PROFILE: JAMIE HAYES (CORRECTED POST)

imageJamie Hayes at Dose Market. photo courtesy of Dose Market/Eva Deitch (corrected from original post!)

It is always wonderful when you find a new talent especially with an interesting story to tell.  A long time friend, Lawrie Weed, invited me to join her for lunch and a program at The Arts Club of Chicago.  Her invitation said the program was to be given by a “designer” that was all!  I presumed a fashion designer, but learned long ago never to assume anything!!!  I was, however, correct the program was to be given by a designer, Jamie Hayes.  The title that was presented on the screen was a bit off putting and I thought, oh my, I’m in for an hour of a “lecture on the environment” again I was correct but totally wrong in my presumption that it would bore me to sobs!  Jamie was not only a totally engaging speaker but her story of how she got to where she is captivated me and her designs enchanted me, I wanted to know more. I also realized that she had been in the Fashion Studies program at Columbia College Chicago. After her presentation, I asked if she would be interested in joining me in a blog post by answering my questionnaire.  She not only agreed but had returned it to me within 24 hours along with the wonderful photos you see in this post.  Do join me as I present a person who has not only found her niche in the fashion world (and is pursuing her dream by staying in Chicago making her garments “in house” another plus!!!) but has started to help change our thoughts on how to help the eco system, fair trade, and ethically made clothing.

I wanted to give you Jamie’s background from her website http://www.jamielhayes.com  followed by her answers to the NenasNotes questionnaire.

“Jamie Hayes’ interests lie at the intersection of fashion, art, labor, and identity. Her approach is both collaborative and customized. She believes that clothes should fit one’s body (not the other way around); that people should wear what flatters and interests them rather than what someone else dictates is fashionable; that style is a form of self-expression; and that everyone in the chain of production of clothing should be paid a living wage.”

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“She has explored these topics through her academic studies, earning a B.A. from Washington University in English Literature, a B.A. from Columbia College in Fashion Design, and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Chicago. She has worked in the fashion industry since 1999, and in the field of immigrant and labor rights since 2009. Her recent work merges these two paths: she has designed for fair trade organizations including SERRV, Intercrafts Peru, and Threads of Yunnan, and has volunteered as a Campaign Leader for Chicago Fair Trade, helping to pass an ordinance mandating that apparel procured by the City of Chicago be sweatshop-free. She is the owner and designer of an ethically made line of clothing for men and women called Production Mode (productionmodechicago.com)”

WHEN WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF YOUR TALENT

When I was very young, I was fearless. I don’t think I even thought to wonder what other people thought of my talent–I just loved creating things. I mostly hand-sewed super hero outfits for my cat out of Kleenex and thought I was brilliant. Then like many children, I lost my nerve and it took many years to get back into a head space where creating was truly fun and joyful. I won a few accolades when I was studying fashion at Columbia College Chicago- I was in the Driehaus Competition and FGI, and it helped to have an outside panel recognize my talent. But I think I knew that I had truly found my calling when I was working on a self-generated art project in Vietnam, called Past Perfect, exploring the social meaning of fashion. I remember feeling so entirely focused and energized. I felt a click, like I did when I was a little girl.

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WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD “MADE IT”I have “made it” in the sense that I’m passionate about my work–it combines my artistic, design, and ethical goals. In financial terms, however, I still haven’t “made it”, as my businesses are both very new. But they are growing.
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HOW DID YOUR ORIGINAL PASSION BRING YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW

I always loved to sew- I taught myself embroidery and hand-sewing as a child, and bothered my mother and grandmother to teach me on the machine. I was always drawing as a child as well, and playing dress up, like most little girls. But I took it really far and wore my dress up outfits to school.

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But by middle school I dropped art to focus on academics. It’s sad because I thought I HAD to make that choice, and studying English Lit, as I also love to read. Luckily, I circled back to fashion as an adult. Essentially, I found that I wasn’t happy unless I was working with fabric, texture, color … art. I realized that if I didn’t follow that passion, I’d always be regretful.

WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN YOUR ALTERNATE CHOICE AS A CAREER….WAS THERE ONE

I wanted to be an architect for a spell. Not so different than fashion!

YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF MUSIC

I adore Latin music and dance- especially salsa!

imageRevised photo.
HOBBIES….

Besides salsa dancing, I also deejay. I have a monthly night at a bar called Danny’s in Bucktown. I adore music and worked at a record store while I was studying fashion at Columbia College. And I love to get people dancing!

HOME….MODERN, TRADITIONAL, ANTIQUES (WHAT ERA) ECLECTIC

My house includes lots of mid-century modern pieces. I’m from St. Louis and during the 1950s and 60s it was still a wealthy town, so when I was putting together my first apartments in college and afterwards, mid-century modern pieces were all over the thrift stores, selling for nothing. Now that era is very in vogue, but luckily I had many a thrift score before it became valuable.

WHO WOULD YOU HAVE AT YOUR FANTASY DINNER (LIVING OR DEAD) AND WHAT WOULD YOU SERVE
Madeleine Vionnet

Elsa Schiaparelli
Josephine Baker
Rudi Gernreich
Grace Jones
Sonia Delaunay
Prince
David Bowie
Annie Albers
Rei Kawakubo
Claire McCardell
Erich Fromm
A lot of big personalities at this dinner party! It’d be interesting to see if everyone got along.
I’d probably make a Mexican meal: ceviche, guacamole, fish tacos, mole, jamaica punch. Chicago has some of the best Mexican food outside of Mexico, so I’d play to our strengths. Or have Alinea cater the dinner party. I don’t think they cater but I’m guessing if Bowie and Prince were resurrected from the dead, they might consider it:)
FAVORITE VACATION SPOT VISITED AND WHERE DO YOU WANT TO VISIT

Mexico City & Oaxaca. I’d love to go to Japan and to Brazil.

FAVORITE RECIPE

Hibiscus Punch

Bowl 2 c. of dried hibiscus flowers* for 10 min.
Add sugar to taste
Drain
Serve as hot or iced tea
Or, spike it with gin or mezcal
*Dried hibiscus flowers are available at any super market with a good selection of Mexican foods. In Spanish, they are called “Jamaica” flowers.
The re-hydrated hibiscus flowers can be used to make tacos. They pair well when fried with carrots, onions, and shredded chicken (chicken tinga). Then top with cotija cheese.
YOUR FAVORITE CHICAGO PUBLIC ART PIECE AND WHY
It’s not public art per se, but I love Chicago’s architecture. Specifically, our Marina Towers, the Harry Weese’s townhouses on the river, and the beauty of the el tracks.

  

HOW DO YOU  WANT TO BE REMEMBERED
I hope to bring light and joy into the world.
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY JAMIE HAYES

www.jamielhayes.com

BLOGS YOU FOLLOW

@jenniferhiggie (Instagram)
 
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6 thoughts on “PROFILE: JAMIE HAYES (CORRECTED POST)

  1. Cynthia Olson March 13, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    I was amazed to see Claire McCardle on her list. I loved her designs but didn’t think that a young designer would have heard of her.it would have been quite the dinner party!

    Liked by 1 person

    • nenasnotes March 13, 2017 / 3:11 pm

      I know, but some of the young ones do pay attention..so all is not lost!!!! She is really good!

      Like

    • Jamie Hayes March 13, 2017 / 3:52 pm

      One of the best American designers … we wouldn’t have sportswear without her! I was especially excited to see that the Fashion Resource Center at the School of the Art Institute has several Claire McCardell’s in their collection. So hopefully there is a whole crop of new designers learning about her importance.

      Like

      • nenasnotes March 13, 2017 / 3:57 pm

        As well as the Costume Collection at the Chicago History Museum. She most certainly was one of the originators of American Fashion. Died much too young!!! Wouldn’t we all like to have conversations with her!!

        Like

  2. Sally Schwartz March 14, 2017 / 1:46 am

    What a cool girl, so interesting & cultured! I can’t wait to hang out with Jamie at Randolph Street Market! Another great job here Nena, fun read

    Like

    • nenasnotes March 14, 2017 / 1:17 pm

      Thanks Sally. I am very impressed with Jamie I know you will be as well.

      Like

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