Breaking the mold and redefining glamour, Joélle stands as a testament to the power of fearless style and unapologetic opulence. The London-based, independent label dances to the beat of its own drum, weaving together a tapestry of sensuality and glamour under the visionary guidance of founder Patricia-Joélle.
In the pursuit of excellence, Joélle crafts garments that stand the test of time, proving that true style knows no bounds. Their versatile designs offer endless opportunities for self-expression, enabling women to elevate their wardrobes with pieces that seamlessly adapt to any occasion. The label’s exquisite creations cater to all women, instilling a sense of boldness and self-assurance that is as mesmerizing as the garments themselves.
In 2022, the label debuted its “Appeal” collection, comprised of three waist-contouring and low-draping dresses and shirts. The High Octane Dress, spotted on celebs like Ryan Destiny and Chloe Scantlebury, hugs the physique in all the right places whilst draping just below the belly. Elsewhere, the brand’s Xenon slightly crops above the waist with an oversized hood and extended bell sleeves. Rounding out the collection, the Equilibrium is a mini dress with a U-cut neckline and suede cord wrapped around the body.
As we sit down with Patricia-Joélle for an exclusive interview, prepare to immerse yourself in the magic of Joélle—a world where fashion knows no bounds, and every garment is an invitation to embrace the extraordinary. Scroll down to read the full interview.
Your brand strikes a beautiful balance between glamour, versatility, and timelessness. How did your personal experiences and background inspire this unique approach to fashion?
I actually never liked fashion at first. I was the biggest tomboy and was really into sports like gymnastics and athletics. When I was a child, my mom would watch Fashion Channel for hours, and I used to wonder how she enjoyed it. But over time, as I grew up and became more of a woman, my big brother, who’s very into fashion, introduced me to it. I pursued it more when I had built a genuine interest over time. Watching vintage fashion shows, collecting magazines and doing research on individuals in the fashion scene on how they built themselves from the ground up.
I come from a family of African parents who encouraged me to become a doctor or lawyer, as a safety net. Which is something I thought I wanted to become! But by the time I reached my A levels, around 16 or 17 years old, I decided to pursue fashion as a career.
Can you share a turning point in your life or career that ignited your passion for creating clothing that empowers women to feel confident and comfortable?
Before I started my own brand, I used to do styling. Something I adored at the time. So when I was done with my A levels, I went on to study Fashion Promotion at Ravensbourne University in London. While I was there I had garnered an interest in womenswear styling and started little by little to work towards becoming one. This is through doing a small styling business on Instagram. I would make inspirational mood boards of outfits for all sorts of occasions and gathered a little clientele. I would then go on to intern under different stylists to get more experience and build a continuous clientele that way.
However, I didn’t realize the kind of work that went into it, like carrying suitcases and picking up clothes from different PR agencies and brands. I still pursued it despite how I felt about it because it’s part of my work as a stylist. Soon as the pandemic came around, my friend, Tallulah who shoots for Joélle and I started doing our own shoots to keep the dream alive of being a stylist. We would come up with an idea for a shoot, she would take the pictures, and I would style them. We would do that for a while, to build our portfolios. Over time I realized that I didn’t enjoy styling as I had initially done in the beginning.
This realization came when I got offered a styling job and I didn’t like the pressure to create an image that I wasn’t passionate about. I decided to stop styling and find something else I was passionate about in fashion but I didn’t know what I wanted to do and was lost for a while. When people suggested that I start my own clothing line, I wasn’t ready for that at first, but then out of pure curiosity I started designing clothes, and that’s how I found my passion for the craft.
How does your eponymous line fully encompass the essence of who you are as a designer and what your brand stands for?
It’s about feeling good within yourself and owning your sexiness. When I go out, I like to feel like the sexiest and the hottest woman in the room. It’s like giving a piece of your personality to something. I come from a place where people are quite reserved, and it’s not really encouraged to own being and feeling sexy about yourself. My designs encourage people to be outgoing and bring out their confidence. When people wear my clothes, they should feel like they’re the hottest thing walking in a room.
