Angelina Jolie is entering the consumer game, but it’s not exactly what you might think. She won’t be competing with Rihanna and launching a makeup line, and she’s not getting into the wellness space a la Goop. Instead, the actress is launching Atelier Jolie, a fashion-based business venture with a very Jolie-appropriate twist. As of now, there isn’t too much information about what to expect from this new project, but here’s everything we know so far.
What is Atelier Jolie?
The creation of a sparce Instagram page, @atelierjolieofficial, sigaled the news back in May, introducing the collective as an attempt to “democratize the fashion industry” and provide customers access to emerging designers and artisans. The basis of Atelier Jolie will be an online resource to help source garment makers who make use of dead stock and vintage materials to create one-of-a-kind pieces.
Jolie shared more information about the project on her personal account, where she posted the Atelier Jolie’s logo, designed by Peter Miles. “Atelier Jolie is a place for creative people to collaborate with a skilled and diverse family of expert tailors, pattern makers and artisans from around the world,” she wrote, adding that the idea came from her “deep respect for the many tailors and makers” she’s worked with over the years.
On the project’s website, Jolie went more into the reasoning behind Atelier Jolie. “Everyone can create. Why then do we covet designer labels?” she asked. “Why simply buy the design of another person, when you can create yourself?”
It seems in general, Atelier Jolie will act as a liaison between creatives and consumers, connecting those who want one-of-a-kind pieces with those who have the talent and product to make them. “We hope to create a community of creativity and inspiration, regardless of socio-economic background,” Jolie wrote. In addition, there will be an emphasis on highlighting and supporting the creatives involved in the project, through apprenticeships and spotlights.
Will Atelier Jolie only live online?
No, Jolie is opening a brick-and-mortar location as well, specifically at 57 Great Jones Street, the location of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s former studio. The space will open in November as a sort of “cultural center–meets–design workshop that combines tailoring and upcycling services with a gallery space for local artisans and a café run in partnership with refugee organizations,” according to Vogue. Many services will be available within the shop, including a stud-it-yourself activity station that guests can enjoy in the café, free of charge.
What is Atelier Jolie’s first project?
On June 5th, it was announced that Atelier Jolie will release its first ever capsule collection in collaboration with French luxury brand Chloé. The collection will be co-designed by Jolie and Gabriela Hearst who is the current creative director at Chloé.
“From the moment I heard about Angelina’s vision for Atelier Jolie, I believed in it,” Hearst explained in a statement. “It is a way to elevate others through the beauty of garment-making and her deep respect for the environment. It’s an honor for me that Chloé will be the first collaborator for Atelier Jolie, as both have high ideals for the betterment of our species. That is the reason why I love both Angelina and Chloé so deeply.”
The collection will be composed of mostly evening wear pieces made from lower-impact materials than any previous collection from Chloé (84%, to be exact) and will honor both Jolie and Hearst’s commitment to sustainability and transparency. The pieces, “an exercise in modern femininity,” will also showcase the work of artisans from a Fair Trade enterprise. Specifically, the two women, who are close in age themselves, were inspired by their own mothers for the collection. Though there is currently not a specific release date, there will be more details to follow.
“Very few luxury brands are a certified B Corp,” Jolie said in the statement. “It was important to me to work with Chloé, one of the first luxury brands to be a B Corp. It has been a privilege to design with Gabriela Hearst, and I hope all women will feel comfortable and beautiful in this capsule collection. My earnings from this collaboration will be invested in establishing apprenticeships for tailors and artisans at Atelier Jolie.”
Jolie has already gotten to work, and many of her creations (including those in collaboration with Hearst) can be seen in Jolie’s recent story with Vogue. Atelier Jolie will offer many made-to-measure pieces, including a velvet cape, organic silk gazar coat woolen gray trousers and custom slips, which will start at $300. In addition to Chloé, Jolie has also already teamed up with other creatives, including London-based milliner Justin Smith, American artist Duke Riley, and South African lacemaker Pierre Fouché.
Why is Angelina Jolie doing this?
It’s not rare for celebrities these days to lend their name to the consumer space, often slapping it on products to sell to their fans. Atelier Jolie, however, does seem like a natural fit for the actress—more a passion project than a cash grab. Jolie is very active in refugee work through the UN Refugee Agency, and she promised Atelier Jolie will include opportunities for “refugees and other talented, under-appreciated groups.” In addition, the actress is no stranger to the fashion space. She has been a red carpet staple for decades, and at this point worked with every other designer under the sun. It seems that now, she wants to give back. “I don’t want to be a big fashion designer,” she said to Vogue. “I want to build a house for other people to become that.” Recently, she has been embracing more of a sustainable approach to fashion, wearing vintage pieces, and giving her dresses a second life by lending them to her daughters to wear on the red carpet. So while to some, Atelier Jolie, might seem a bit out of left field, the ethos behind the project fits squarely into what we know about and have come to expect from the actress.
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