On any given day of shopping, you can find at least one or two women in some dressing room with a couple pairs of jeans, hoping to one day stumble across the perfect fit. Many of us, especially curvy ladies, have given up, convinced that doesn’t exist.
The search may be over for women sizes 14-to-24 thanks to Los Angeles-based ZMJ Denim.
Sisters Zakiya Jones and Tashiba Jones-Wilson grew up with a love for fashion. The Jones sisters talk to MN Biz about the sisterhood that can be found in business, working with longtime friend and daughter of Whoopi Goldberg, Alex Martin-Dean, and the importance of keeping your dreams first and the advice and opinions of others second.
MadameNoire: Tell me how ZMJ Denim got started.
Zakiya Jones: I’ve always been a plus-size girl and I’ve always had an interest in fashion. I started my first sewing class in the fifth grade, and I always had dolls where I was interchanging their clothes. I even had a little program where I could make Barbie clothes. Just being plus-size and having to shop at Lane Bryant and The Avenue when I was only in junior high school made me want to be a designer. I was like, “I know I’m not the only chubby kid in school, and I know that there are girls out there who would love to be fashionable and not be forced to wear their grandmother’s outfits.”
Tashiba Jones-Wilson: I’ve always been in fashion. I think it started in junior high school when I was trying to run for Best Dressed. It also comes from my mom. She is really the pioneer of where we got our style. In high school, I finally won Best Dressed. I was determined to make it! I started off in retail, and then ended up doing fashion shows for big brands and different events in Beverly Hills with all different designers. I eventually wanted to get into film, so then I became a stylist/costume designer, and everything always came right back to fashion.
ZJ: With Tashiba already being in the fashion industry, I would always get to see her doing her projects and assignments, so that opened my eyes to FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising). When I got to high school, I was in sewing classes again. We actually had FIDM come to our class and do a presentation. That meeting sort of solidified it for me… [O]nce I graduated from FIDM, Tashiba and I were speaking on fashion, and we decided to both do a fashion line.