloured, warm, welcoming. And entertaining, characterful, a mix and match of different eras and styles.

Privacy or conviviality? Conviviality, always and forever!

Milan, Los Angeles or New York? Bali!

Your magical place? An island.

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La DoubleJ X Ladurèe

Your favourite object? The labradorite I wear round my neck. A stone that boosts creativity, strengthens intuition and allows us to be more aware of our spirit.

A furnishing piece you’d like to have at home? Osvaldo Borsani’s T69 table.

Three objects you’d take to a desert island? My crystals, my essential oils and certainly my little dog Pepper.

Reuse or recycle? Reuse! My kitchen’s a great example of reuse. It’s an old Poliform I bought from a Milanese woman and brought home.  

Your lifestyle?  A combination of extroversion and introversion. My life is a vortex of great socialising followed by times of great intimacy with myself.

Your life motto? Joy and courage make everything possible.

20 October 2021