Growing up in Glassboro, NJ, Jessica Velez was never far from the glimmering skyline of New York City. From an early age, she knew this would be her home one day. Jessica also recognized something else--an wavering fascination with design. Unlike many of her peers, Jessica recalls being glued to the HGTV channel as a child, an interest that inspired her to dabble with her own homemade creative projects. This passion eventually helped make her dream of living in NYC a reality when she enrolled at F.I.T in 2007. There, she was not only able to obtain her Associates through a joint program at the prestigious Polimoda in Florence, Italy, but also gained indispensable experience working alongside fashion elite such as Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs and Rebecca Taylor in the US.
"The design development can begin with an incredible textural yarn, a photo of Ernst Heckel's illustrations, or one of Veruschka's photographic series of 'Transfigurations'," says Jessica.
While these experiences were valuable in every sense of the word, Jessica found herself working extremely long hours for others rather than devoting that time to her own designs. Driven by the desire to share her work with the world, she began channeling that energy to build her own brand instead.
In 2011, the budding designer founded her own company, Jessica Velez Knitwear, upon graduating from F.I.T. According to Jessica, having the ability to create and develop the structure, color and texture of her own textile is what initially drew her into knitwear, but the real fun begins with the source of inspiration behind each creation. "The design development can begin with an incredible textural yarn, a photo of Ernst Heckel's illustrations, or one of Veruschka's photographic series of 'Transfigurations'," says Jessica. Whether she's using natural fibers or mixed fiber yarns, her unique vision combined with flawless design execution continually resonates with her loyal customers who value the craftsmanship and wearability behind each piece.
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