Monday, January 24, 2011

Shoptalk/Q&A: Marshall Nash Clothing

As always it's my pleasure to bring new, innovative, and fashion forward Bay Area Designers to my readers. With that I'd like to introduce you to Marshall Nash Clothing, a wonderful line of clothing from designer and Oakland's own JaEvon Marshall. I was originally introduced to the line via the website by the photographer who took the pictures you see here, and I immediately loved the looks and knew I had to meet her. Luckily she was as beautiful and inviting as her clothing, and we met in Oakland of course to talk about her line.......

What is your background?
Born and raised by my father in Oakland (below MacArthur off High Street) and attended Skyline High School. After high school I attended Peralta Jr. Colleges for two years, I then transferred to the Academy of Arts for two years. After a two year break from school I moved to LA where I interned at Showroom 7, and was a part time waitress. I then came back to the Bay Area; worked for my uncle’s and started attending SF state in the Fall of 09 Majoring in Fashion Design which I will complete Fall 2011.
What is your favorite clothing item this season? Any looks for this season?

I really like the turbans, but I don’t think I can pull it off. You have to dress really fashionable to pull it off. I don’t consider my personal style fashionable, I’m a jeans and tee kinda girl, which is weird because I’m a fashion designer. I’m passionate about fashion, but I realize there’s more to life than threads.
If you weren't designing what would you be doing?

If I could sing, if I could carry a note I’d be doing something in music or painting, dancing, something with the arts, I still have to express myself artistically. I’ve taken jazz, ballet, and modern dance, Jazz dance is my favorite.

Do you feel like there is a "Fashion Industry" in Bay Area?

It’s extremely underground. If you Google it you’ll probably find one company who does mass production. You have to know someone who’s doing it to get in. I interned for Erica Varze for a year, she has one of the first cut and sew boutiques in the Bay Area, Erica Varze’s Fashion CafĂ© where she can customized clothing for you. I learned a lot from her, she’s my mentor, although she may not know it.

Does the Bay Area Inspired your designs?

Yeah, definitely I feel like I’m a Northern California designer at heart. Most of my clothing is no fuss silhouettes, while fashionable and comfortable at the same time. We are so laid back here. I make clothes for ladies who enjoy a life of comfort and those take exotic vacations, maybe near a body of water.
What is your favorite article of clothing in your closet?

A sweater from the goodwill, it’s so tacky it’s cute. It actually inspired my last collection, filled with designed detail. It has cut out felt flowers with yarn stitched around, bead work, sequins, and it’s burgundy, bright yellow, and red. There’s so much work placed into it. I admire the design detail, because I know how much work went into it.
What’s your favorite piece in your current collection?

I don’t know if I have a favorite piece, I really like this collection not that I didn’t like my last one. This one I made in 11 days, stressing out, crying at the sewing machine from morning until night. My last collection I worked on over a period of time, but this one I was with it day and night. I have these green pants I really like, they’re army green they have these exaggerated pockets it’s a simple pant but the exaggerated pockets make them pop, and a champagne half top with circle shingles. Fun, sexy and youthful clothing, but at the same time classy. I’m still pushing to have both lines in store by spring/summer.

When and what made you start sewing?
I’ve always wanted to do what I’m doing. I use to cut my old clothes and make them into new Barbie clothes. I actually didn’t start sewing until after high school. My aunt showed me how to thread my sewing machine. Getting my heart broken gave me the courage to make my first skirt.After the break up I went to the store bought a patterned, I sewed the elastic waistband into the skirt, you're not supposed to do that but it worked. I made my first collection after I got my heart broken the second time.
What’s behind the name Marshall Nash?

The line is named after my parents last names respectively. Marshall is my Dad’s last name and Nash is my Mom’s last name
Anything else we should know?

I have a really great support system if it wasn’t for my Dad I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing his support is emotional and financial. My mom wasn’t’ there when I was younger but she’s there for me now, my sister is amazing. My friends are also amazing and supportive.

There is a lot of trial and error in trying to build a fashion business in the Bay Area, if you don’t know anybody you don’t have any connections.

The Website was so difficult, because of my financial situation which I’ve been working on since May 2010. Shout out to Calvin, for finishing it up!

With the recession, people aren’t as willing to try new designers. I guess it would be difficult for any new startup company.Yet, I’ve already have a lot of request, from people who have seen the line.

Lastly, I wanted to add what my community service goal for the bay area(specifically Oakland) is. When I was in elementary school I remember being extremely excited about going to Jr. high school, to learn how to sew, when my sister came home from school with a purse she had made in her home economics class. By the time I went to Jr. high school the course was non-existent. I want to have a few locations throughout Oakland where kids can come for FREE, and learn how to sew. The facilities will be catered towards sewing but will incorporate other forms of art. That is my long-term goal for my city, which I love dearly.

If you would like to learn more about the Marshall Nash line which I know you do please go to

Photo Cred: Fred Shavies (3680 Photography)

1 comment:

irwin said...


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