Jumpsuit January with Happy French Gang!
Feelin’ Good with Happy French Gang
A few months ago we started hosting monthly pop ups from our favorite designers in our 24th street retail shop. The pop ups have quickly become a customer (and staff!) favorite! This month, we brought in Happy French Gang, a line of playful and super comfortable jumpsuits! I chatted with Sandra Dejanovic, the woman behind the jumpsuits, and learned a little more about what inspires her!
Who are you and what do you do?
Hi Jennie! My name is Sandra Dejanovic and I’m behind the brand Happy French Gang. I usually say that I’m a textile designer to make it short! But I am an Industrial Engineer who worked as such for 5 years in Paris and then started its own textile company here in San Francisco. Basically, I design every collection, design the fabric that is waved for us and also make myself some of the items sold in the shop like the tie-dye collection!
Your jumpsuits are made in India. Can you tell me about how you found the collective you work with and how they produce your products?
I was doing everything myself until a year ago, it was too much on my shoulders and couldn’t make the business grow anymore! I tried to find help here in the bay area but nothing was making sense to me so I decided to travel to India and see what that travel would bring to me! I stayed 3 weeks, visited tons of artisans, workshops, industries, nothing was planned in advance and I expected nothing, I just had hopes! Finally at the very end I found the perfect woman owned cooperative.
The team was still new and I had a good feeling about them, I felt that the employees were happy and relaxed there and that the facilities were cleaned, organized. Also they just expanded to dedicate a room to block print.
Most importantly the process of making the clothes is amazing and that is why I choose to work with them. They work with 3 farmers that hand-spun and hand-wave the cotton in different places in India. They met them during textile trips the owner made the last 3 years. They receive the fabric and do everything else in their facilities in Rajasthan: dying, block-printing, sewing and hand-stitching the cotton.
I came with a pattern and ordered my first 20 jumpsuits directly while I visited the space. I wanted to see how good the work would be and I was not disappointed.
Also I love that we know every people that participate to make each items. It’s a sustainable process and I feel really good about it.
We love your fun jumpsuits! What inspired your design?
A year and half ago I had a flash about my mum making me jumpsuits, I was about 10 years old and I remember clearly a pink and a black printed onesie. I also remember that I was feeling really comfortable and kind of… super cool!
Well… I wanted to bring back that great feeling into my life!
4. What are you looking forward to most in 2019?
Meeting new people, collaborate more, and make hand-painted jumpsuits and dresses!!