Meet Natalie Joos of JoosTricot, the label your It-girls will soon be wearing
Making knitwear great again
If her name sounds familiar, it's because it should. Before Instagram uncovered today's never-ending cache of style personalities, the OG street style crew ruled the game. Miroslava Duma, Kate Lanphear, Veronika Heilbrunner — editors and stylists whose ensembles documented at the fashion shows commanded Tumblr reblogs in the thousands. Natalie Joos too, is part of this tribe.
To label the writer, stylist and businesswoman (she's the brain, brawns and eye behind online store Tales of Vintage) a multi-hyphenate is probably too contrived; rather, she's more of a mover-and-shaker in the fashion universe. After all, Joos' latest endeavour, knitwear label JoosTricot, is currently what's buzzing on the retail front.
As her debut range of vintage-tinged jumpers hit the web — on e-tailer Matchesfashion.com, no less — it's not a matter of if, but when, fashion's It-girls will start repping those trendy, striped numbers. Here, we speak to the newly minted designer about why the time is now.
"I didn't want to just do some little fashion brand. There's so much fashion out there already. How could I possibly do something without being redundant?"
What made you want to launch your own knitwear label? Over the past few years a few people had started whispering in my ear that I should launch my own brand. "It's time," they said, but I didn't want to just do some little fashion brand. There's so much fashion out there already. How could I possibly do something without being redundant? So, I waited for an idea — and that came to me while I was shopping for a fitted sweater at a vintage fair. I couldn't find the right one so I decided to make them myself.
Had you not moved from New York to LA, do you think you would've still launched JoosTricot? That's the million dollar question isn't it? Who knows! I do find that one has much more physical and mental space in LA. New York is sometimes too busy and noisy for inspiration. I think that the peace and quiet on the West Coast freed up my mind to be creative.
What about designing, producing, and starting up your own label surprised you? Those people who gently nudged me surprised me; and the fact that it's more about a product than fashion.
People often judge those who switch professions a little more harshly. Does this scare you or motivate you? I wanted to be a designer out of high school. I begged my parents to attend the Royal Academy in Antwerp but they didn't think it was the 'right' kind of degree to make it in this world. So I went to university instead and studied journalism. My first book is coming out in November. I would not say I switched professions as my career has been very fluid. I was a casting agent for 10 years and when I started my blog, Tales of Endearment, that took over. It's just been one big fluid transition that's eventually lead me back to the very thing I always aspired to do: design.
The first JoosTricot lookbook has a vintage feel to it — who were your muses for the first collection? I am my own muse. I am making things that I would want to wear. But, I also design for all the vintage girls out there — all the girls in my book and on my blog who have great style and love colors.
And, who do you think encapsulates the ethos of the brand? Personally, I think any woman can wear a JoosTricot sweater. My girl is confident, positive, and wants to look sexy. A few personalities I have in mind are Jaime King, Giovanna Battaglia, Tracee Ellis Ross and Emma Watson.
Tell us about the process of a JoosTricot jumper from start to finish. Knitwear is pretty complicated and technical. I work with a team of technical people who make the patterns and man the machines. It starts with ordering yarns, making swatches and then getting samples based on my designs.
ON STYLING JOOSTRICOT When headed to fashion week... the multi-colour vertical stripes sweater or the brightly coloured ones are great for standing out.
When popping out to the supermarket... a simple summer stripe looks good with jeans.
When grabbing dinner and drinks... the fitted crew neck sweaters tucked into a high-waisted skirt is very sexy.