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Women We Love: A Conversation with JJ Martin

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Women We Love: A Conversation with JJ Martin

photos in this story by Alberto Zanetti and Julie Skarratt

In the homepage image JJ is wearing the Kaleidoscope skirt and shirt from her new Mantero collection, which are both available in my shop,  but you can also shop the entire (and gorgeous) Mantero collection here.

xo ARossGirl

Women We Love:

 A Conversation with Amanda Ross Bacon and JJ Martin

By Pamela Keogh

Speaking with journalist and fashion editor JJ Martin in her home base of Milan with a visiting ARossGirl, we caught up with the very busy creator of LaDoubleJ.com (Her name, in case you’re wondering, is “Jennifer Jane Martin,” hence “La Double J” — as the Italians would put it.

JJ is a woman with great innate style and visual sense. Not only is she the creator of the renowned vintage site, LaDoubleJ, but she is a notable multi-tasker — taking her love of vintage and turning it into a viable business — while keeping her day jobs at Wallpaper and WSJ magazine.

JJ and Amanda – you are both former editors, who first met at HB, right?

AR:      That’s right!

And you’re also – fashion editors who’ve reinvented yourselves…

JJM:     Sure – although I still contribute to Wallpaper and WSJ magazine —

I like how your work connects and supports one another.

JJM:     I work with a network of dealers as well as private women who have their own collections, and we just kind of cherry pick great vintage stuff that I know looks good. I offer four star guarantees so you won’t go wrong.

AR:      Exactly – so for me, if I go to DoubleJ, it’s like going to a gallery as opposed to an auction house…

Since you’re both in Milan visiting together – let’s talk about style in Milan —

AR:      Fashion is more personal here in Milan…You’re not thinking so much about the silhouette.  You’re thinking about – how can you put it together – to express your personality.

I think it’s great that you two aren’t afraid to try something.  JJ – I love the way you mix color and prints – the exuberance of it, the happiness…

JJM:     I really found my personal style in Milan following my heart.  I’m a maximalist by self description.  I found that love through vintage.  I always gravitated towards the crazy prints and patterns. I became an expert in finding vintage prints and patterns, and then I realized – that’s all I really want to wear – these prints and patterns make me so happy!  [laughs]

Just like Amanda’s style is more bohemian, like she always has these ethnic touches.  So it was great to see how Amanda took these prints and made them look boho!

AR:      One of the things I’ve been so inspired by here is all the color.  Everywhere you go – the buildings, the ceiling, the clothes. Even the way the candy in the shop windows are arranged!

JJM:     I feel like I found my spiritual joy in Italy.  It is such an exuberant country filled with color, joy, optimism – they love a print. The men wear pink pants! They wear red pants! They wear red pants with a yellow shirt and green suede loafers…. And a sweater tossed over their shoulders.  And a scarf!  [laughing]

And they all look terrific!

JJ, how do you decide what to wear in the morning?

JJM:     Pure instinct and mood…

AR:      I’m the exact same way —

If you look at what you and Amanda are both doing… in terms of opening up your lives and sharing your style with others — this might be a really good message to get out to women – follow your instincts and give it a shot!

And contribute something to the world, rather than being this cookie cutter sort of person…

JJM:     I’ve already failed so many times in my life, from doing so many other things.  Follow what you love.  My site, what I’m doing, was just born from pure passion.  And once you do that, your projects come from that place of love.

And then if that exact thing doesn’t work out exactly as you envisioned it, but then something positive can come out of it.

I think – with both you and Amanda – there’s a purity behind what you’re doing.  There’s a purity behind the message you’re trying to get out.  

AR:      What I think is interesting about me and JJ is that we are both in the same entrepreneurial state. We’re presenting our knowledge and editing for people who organically love what we do.

And that’s where you have to start – you speak to people that you connect with and then hopefully, there’s more people like that, and eventually it travels the globe.

JJM:     What’s different about us is Amanda has always had an eye for products. Her background as Market Director — “this is chic, this isn’t”, what she’s doing is more an extension of that. My focus is more on telling stories… a hidden aspect that people might not know – “and you need to know about this!”

So, it’s interesting to me — how our backgrounds are informing what we’re doing now.

Absolutely. And you are both taking that experience and bringing to a larger audience.

JJM:     Exactly.

AR:      Yes!

Right. And thank goodness for us you’re sharing your knowledge…