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SOMA Magazine » Archive » JMary: Rolling Out The Red Carpet
JMary: Rolling Out The Red Carpet

From the sunny, silicone-injected land of trendy snow boots and sweat suits comes a true couture label, JMary. Created by Jennifer Gheur in 1999, it began in a small studio in the LA neighborhood of Los Feliz—-long before it was the Williamsburg of the West. The evolution of this label has been slow and methodic. Over the last 14 years Gheur has acquired a small staff of impeccable Russian seamstresses, a larger studio and a gifted assistant, Gabriel Hendifar. With Hendifar’s assistance and a larger team, JMary has grown into a mature label.

Gheur and Hendifar’s shared aesthetic interests naturally developed into a distinct brand identity and they have been careful not to deviate. Known for their quilted leather bombers, flawless chiffon dresses, and ultra-femme two-piece suits, JMary has mastered the art of masculine-feminine juxtaposition. A JMary customer is confident and strong—maybe even a bit of a maneater.

Initially Gheur and Hendifar merely created as many pieces as they could in time to sell. But over the years the line has grown from roughly 20 couture pieces to almost 60, and at this point, it is a small production of ready-to-wear with a demi-couture archive.

With a staunch but quiet celebrity following, these pieces are worn by some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry and less famous super-collectors. Visiting their website you can see exactly how often JMary is on the red carpet but never credited. In an industry where freebies can lead to an honorable mention, Gheur simply isn’t interested in going that route. Each piece in a small, independent couture collection is a huge percentage of sales. Gheur does it with no ego stroking, if you want it you’ll simply have to pay for it. Each season the collection is bought in its entirety by Maxfield, the high-end luxury boutique in Los Angeles where price proves to be more of an incentive than a deterrent. During the height of the couture chapter for JMary, coats could fetch around $10,000 retail. At this stage in development, the price points for ready-to-wear are between $1,200 and $2,400.

The attention to detail is resolute across the board. Whether you’re able to pay $10,000 for a couture jacket or $1,200 for a ready-to-wear blouse it makes no difference. The meticulosity is most evident in the closures and accoutrement of each garment. Delicate hooks and eyes, covered buttons, petite snaps, handmade button loops and piping, refined plackets and sturdy pockets create an elegant and polished look.

Secondhand JMary is out there but hard to come by. The one-of-a-kind couture pieces are works of art and rarely change hands. A great deal of thought and testing goes into each garment. They are meant to accentuate the body’s movements and feminine curves.

JMary has managed to carve out a little niche in the increasingly competitive luxury-goods market using little more than razor-sharp talent and steady, patient momentum.

Visit www.jmary.com for current and archived collections, contact information and press

TEXT BY Sarah Hartzog

THE SPRING ISSUE


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