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Jessica Palmer of Jewel Fire Clothing may have discovered her love of fashion design slightly later than other designers, but she is an artist through and through. Drawing and painting were once her go to mediums for self expression, but after discovering fashion magazines her freshman year of highschool, she found a new art that would ultimately change the trajectory of her life.

Although she found fashion in her mid teens, as an artist, she already had a clear vision and defined aesthetic that evolved from her paintings and drawings, to jewelry making, all the way to “…really cool badass clothing.”

Initially Jessica wanted to work in the industry as a model, but after finding out that looking sultry and striking a pose in front of the camera was what she believed to be “…too much work…”, her naivety of the industry led her to pursue design for the lighter workload. Hopefully the stress of designing an entire collection for Indiana Fashion Week doesn’t scare her away!

“… I really believe in what I’m doing, and I love it.”

But when it comes to fashion’s meaning, to Jessica, it’s all about “representing yourself visually …through your clothing.”, and this is something she does unabashedly, just like her favorite designers from which she draws her inspiration. From Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, to Vivienne Westwood, she admires a wide variety of our world’s fashion icons.

Although her taste may be eclectic, her main viewpoint as a designer is that of being “…alternative…” and “…rock and roll.” She never dreamed of being part of a major fashion house and designing couture fashion, as it may go against what she stands for, which is true individualism. In Westwood fashion, Jessica doesn’t want the mainstream industry’s taste to dictate and dampen her designs and vision. As long as she can create clothing with her “…main central, connecting point.” of non-conformism, she’ll be satisfied.

Now because her taste is rather comprehensive, as a bystander you may be wondering what garment perfectly captures her essence as a designer? Surprisingly —but also not surprisingly — the iconic, punk staple leather jacket is her symbolic choice, citing the stigma of rebelliousness that surrounds the jacket as her reasoning. This was also a very easy response for her as she immediately shot back with, “Leather jacket. 110% a leather jacket.”

When discussing the future of fashion, Jessica stated “Well, this is kind of just thinking about what’s going on in this country politically. But just, I honestly feel like anything could happen, there’s not gonna be too many restrictions, I think is what’s happening.” If that is the case, the future for Jessica is looking rather bright, as “restrictions” doesn’t seem to be a word she is too concerned with.

“I’ve always felt like I’ve always been the black sheep, like in several different aspects of my life… I’m okay with that.”

Jessica has embraced her role as the sort of “black sheep” amongst the other designers, stating how she has always been such “…in several different aspects of my life.” Unlike the mainstream, Jessica isn’t necessarily worried about whether or not her garment is “…too loud.”, and instead just hopes to be the fashion source for others who share her taste and give them clothing that “…makes them feel really good about themselves.” and leaves them saying, “I look badass too.”

The conversation with Jessica was a fun one as it’s always incredibly interesting to get inside the brains behind the fashion. It’s going to be very exciting to see her daring designs march across the runway for INDFW’s fashion-hungry crowd.


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