Bill + Jay Believes in ‘Better Basics’ That Are Ageless
We are two best friends who met college, Isabelle (bill) + Jea (jay). We currently live on opposite coasts, Jea in Portland, Ore. and Isabelle near D.C. so it has been so fun to have this project to give us extra excuses to chat and visit. We have both always loved fashion and sewing, and first worked together in our college theater's costume shop. Jea is a visual artist, and currently teaches costume making classes at a university, while Isabelle is a graduate student finishing her degree in Speech-Language Pathology. We get our inspiration from our close friends' styles and unique body types. We also love to travel and have had the opportunity to travel together several times. We usually only bring a backpack, so that need for minimalism has definitely shaped our style and our line!
Bill+Jay is a sustainable, ethical clothing line for women, consisting of what we call "better basics" - classic silhouettes and seasonless pieces, but with an eye towards detail, color and fun! Our clothing is designed and made by the two of us out of natural fabrics like linen, silk and organic cotton. We are particularly dedicated to using absolutely no plastic in our garments, and we aim for zero waste production.
This has been a project ten years in the making. We have been sewing together, making clothes that reflected our unique styles since we were nineteen, and starting our own line has always been something we've talked about. So, in the summer of 2017 Isabelle convinced Jea--it wasn't very hard--that we should finally take the plunge to launch bill+jay!
We love clothing! But we don't love the humanitarian and environmental impact the fashion industry has on our world. So, we decided we needed to make clothes we could feel both good about, and good in. With each piece we design, and every fabric we select, we ask ourselves, what makes this uniquely bill+jay? Our fun-bordering-on-zany sense of style is something we bonded over when first becoming friends, and we try to carry that through in our line, blended with the elegance of our now-more-matured tastes.
Isabelle: The item that I wear the most by far is the Jea Dress, sometimes a few times a week! It's so versatile and I love the deep pockets. I'm about to make myself a pair of the Kate Pants though, and those may become my new favorite!
Jea: Such a hard question! Bill already mentioned the Kate Pants, which I wear constantly, so I think I would have to say my current favorite is the Marcella Jacket. It can be dressed up or down so easily! I wear it all the time instead of a blazer, instead of a jean jacket, instead of a sweater - you name it!