We are featuring Jil Cappuccio for our May Maker of the Month! Many of you have seen Jil's incredible, colorful fabric creations in the shop for the last couple months. Jil is an incredible seamstress, designer, and has a fabric collection you would die for. She makes everything from raincoats to bags to baby shoes all out of unique and recycled textiles. She is a huge inspiration to us, so we wanted to ask her some questions on what inspires her and share with you the history of her line.
How long have you been sewing? How long have you had your business? Give us some history on how you got started and where you are now.
I have been an avid seamstress since my Mom gave me my first Singer featherweight back in 1984 and have been a collector of fabrics since what feels like birth! I moved up to the San Francisco and started fashion school and also jumped right in to working in the business of making clothes. After graduating with a BA in design, I was lucky enough to work closely with a local high end SF designer, Hank Ford, who instilled in me a deep love of clothing that is whimsical, well made, and with an eye to quality fabrics. From there, I bopped around to a few other clothing companies doing all sorts of jobs, but tired quickly of the lack of quality in the clothing that was being produced. All along, I kept sewing and more importantly collecting fabrics. I started making shirts out of vintage fabrics for my DJ friends in the 90's which lead to my men's shirts being picked up by a shop on Haight street, which in turn allowed me to quit my day job and start making clothes all day everyday! To keep costs down, I shopped at thrift stores, flea markets, and estate sales for fabrics and made everything myself, a model I am still using today! I opened my first independent studio/shop on Ashby Avenue in Berkeley in 1997, offering clothing for men, women, and kids. Five years and two kids later, being a self employed designer/shop owner married to a school teacher in the Bay Area seemed a little overwhelming, so we made the move to Denver, CO. Eleven long years and two award winning shops later, we have finally made it back to my favorite place on Earth! I am happily hosting once a month Pop-Up shop in Albany, selling my clothing at Resurrect, and doing the odd market here and there.
Tell us about your brand and what is involved in a Jil Cappuccio piece?
I like to make clothing for the every person! I use mostly vintage and found fabrics in what I make. A lot of the pieces are one of a kind or of a very limited line.
What inspires your creative process?
What is your favorite piece you have ever made?
Anything with tapestry! While I was in Denver I got into making furniture. My most favorite thing I ever made was a deer chair. I used an old carpet tapestry and cut the deer up so his head and antlers were the top cushion and the seat was his body. It was a beautiful chair! Why didn't I take a picture? I also love making a good tapestry coat featuring dogs playing pool and unicorns, who wouldn't want a coat made with those images on it?
What advice would your give someone just starting out as a designer?
Learn to sew. You don't have to love it, but I think it is important to know how something is constructed. Then learn to iron, please.
Tell us about your fabric collection. How does the fabric make the cut?
My fabric collection is vast. Most fabrics make the cut unless its polyester. Polyester is the devil.
What is your favorite spot in the Bay Area and why?
My favorite spot in the bay area is Clement Street. It still feels like the old SF of my youth and has my all time favorite fabric store to boot.
Thank you to Jil for being apart of Resurrect and for making the beautiful clothing that you do! The next time you are in Resurrect, ensure you check out all of Jil's incredible pieces and check out her next Pop-Up which is May 28th - 29th from 10 am - 4 pm at 625 San Pablo Avenue in Albany, CA.
Follow Jil on Instagram under @jilcappuccio or friend her on facebook here.