Out of 55 students across 26 countries and 82 schools, only one will carry the torch for San Francisco in the upcoming Arts of Fashion Foundation Competition. That student is Justin Jamison. The emerging design student represents the Art Institute of California, host of this year’s Uniquely Untrendy AoF Competition. The competition is part of the larger Arts of Fashion Foundation 2010 Symposium taking place in San Francisco later this week. SF Indie Fashion caught up with him recently to talk to about the experience.
Drawing inspiration from one of his idols, Rick Owens, Jamison’s design philosophy mixes simple with quirky by incorporating elements of asymmetry and draping techniques.
“I tend to stick to simplicity,” Jamison says. “The quirkiness, I’m starting to find my own unique way of what I’d like to mold my stuff into.”
Born in San Diego and raised in the North Bay, Jamison focuses on men’s streetwear clothing that is casual and comfortable, as well as women’s gowns. During the competition next Tuesday, he will show two menswear looks that draw influence from time Jamison spent in Tokyo.
“I still to this day go back to some of the things that I saw [in Tokyo] and pull from them, like the urban layers,” Jamison says.
Jamison, who says he was shocked to find out he was selected as a finalist for the competition, notes the pressure that comes from being one of only 10 U.S. students selected for the competition and the only student from a school located on the West Coast.
“It made me stay focused,” Jamison continues, “actually because not only am I representing the school, I’m representing San Francisco as one of San Francisco’s local designers.”
He’s taking it in stride in proud shoes with a humble attitude, not just for himself, but also his grandmother, who Jamison credits for turning him on to his passion. As a kid, he admired ballgowns on celebrities and models flipping through his grandmother’s magazines.
“I didn’t know it was fashion at a young age. But my grandmother was the one that got me into the arts at a young age, because she was very into arts and crafts,” says Jamison.
These days, Jamison says entering the fashion industry is a means of finding himself. While he hopes to graduate and venture to New York and Tokyo, he holds San Francisco close to heart and hopes to open his own store here one day. With the AoF competition, he’s already seeing doors to this future open.
Look for Jamison in The AoF Foundation Uniquely Untrendy Fashion Show Competition at the Bentley Reserve on December 7. Check out these samples of his previous work:
Photo of Justin Jamison, courtesy of Ranier Maningding. Lookbook photos courtesy Justin Jamison.