Deidre Jefferies was born and raised in D.C. where she was inspired by the city’s spy culture. She infused that inspiration into her label ESPION Atelier, giving it a slick, mysterious and modern edge. The designer is a true lover of art and it shows in her one-of-a-kind collections.
Deidre debuted ESPION’s Fall/Winter ’15 “Kingdom” collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, leaving us inspired to exercise every muscle of our womanhood with ruched blouses, tailored pencil skirts, dominatrix jumpsuits and sporty frocks. And we can’t forget that unicorn cape coat that simply gave us life! She credits the collection’s inspiration to “the stunning image of a black unicorn with gold hooves. It looked very regal to me. Then I learned that the unicorn was a fierce animal, impossible to capture alive. A keeper of the kingdom, it was a symbol of power and glory, it’s horn signifying the unity of God and Christ.”
BlackEnterprise.com spoke more with Deidre, who also happens to be a costume designer for the Oprah Winfrey Network, about life as a fashion entrepreneur, how she funded her label and the tear-jerking moment she and her mother shared before her mother died last year. We found Deidre to be a passionate being who’s not only creatively intriguing and well on her way in this exclusive industry, but she’s also eager to share her wealth of knowledge with other designers. Read all she had to say.
ESPION has a very distinct aesthetic. What kind of woman wears ESPION Atelier?
She is in many senses a trailblazer. She’s likely running a magazine, raising a family and completing a double masters program all at the same time… like most of us. I’m finding that the ESPION woman is most of us. Each woman has a part of her that is powerful, brilliant and sexy. That is the ESPION woman!
What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned as a businesswoman?
I launched my first collection in New York, February 2011. I’ve learned that the love and support of the people in your life are what keep you going. You need a great team of people to help you put forth the very best work and the highest quality product. If you do your very best, you will attract the very best to you.
Which celebrities have you been able to dress and who are the others you’d love to see wearing your designs?
Alicia Keys, Jada Pinkett and Isabela Miko have all worn ESPION! I would love to see Rihanna, Solange, Beyonce, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Lopez, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Swift, Margot Robbie, Zoe Saldana, Kate Moss, Angelina Jolie, Tracee Ellis Ross… and the list goes on.
Deidre shares funding resources for designers on the next page, plus one of her fondest daughter-mother moments before her mom’s passing.