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Meet Kiara Jones

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kiara Jones.

Born and raised in San Diego, California, Kiara Tiana Jones has always considered herself a dancer before anything. She’s trained and performed professionally in ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, modern, as well as tap since the age of five. Kiara modeled for Discount Dance’s “curvy fit” in 2018. Danced on stage alongside Lip’s Drag Queens at Pride San Diego 2018 and 2019 and has choreographed for many live performances on and off stage.​

While attending the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (S.D.S.C.P.A.) as a dance major, Kiara was Vice President of the Design Club in 2019. With this club, Kiara and her peers organized a fashion show with performing acts. She and two other designers created their own clothing line. With minimal sewing and designing experience, Kiara sewn eight gender-neutral outfits that later inspired her to make her own senior prom dress.​Two years later, Kiara is continuing her passion for fashion and made her own streetwear handmade clothing brand. Growing up culturally diverse and being exposed to all types of people has inspired her to build a brand that is all-inclusive and involves everybody. Every piece from KTJ for She, He, and They is sewn as well as designed by Kiara.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Looking back from when I started fashion design in my senior year of high school compared to now, I’m quite proud of how far I’ve come with educating myself about fashion. I had no prior experience with a sewing machine, designing, and constructing clothes before I had the insane idea of creating that fashion show with my peers. Being a designer is not an easy job. There is so much important history to learn that includes the evolution of fashion and the birth of certain trends. Studying well-known designers’ work, models as well as actresses that were muses back in the day around the 1920’s to the present day has definitely fed my hunger towards creating my own spin on fashion. My favorite eras are the 1970’s and 1990’s; I’m a big fan of the 70’s bohemian dress style, large collars, and hippie persona that protested the war and women’s rights. I also love the rebellious look the 90’s porayed with distressed garments, plaid flannel shirts, and the rise of R&B legends we still admire today. I still watch Thierry Mugler’s Spring 1997 Couture Collection in awe of what he’s created… definitely one of my favorite couture designers aside from Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes, who created the famous Playboy Bunny costume.

As a designer, it’s important to know the world’s history in order to distinguish certain garments and to be able to explain to pattern makers, the company’s textile team, or the product manager of the overall look that is being created to produce a collection. Initially, I was going to California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) as a dance major then realized, I wanted to educate myself with my newfound expression. It took me a whole semester of jumping back and forth of deciding what I wanted to pursue for my secondary education. I finally made the decision to combine both my artforms into my weekly activities. I’m still learning the basics of what it takes to be a fashion designer, even with She He And They. From making annoying mistakes on the sewing machine to learning how to manage a business at 19 on my own, I’m still learning. A goal of mine by the end of this year is to make a gown… my specialty is streetwear so this’ll be a fun project to tackle.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m now a student at San Diego Mesa College for Fashion Design and a contracted dancer with Visionary Dance Theater. I’m also now working on a show with fellow designers called Dresscode, hosted by 24 Frames Production Company. The show is going to be released on YouTube this fall and features reconstructing challenges and many more! Aside from those projects, I also model with Downtown Dolls San Diego, Dallhouse SoCal, and dance with Brickhouse Dance Productions. I’ve been featured as a model in music videos like Omar Wilson, Sisqo, Raheem DeVaughn and Shawn Stockman ‘Secret Garden’, Unghetto Mathieu ‘Better Than Me’, Wisdom Gully ‘V.I.P.’, Salam Chamsine, حـبيبـي – سـلام شـمسـين – ‘Habibi’. I’m kind of a jack of all trades. Anything that involves art, I love and eventually teach myself how to do or find a mentor to help me to accomplish my undying list of artistic goals. I’m mainly known for being a dancer, model, and now upcoming designer with my own brand She He And They. Art has always been involved in my life. It’s an outlet of expressing myself and ultimately helps me cope with this crazy world. I have lost and found myself through dance and fashion design. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. I love what I do.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
I feel as though I’m continuously learning lessons as I go through my journey with sewing and designing. For example, in high school, I had to create eight outfits for the fashion show for a Design Club. In addition, I got a little too ambitious and decided to make my senior prom dress too. I stayed up till 3:00 am multiple nights trying to figure out how to design this dress. Making my prom dress was definitely a long process being that I was still learning how to operate a sewing machine. I made about four different prototypes playing around with the different fabrics and styles. I was very pleased with the outcome and was able to dance all night with the two-piece I made. Staying up that late while it was finals week was not a good idea. I even remember working on the dress hours before the function… never again. To me, lessons are endless; I’m still feeding my knowledge with different sewing techniques I can use for various garments and fabrics.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Jack Guerra Liljo Yolanda Amaro Jacob Smith Martin Ronquillo Doug McMinimy

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