If you haven't heard of Jasmine Stacey Collection, you're missing out on one of the most inspirational lingerie designers for ostomates on the market. Jasmine Stacey, the one-woman show behind the brand, creates handstitched, vintage-inspired styles that fuse sexiness with wearability.
We wanted to go behind the scenes to find out more about the inspiration behind the brand. Stephie Simpson, advocate and blogger for Comfizz, interviewed Jasmine to ask about her creative process and how she came to design lingerie. Their conversation below is a window into the illness that sparked a brilliant idea, and the lessons she’s learned about body confidence. It’s also a reminder that women with an ostomy can feel confident and sexy about fashion and lingerie.
Q: What made you want to start Jasmine Stacey Collection?
Jasmine: "I feel that I’m like any girl who goes through ostomy surgery. I was scared, felt like I was the only one, and thought that nobody could possibly love me with a bag. The surgery left me not only with physical scars, but also emotional scars which greatly affected confidence in my body. While I was recovering I designed lingerie as an outlet for my emotional pain, and as I started to explore the subject more, I found a need for the lingerie that I was designing. I didn’t have a clue how to make a bra or panty, so I took a course at the London College of Fashion to educate myself."
Q: What do you think sets your brand out from the rest?
J: "I think my brand is powerful and shocking. All of the designs are for women who want to feel special. I take into account women who have ostomies, but sometimes don't feel sexy and who don’t want to worry about their bags — as it does not define them."
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
J: "It comes from all the women that I've spoken to and met through my work and charity. They are the most inspirational people to me more than anything, however, the creativity for my designs mostly come from nature. My vision for the 2016 Autumn/Winter collection stemmed from spiders. I’ve experienced firsthand the problems faced with re-gaining body confidence after ostomy surgery. I used this to fuel energy into my collections and create innovative designs to help empower women. My core intention is to create feminine garments with powerful imagery to capture women unchanged in their everlasting beauty."
Q: Have you always been interested in fashion?
J: Yes. I’ve always been a fan of fashion but didn’t fall in love with lingerie until I was about 19-years-old. My passion for lingerie and the fashion industry grew once I started to learn more about it. My first serious lingerie love was with Gossard! But when I found independent brands such as Lascivious, Dirty Pretty Things, and Bordelle... they opened up a whole new world.
Q: Do you have a favorite line within your collection and why?
J: "My personal favorite is the Vixen Collection from 2015 because it was the first design I ever drew! The silk fabric looks and feels amazing."
Q: How would you describe the women who wear your lingerie?
J: "They are strong, powerful and beautiful women who decided to overcome their fears and know that they are special because they are. In this case, I'm talking about the lady with an ostomy who shows off her personality and feels fabulous wearing sexy stuff."
Q: What are three words that describe your brand?
J: "Sexy, daring, and most of all innovative."
Q: What are the good and bad aspects of designing specialty lingerie?
J: "The rewarding aspects are when you get amazing feedback from customers! It’s so incredible hearing that wearing my lingerie helped someone's confidence. I'm a frantic designer who finds the process can get a bit messy. Sometimes it's frustrating when the materials and law of physics won’t allow me to create certain designs, but when the product and fabrics finally come together it is amazing!"
Q: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
J: "To be honest, it’s actually receiving a sale. I couldn’t believe the response when my first collection came out. I thought it was a small experiment to start a business on a low budget and to just see what happened. I never dreamed of it becoming what it is today. The feeling of selling a garment that you have designed and overseen throughout the whole process is one of the best feelings."
Q: What are three pieces of lingerie every woman should own?
J: "Without a doubt, a plunge bra. Sexy as well are the high-waist knickers with suspenders built-in. And for me, a silk nightie — nothing is sexier in my opinion!"