If you don’t know the name Jen Kessler, trust us…you will very, very soon! She’s the amazing talent behind Ghinda, a bridal collection designed and created right here in Columbus. We are so proud to be hosting a trunk show with Jen and her amazing designs this weekend, April 12 & 13.
I sat down with Jen to do a little Q & A session so you could get to know the driving force and visionary behind such an amazing collection.IVY:you choose to base Ghinda here instead of a place like NYC? JK: I am originally from Connecticut, but there is no other place I would rather introduce and build my brand than Columbus! The people of Columbus are so supportive of new businesses and are truly dedicated to building each other up!!!! Columbus has so much happening in the fashion arena right now! I feel like we are right in the middle of an amazing moment for this city! IVY: Did you go to fashion school? JK: I did! I studied in Italy at the Accademia Italiana in Florence. IVY: While in fashion school, did you always know that you wanted to design wedding gowns? JK: I knew I wanted to design clothes that were significant, that would become iconic for the wearer. Bridal design is incredibly meaningful because every bride wears her gown as a symbol of everything she is as a woman, a lover, and a best friend. To be able to design gowns that represent all of those things in a woman is absolutely incredible and so inspiring. IVY: Starting your own collection is a huge step! When did you finally decide to move forward and make it happen? JK: Ghinda has been in concept for a while now! But, last year we went from concept to collection to company. And we haven’t stopped creating since! IVY: How did you come up with the name Ghinda? JK: Ghinda is the small town in Eritrea, East Africa where I lived as a child. It is a small town in the middle of the Sahara Desert filled with beautiful people, and the most gorgeous fabrics and colors imaginable. I always knew I would name my business Ghinda because of the impact the people and culture left on me. IVY: How many collections are in the Ghinda line? JK: We have two collections and are beginning our third for spring 2014. We are also coming out with a bridesmaid’s collection! Stay tuned for this…we have some amazing atypical dresses! IVY: Where do you draw your inspiration? JK: Inspiration for me comes from anything and everything…life. Sometimes it’s as simple as oil pooling on top of a puddle, sometimes it’s an idea or concept that I want to talk about visually. I always draw inspiration from the old fashion houses and minimalist designers—Calvin Klein when he first began, Halston, classic Dior and Chanel. IVY: Who are your fashion icons? JK: I follow very closely the Rodarte sisters. I love everything Prabal Gurung, Philip Lim, and Jason Wu are doing. I look to the Alexander McQueen House for fantastical inspiration. I am a firm believer in and study everything about the old foundations of Chanel, Dior, and Givenchy because they are all fashion houses that have re-invented and have stood the test of time. IVY: How would you describe a Ghinda bride? JK: Our girl is someone who loves expressing her sense of style in a singular and fashion forward way. She loves the idea of the process and time it takes to make and wear something beautiful. She is the girl who looks for and believes in what is next, new, and fresh. She is a visionary, someone who is strong and feminine and has seen the world and knows that beauty is found in both the simple and the profound. IVY: Do you have any particular fabrics that you love to work with? JK: We mainly work in metal infused nylon. We use cupro and silk to line our gowns. Cupro is made from pulping the cotton plant. It feels like silk, but breathes like cotton! I love working with silk jerseys simply because they feel amazing on your skin. We create our gowns from the inside out so that our brides feel as amazing inside of our gowns as they look from the outside. IVY: What are your long-term goals for your company? Where do you see Ghinda in ten years? JK: Ghinda will be a national and international brand in ten years. We plan on opening French atelier style flagships on the east and west coast within ten years. We will be a name on all the red carpets and in Vogue publications across the world. But, most importantly, Ghinda will have made many many brides incredibly beautiful and so so happy!
Isn’t she amazing? I’m telling you…you will LOVE her designs! If you want to be able to say, “I was one of the first to wear a Ghinda gown!” then you NEED to schedule an appointment for this weekend! Jen herself will be here to chat with and answer any questions you may have. But until then, here’s a sneak peek at some of her amazing designs to hold you over: