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When JJ Martin launched LaDoubleJ.com in January 2015, the fashion and design journalist envisioned the online magazine as not only a platform to sell vintage clothes and jewelry, but also as a celebration of her adopted hometown of Milan and its most creative inhabitants. Six months later, Martin launched her clothing line, La DoubleJ Editions, starting with one twill dress in eight vintage patterns sourced from the extensive archives of Mantero, the textile house in Lake Como that has been turning out its world-famous silks for the likes of Chanel since its inception in 1902.
Fast-forward to present day, when Martin’s pattern-splashed pieces are equally at home in Italy as they are in the Riviera Maya, where the designer’s sixth edition of the collection recently debuted with a pop-up shop inside the tony Hotel Esencia.
“A good friend of mine, Marni creative director Francesco Risso, stayed at the hotel last August,” explains Martin. In conversation with the hotel manager, Alessandro Rossi, Risso brought up the idea of a LaDoubleJ pop-up at the property’s boutique, already home to Aurelie Bidermann jewelry, clothing by Lemlem and bathing suits by Lisa Marie Fernandez. “Alessandro had previously seen our work in Italy and liked it. What an honor,” adds Martin, who traveled to the property 30 minutes north of Tulum, Mexico, in December to unveil her latest designs.
Six styles and four new prints make up the selection, ranging from a cotton shirt ($170) to a full-length ruffled silk dress ($980), exclusive to the hotel through the end of January, when the pieces become available online. “I’m nuts about color, bold prints, fun patterns. I’m a bit of a maximalist — but these clothes can all be broken down and made more minimally friendly,” says Martin. “Worn together, the pieces are super bold and statement making. I like that versatility. They can go from breakfast to cocktails and from the weekend to the office.”
Also on offer at Martin’s pop-up inside the Mexican beachfront getaway (formerly home to an Italian duchess): a selection of vintage costume jewels, sourced in Italy by a handful of Martin’s trusted dealers, including expert and historian Deanna Farneti Cera, “who authenticates every piece and tells us all of the fabulous stories about lost or unknown designers,” notes Martin. “He was Gianni Versace’s secret weapon.” Her favorite find currently on display? A Miriam Haskell bracelet from the 1940s, comprised of giant brass leaves embellished with crystals.
The pop-up at Hotel Esencia is just a hint of what’s to come for DoubleJ, says Martin, who is bringing her wares to Bon Marche during Paris Fashion Week, followed by Bergdorf Goodman at the end of April and Positano during the first week of July. A tabletop collection is also on the horizon, adds Martin.
In between morning yoga in a palapa and beachside lunches, Martin acknowledges that a highlight of her time in Tulum included an auspicious visit from a peacock the very last day of the trip. “I just had the artist Liselotte Watkins redo our logo for DoubleJ and it’s … a peacock,” she says. “I love it when everything is aligned.”
See exclusive pics of Martin’s journey below.
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