303 Style Profile is an ongoing series highlighting unique locals and they’re incredible style and stories. Go here to see past profiles.
Dropping all you know to do what you love is a rewarding and hard sacrifice that many don’t have the courage to do, but Daniela Jacques has shown her lack of fear by dropping her former career as a food scientist to do what she loves — travel, blog and design. Because of the heavy traveling Jacques did in her former career, she became inspired by the places she visited and noticed the lack of stylish travel apparel. Through these realizations, her travel blog Jaxodyssey was born. Over the last two years, Daniela has grown her Instagram following to 24,000 and will launch her line of stylish travel garments next year. Her passion for the fashion industry and her incredible drive show she is sure to keep climbing up the ladder of success. 303 Magazine was lucky enough to get to interview Jacques recently and get a first look at some of her personal designs.
303 Magazine: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the fashion realm.
Daniela Jacques: I am Daniela Jacques, a U.S. based, Mexican/French fashion designer and business owner at Jaxodyssey. I am also a former scientist and worked in that field for 10 years. This career allowed me to travel to different parts of the world. It was during one of these trips that I started thinking about the clothes I was wearing. Many did not satisfy the needs of the traveling woman. When you travel by yourself, it is not convenient to have too many clothes, though you want to look put together at the same time. My reason to create Jaxodyssey is to provide the style lovers, businesswomen and travel enthusiasts with sophisticated garments that are easily paired for their travels but comfortable as well.
303: How did you come up with the name Jaxodyssey for your blog and clothing line?
DJ: Everything started with all the traveling I was doing as a scientist. I was inspired by all the beautiful women around the world and wanted a name that reflected the boss ladies who love adventures. Jax — my last name is Jacques so Jax is a shortened version of it. Odyssey — one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer and is all about travel/adventures.
I am a big fan of Greek and Roman literature. The Odyssey covers Odysseus’ journey before coming home. He was accompanied and protected by a very important goddess, Athena. She represents wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law, justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, arts, crafts and skill. My muse is the woman who is striving to achieve values like the ones Athena embodies.
303: How would you describe your style?
DJ: I would define my style as contemporary, sophisticated and comfortable with a touch of romantic and artisanal craftsmanship. The clothes I wear and make create a statement while providing functionality.
As described above, I am a mix of cultures. I am Mexican with European roots — French, Italian, Spanish and German. Growing up in Mexico City gave me exposure to colorful traditions, arts and style. It is a very eclectic place and never boring. I would be doomed if I tried to define my style as black or white because it is a mix of the different colors of the rainbow. I find myself influenced by modern cities just as much as ancient Mayan ruins.
303: How does traveling the world help inspire your designs?
DJ: It is so humbling to be inspired by colors, architecture and styles of a specific region. My passion for traveling has allowed me to learn about people and their traditions. I believe we all are inspired by our surroundings and traveling has opened my eyes in unimaginable ways. Some countries like my hometown are extremely colorful, other countries are more into neutrals, others favor solid overprints. I especially love to visit countries where modern architecture has fused with antique structures.
Something that is really close to my heart is helping people especially small businesses and artists. I am planning on including handmade fabrics from different countries to my line. I believe in the power of positive thinking and want to build a community to inspire others to be self-fulfilled and accomplish their dreams.
303: We know you have a collection coming in 2020, can you give us a small preview of what to expect?
DJ: The collection will be composed of multipurpose clothes that can be easily worn for business or leisure. The pieces will provide equally in functionality and uniqueness to stand out from the crowd. All styles can be easily paired with one another so all you have to worry about while traveling is looking fabulous. Each style is meant to be timeless which also helps with sustainability as we are not about fast fashion but about creating a piece that you would like to wear many times and will be long-lasting.
We have done extended research, and this drove me to be careful when I choose my fabrics. We are incorporating fabric from artisans that are easy to care for, wrinkle-resistant and stretchy.
I am also proud to design for the “average height” women. That would be around 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 7 inches. Because I am average height myself, I am tired of struggling to find the right pant length and I gathered feedback from many other women who feel the same way.
Our inspiration comes from multifaceted, intrepid go-getters and fun souls who enjoy style and travel. The Jaxodyssey girl exudes confidence and understands the proper balance between sophistication and comfort. Our clothes remind her of the wonderful memories and places she has seen or would like to experience. She enjoys the hustle and bustle of the city as well as the peacefulness of a beach paradise.
As Yves Saint Laurent said, “What is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.”
303: When traveling, how do you select outfits to go with you on your trip?
DJ: Great question. It is all about having a plan. I ensure I can mix and match each piece to the best of my ability. If I can wear a piece more than once without anyone noticing I have met my goal. I have created a guide called “How to Travel in Style” when you subscribe to my blog you get it for free. It is a mini-magazine that tells you all the basics/essentials of what to pack for a trip, including what to wear on a plane.
Some of the things I cover in this guide include colors, practicality, dress code and more. If you are not familiar with the place you are about to visit always check the weather and google what the culture is like. Every country has dressing preferences when it comes to clothes. Although its good for you to stay true to your style, you also don’t want to be disrespectful or feel out of place. An example of this is to ensure you wear proper clothes when visiting temples in Asia.
303: The road to getting to your dreams is not easy. How did you pave your path and what advice would you give someone wanting to go down the same one as you?
DJ: My personal experience is one where I had to work extremely hard for what I want. As a woman and minority, I had to face some special challenges. Also, I usually look younger than I am which is cool but sometimes people try to treat me like a child until I prove them wrong. This has been said, I don’t consider myself a victim and I strive to look at the good side of things. I also take challenges as learning experiences. I’ve been fortunate to have support from many people as well.
As a start-up business owner, I know this fashion career will not be easy, but my mom’s favorite quote is “If things were easy, everyone would do them.” My advice to people who want to follow this path is to never give up and follow your passion. If you are not passionate about what you are doing, you will never be happy. If you are not happy you will not be able to make other people happy.
I want to create positive changes in this world. Treat others fairly, provide jobs and take care of our mother earth. If I can impact at least one person in a positive way I would feel like my life served its purpose.
Photography by Danielle Webster unless otherwise noted.