“Crazy, passionate, and sensitive” – this is how Jordan Erin McKay (JEM), creative director of HENDRIXROE, describes herself. Starting her company from scratch a few years ago, she has made her way up to the top of the Canadian fashion. “This whole year, I cannot believe that I am at this point where I am today. Because we just kind of blew up overnight” she says.
JEM: HENDRIXROE was inspired by love of Jimi Hendrix and Marlyin Monroe. I have always been in love with that ultra glam rock style. I have always been in love with fashion but for the longest time I had suppressed my dream of becoming a designer because I never believed it could be a tangible reality. So I chose the “well pathed” road and decided to follow in my families foot steps and become a lawyer. That all changed when I met someone on a plane who actually asked me “what it was I really wanted to do“. Still not feeling I could own my passion of being a designer, I said “Law“, and they were like, “No, no, what’s your passion cause when you speak about law you don’t light up“. I finally just started to talk about fashion and design and I completely lit up I talked the entire flight about my dream and everything I wanted to do. Little did I know it was the introduction to my business plan. They asked me if I could get them a business plan by Tuesday (this was a Wednesday and I was flying to Vancouver to celebrate my birthday for the weekend, how would I get this business plan done?) but instead of going out, I stayed in and wrote the business plan, emailed it on the Tueday, and the following Wednesday I had my initial investors! You really never know who you are sitting beside!
Margarita Kadochnikova: That’s quite interesting. Where do you see your brand in 5-10 years?
I am currently working on my children’s line and a more affordable line called HXR. I also hope to open up a HENDRIXROE flagship store in the next few years. That should keep be pretty busy.
What do you personally like more: women’s or men’s fashion?
Androgyny is a beautiful thing so I like them both the same. I am all about blurring the lines. I am so inspired by Alessandro Michelle. I think he’s doing that so brilliantly and I want to do the same. There was a lot of carry over from my men’s to my women’s collection – again, I am all about androgyny and, perhaps, that’s what made doing both collections at once a bit easier.
Do you have any favourite fabrics to work with?
That’s a hard question because it changes all the time. My most recent collection I used a lot of metallic leathers and vegan leathers. I saw the fabric and literally bought so much of the fabric in so many different colours that I was a bit worried if I made the right choice – but I’m glad I did because those jackets and trenches turned out to be so amazing. Such a technicolour bad ass statement and I am so happy that everyone is loving them. WE NEED MORE COLOUR, be bold, make a statement. But again my favourite fabric changes all the time, I can’t wait to get going on my next collection and show the new fabrics – they are so delicious!
What was your style like when you were in your early twenties?
I think I was more glamorous in my early twenties, I was always dressing up! Now it’s rare if you find me in anything but a t-shirt and jeans. Everyone thinks being in fashion is so glamorous, It’s such a misconception. I have never worked so hard and have such little time to get ready or worry about what I look like. Dressing up now is a treat.
How many dresses do you have in your own closet?
I have quite a few but they really just sit there. I am so immersed in my career I rarely go out.
What are the five things you always have in your purse?
There are no FIVE things in my purse (laughs). I call it my adult diaper bag. First of all, it’s a big bag with everything in it. I’m literally that girl that has a kitchen sink in there, you’d be scared.
What’s your beauty routine like?
Dr. Pearlman is a doctor I work with, I adore her. She is such an inspirational woman that has taught me to work from the inside out, and fix the inside to make the outside glow. Botox and Restylane are a quick-fix. Daily routine would be her multivitamins, as well as her entire skin line. She’s got a beautiful skin gloss serum, night cream. I suggest, at a young age, getting involved with someone like a Dr. Pearlman. Or go see her!
Do you care as much about organic food?
Oh no! When it comes to food, I like it all. And I know it’s terrible. I wish I could be like ‘Oh, I eat only organic and vegan food’. I love food, and I work with two Italian women. Food is constantly coming in our house. Also, I work a lot overseas, so I’m eating all types of everything.
So wine is your favourite alcohol beverage?
Do you have any travel plans for this summer?
Not really. I am just back in Shanghai in a couple of weeks, because I’ve got to work on the new collections, so I’ll be in Shanghai for about 2 months. And then, I hope my family has a home in Arizona. So I’m really hoping I get to go there next week or so. But we are so busy right now with the Canadian Music Week that’s happening right now, we are dressing Choclair for Hip-Hop Awards, we are doing the entire night for him which is such an honour for me. So now we are constantly on the go.
What about family, are you planning to start it anytime soon? And how are you going to combine it with your career?
Yes one day I hope to have a family, but not anytime soon. Will it affect my career – In the best way possible. I have always imagined myself conducting business even with a baby on my hip.
Did your family support you when you just started?
100% of course in the beginning when I was like “Hey Dad, I’m dropping out of school, dropping that whole law idea and I’m becoming a designer” there was some concerns but now they are the most proud and supportive. Last show I grabbed my mother and walked the final show with her it was such a proud and symbolic moment for me as she walks the runway of life with me everyday. My father is usually at everyone of my shows but couldn’t make it because of a recent knee surgery but you better believe he was the first to say I love you before I even walked on that runway and he was the first to congratulate me when I walked off. They are incredibly proud of me living my dream.
What is your goal in life?
My goal is to remain designing and become better and better with each collection.