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An Intimate Conversation With Jo Rossell

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Designer Jo Rossell, Founder of Rossell England, is bringing basic back in the best way. Rossell is a utilitarian designer by nature; she believes that ‘less is more’, or at least, it should be. With under-wireless yet supportive bras, super sexy lingerie made from cotton and apparel fashioned from fabrics that are as gorgeous as they are natural, Jo Rossell cares where her clothing is made and what it’s made from. 

Designing each and every garment with its fundamental essence in mind, Rossell focuses primarily on practicality, comfort, and always prioritizes quality over quantity when it comes to her clothing line. And considering the principles Jo Rossell practices, perhaps, it’s no surprise that the successful evolution of her brand, Rossell England, is as natural, organic, and effortless, as each garment she designs. Below we discuss all things nécessité.

For our readers who may not be familiar give us a bit of a background on who you are, Jo Rossell the founder, as well as the woman beyond the brand.

I come from a creative family and my father and sisters all run their own businesses so working for myself feels very natural to me.

As a designer, I have always been focused on creating the best product I can to fulfill a particular need that a woman needs from a garment. I care about where a product is made and how it is made and I’ve always preferred to buy fewer pieces but better quality. I like clothing design to be functional, practical, timeless and desirable for women.

I have a holistic approach to my health and work ethics and being a mother to one child I choose to balance work-life around my family.

How did you get started in the design industry, what did you do before Rossell England?

I have worked as a womenswear RTW designer for 17 years before launching Rossell England.  My first job was as Design Assistant at Calvin Klein, NYC in 1999. It was a brilliant start to my career as a designer. I’ve been lucky to always work for brands that believe in producing well made clothing. I went on to work with Narciso Rodriguez, also in New York.  This was an amazing experience where I really learned my 3 dimensional skills and knowledge of fabrics.

What makes you most proud about the Rossell England brand?

I’m really proud of how we interact with our customers.  Hearing feedback is the best advice we can get and helps us to continually improve our products. I’m also proud I’ve been able to establish an identity in a competitive market and realise the product I set out to create; in particular that all our fabrics used are sourced from highly regarded Italian mills that are OEKOTEX and REACH certified.

Talk to us about the inspiration behind Rossell England? We noticed your bra’s do not have underwire which we love. Why the choice to create bra’s without wire? 

The initial idea behind Rossell was to design a bra that was non-wired but still gives support. I found that after having my child and breast feeding, bras with under-wiring felt uncomfortable.  At that time, I couldn’t find a ‘soft’ bra that was supportive enough for anyone over a B cup, I’m a C + cup and needed the support.  I was also frustrated that I couldn’t find lingerie made from pure cotton which I find so much more comfortable to wear against the skin.  The idea for Rossell England was to combine these two elements.

Are your products available online only?

No, we have stockists in Europe and Japan and are hoping to expand to the US in the near future.

Do you ship globally?

Yes, we do. We are also stocked by matchesfashion.com who also ship globally.

How do you want women to feel when wearing Rossell England?

Comfortable, themselves and have a sense of freedom. So many women seem to want to take their bra’s off as soon as they get home because they are uncomfortable!  I had a lovely letter from a customer who told me when her Rossell purchase arrived at work, she rushed into the staff toilets to put on her Rossell bra as she said it was so ‘freeing’.

What is your overall brand mission?

To keep growing, steadily and organically, continue to create products that are made form natural fabrics, that are well designed and of the best quality we can produce.

What does a day in the life look like for you running an intimates brand?

Everyday can be different which I love. I spend a lot of time on planning as the production process is complex and requires us to always be working ahead.  That is the nature of the fashion calendar!

Today we live in a world where more people are entrepreneurs and we have more start ups than ever before. What is one thing you wish you knew in the beginning stages of Rossell England that you learned later? 

To build an authentic brand organically takes time and patience and its really important to evolve the way you work to everything that is thrown at you.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

To go with your gut feeling on all aspects of the business.

What advice would you give someone looking to create their own brand?

To believe in what you are doing, set goals and be realistic about how long things will take.

What’s next for Rossell England, what can we expect to see from the brand going into the new year?

As well as continuously introducing new 100% cotton jerseys into the the lingerie line, we are also expanding the nightwear offer to a more ‘working from home wardrobe’. With more women juggling work from the home, we would like to introduce key pieces that can be worn at home to running errands around town, in a comfortable, yet chic way. We are using more linen fabrics in this ‘home’ area, Linen is both moth resistant and naturally antibacterial. Irish linen as an ‘eco-chic’ fabric is increasing and probably one of the most biodegradable of all fashion fabrics.

My ultimate design nècessitè is….

This would have to be my tailors mannequin. As well as sketching, I start all my designs 3-dimensionally, working out where all the design lines and which fabrics go where.

Your top 5 style nécessités?

1) A crisp white shirt – always makes me feel brighter.

2) Red lip stick

3) Jeans – always! of all different cuts depending on my mood.

4) My Veja sneakers

5) Less is more in my opinion.

What are your beauty and self-care nècessitès?

1) Sleep, sleep, sleep!

2) A bath with epsom bath salts or aromatherapy oils.

3) Taking time out to relax, I have to schedule this in!

4) I believe that food is our medicine so I enjoy reading about new superfoods and eating as naturally and pure as I can.

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