Meet the Designer: Jessica Rey
If you grew up in the 90's then chances are you recognize Jessica Rey as the White Power Ranger on Disney's Power Rangers WildForce. If you think Jessica left her superhero days behind her once the show stopped airing, think again. As a "Mompreneur", Jessica Rey started Rey Swimwear in 2009 which is now a popular line of ethically sourced and produced swimwear (they have other clothing too!). We knew that Jessica's dress design would be timeless like her design inspiration -- Audrey Hepburn. Meet "The Jes", a dress to last the seasons.
Jessica, this dress is incredibly comfortable yet chic. Tell us why you designed it the way that you did?
Whether I'm designing swimsuits or clothing for my own brand or 'The Jes' dress for Dressember, I always think about what will make women feel comfortable, confident, and beautiful no matter what their shape or size. It's also important to me that clothing isn't disposable, so I love designing timeless pieces that can be styled different ways and worn for years to come. I think my dress came out perfectly the way I imagined.
"It's also important to me that clothing isn't disposable, so I love designing timeless pieces that can be styled different ways and worn for years to come."
This dress is certainly not going out of style anytime soon. In general, where are you seeking inspiration from these days?
My daily inspiration comes from my kids. This world can be such a hard place, but they see everything with such innocence and joy. Sometimes I think I have to be so strong and serious, but they remind me to have fun and to laugh at myself. My kids fill me with hope for the future.
You speak a lot about dignity in your supply chain for Jes Rey -- something we're really into. Why did you decide to partner with Dressember this year?
Everyone deserves to know and embrace their innate dignity. Unfortunately, that is a rarity today. Dressember helps to restore that dignity to people by helping to rescue women and also by partnering with Elegantees, who hires rescued women to make the dresses. Being a part of that mission -- giving something back to those who have been robbed of everything -- is very humbling for me. I am proud to be a part of this project.
"Being a part of that mission -- giving something back to those who have been robbed of everything -- is very humbling for me. I am proud to be a part of this project."
We're humbled to have you be a part of it. Who is a woman in your life that inspires you?
My mom is my hero. She was a wonderful wife and mother and worked her entire life caring for women as a nurse until she was diagnosed with cancer (for the second time). She always put others before herself and showed me what true sacrifice really is. I may have been a superhero on tv, but she was a superhero in real life.
We noticed your "Estella" line was named after your mother. What a beautiful tribute! If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would that be?
You cannot be everything to everyone. At the beginning (and still now), I would get emails from customers, suggestions from friends and family and even strangers -- 'why don't you design this?' 'Why don't you design that?' 'Why don't you use this color or this print or this silhouette?' I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to please everybody. But that's not realistic nor is it how you create a successful business (or sleep peacefully at night). You cannot be everything to everybody in business or in life.
Now to our final and favorite question. Something tells me this is going to be good -- What is the craziest thing you have done in a dress?
Well... on Power Rangers, I wore a dress so fighting evil and kicking bad guys' butts would be the craziest thing I've ever done in a dress. Sometimes (when not in the spandex Power Ranger costume) I also fought in my civilian clothes-- not quite a dress, but a skirt. My character was loving and sweet, but also a strong girl who fought for what was right.
"A strong girl who fought for what was right" -- okay, now we see why Jessica has her own action figure. She left us with a quote that really resonates with the work we do. She quoted Catherine of Siena who said: "Be who you are meant to be and you will set the world ablaze." We hope "The Jes" will be a dress that makes you feel comfortable and confident in your own skin.
About the Author
Madeline considers herself a bit of a nomad, having split her time between three continents over the past few years. Now, digging her roots down in Southern California, Madeline spends her time crafting content for the Dressember campaign, doing yoga and exploring National Parks with her husband.