Designer insights with Jana Platina Phipps

Jana Platina Phipps is fondly known as the Trim Queen, a title that was given to her after starting her own design and branding firm, Home Couture Collective back in 2004. Jana is renowned for designing trimmings for the furnishings and fashion industries. She has worked with Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren through a venerable New York fashion trim house. In 2003, she also received the Young Leadership Award from WithIt, a women’s networking organisation, and co-chairs it’s exclusive bienniel New York Design Tour. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Jana Platina Phipps.

Designer Insights - Jana Platina Phipps

Image Credit: 1) Robert Allen Design 2) Trim Queen 3) V Rugs and Home 4) Cotton & Quill 5) Marco De Vincenzo

- Transcript -

1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?

My personal style and aesthetic is a mashup of vintage cinematic style with notes of high fashion and artisanal craft.

2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?

On my worktable, I lay out various elements such as yarns, swatches of trim, ribbon and fabric, and components like beads or jewelry findings. I start to play with materials, and eventually designs emerge.

3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?

Ginetta Giaccio was my first boss in the trimmings factory.  A talented Italian hand-worker, she could figure out how to construct anything.  She made thousands of passementerie buttons from home before joining factory life. Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren sought out her design expertise.  She had a joie du vivre that attracted everyone from famous designers to garment center street sweepers. Ginetta taught me, by example, the value of passion and relationship building.

4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?

Inspiration is everywhere: at museums, in store windows, in people’s fashion, in music and film, in nature…everywhere.  I often throw “maker” parties, and seeing what my friends create inspires me greatly.

5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?

I have collaborated with so many talented people, growing with each project.  I had mentors early on, and still consult with them.  I take workshops, go to conferences and have worked with a business coach.  My advice?  Be a lifelong learner, collaborate and network!  However as Jackie O said  “No one is going to write on your tombstone, ‘She was a great businesswoman’.”  Prioritize your family and community.