Pretty Modernist

A new line of womenswear that's as smart as it looks. By Loryn Hatch
Looking over the JF and Son resume could leave you a touch intimidated. Between design partners Jesse Finkelstein and Robert Cordero, there's a world of experience in everything from design management, to political science, to wearable computing in homeland security. "We have a pretty odd pedigree," admits Finkelstein, but based on the success and fluidity of the label's first two seasons, it's a mix that works.
Describing the brand's general aesthetic as "pretty modernist" with ties to theorist Paul Virilio, Finkelstein and Cordero have created the kind of structured and streamlined women's wear that's as body-conscious as it is comfortable and as intelligent as it is simple. High-rise skirts, fitted tops, layered dresses, and a demure color palette that occasionally jumps out with a vivid yellow or red, keep the looks urban and intense but also effortless. "I tried to stay away from overtly subject-oriented themes (like "JF & Son do Safari") and focus a bit more on form and material," reveals Finkelstein.
Both Finkelstein and Cordero were raised in NYC, and met at the age of 18. One year ago, Finkelstein, who heads design, asked Cordero to take charge of marketing and brand management. Since then, the two have journeyed across the globe, researching different technologies and materials.
"A few years back I had contacted the head of a design institute in India, telling him about my interest in using traditional printing and weaving techniques, and he actually helped set us up with our own studio in Delhi," explains Finkelstein. "Working there is pretty fantastic. Often times, sample studios in New York can rush you in and out, but having our own space in India, we can take the time to work slowly and collaboratively with the crafts people," he adds.
Unafraid of dabbling in the old and the new, Finkelstein also stays up-to-date on wearable technologies, a subject he just wrote a paper on soon to be published by the Swiss government. "We're definitely interested in technical fabrics," he says. "We tried using self-wicking technology and muscle-wire in our last fall collection, but we use these things sparingly, lest the collection becomes schticky," adding, "but really, nothing is off limits."
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A new line of womenswear that's as smart as it looks.

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