As well as that, something I caught onto from my parents is hoarding. My parents have clothes that range back to the 90s and they won’t let them go! And I understand why because the clothes are of quality and are made with sustainable fabrics. I am very picky with the type of textiles I use because I want it to be the best of the best. Joélle’s pieces aren’t made to be thrown away. They are made to be cared for and to have for a long time. Using natural or upcycled fabrics is something I take pride in as a designer because nothing is wasted and nothing is causing harm to our society.
Tell me about the core pillars that make up your brand—when people think of Joélle, what should come to mind?
I want people to become synonyms with Joélle having high sex appeal, glamour, and boldness. I want individuals to come to my website and think that my clothes are pro-femininity and empowering. I want them to feel like Joélle is the number one go-to for special occasions. Whether that is for a birthday, engagement party, or an important meeting for a job! I want my clients to feel their best dressed, wherever they go while wearing a piece from Joélle.
I also want our designs to be worth their while and worth the purchase. Besides how it will hopefully make them feel, I want our pieces to be more than a staple in the wardrobe. I’m big on wearing pieces more than once and in many ways because that is how you will get your money’s worth. That is how you will appreciate your clothes and see it for longevity rather than “just for now” or “post once, wear once.” I want our clientele to add their flair and individuality and make it their own. Making our pieces theirs and theirs alone will encourage multi-wear and longevity in the wardrobe.
As I evolve as a designer and a person, my identity will change and will probably impact the direction of the brand. However, one thing I know is that I’ll always stick to the identity of the brand. I’ll always want people to see Joélle and say, “Wow, this is ultra sexy and hot. I have to have this!” It’s more than an identity, it’s an experience from first look all the way to the checkout.
You debuted the “Appeal” collection some months ago. What was the inspiration behind it?
The collection was inspired by designers who were at their peak, such as Gianni Versace, Alexander McQueen, and Tom Ford. They are all completely different types of designers but one thing they have in common is heightening a woman’s beauty and femininity. Gianni provided glamour, Mcqueen provided subversion and Ford provided provocation. Everything that I’d love for Joélle to be! Their approaches are pro everything about feminism and I believe were one of the design pioneers to moving womenswear fashion-forward to what it is today. I want to create pieces that make all women feel like women.
I also drew inspiration from the disco era of the 70s, a time when women owned their beauty and wore clothes that made them feel stunning. The likes of Studio 54, and the supermodel era of the 90s were also sources of inspiration for me. Overall, I aim to elevate the concept of sexiness and beauty to new heights with my designs. It’s just the beginning for Joélle, so I look forward to where I can take it.
The collection featured exciting silhouettes with design features like extended sleeves and draping, and I want to establish my own signature in my designs that will elevate my work even further.
It also introduced exciting silhouettes with design features like extended sleeves, draping, and more.
Absolutely, I want to start creating signature designs as opposed to what I’ve done before. Every designer has a signature; for example, some are known for gold-plated elements or a type of gown or unique bag shape. I do want to reference other designers and artists into my work, but create a more heightened version of it and make it more Joélle.
When I look back at my designs, I think they’re cute, and I’m grateful for creating the Appeal Collection because it has created an expectation of who I am as a designer but now, I want to do something different. The brand is still going strong and growing, and I receive many messages from people who love my work, which I’m so grateful for! However, after nearly a year, I’m ready to push out new designs for people to love and really challenge myself to do something new.
The High Octane Dress has already been making its rounds with celebrities like Ryan Destiny and Chloe Scantlebury wearing the piece. Can you tell me about this particular design?
This experience has been like a dream come true. This experience has been like a dream come true. I prayed and hoped that one day that a known figure would wear my designs, as that’s the market I’m trying to enter. Although celebrities sometimes get these pieces as a loan or gifted, the fact that a celebrity stylist noticed my work was incredible.
When I first worked with Ryan’s stylist, Scot Loui, back in September, I had only 200 followers on Instagram, and I hadn’t even received my first order. I’m happy he was able to just look at my work and appreciate it. Not just look at my social media and let that be the deciding factor on if we should work together for his clients. Despite that, I was able to swiftly collaborate with him for Ryan Destiny. I was really shocked because I had thought she would have been styled to wear the High Octane to a dinner or on vacation. But scrolling on Instagram and seeing her wear it to New York Fashion Week blew me away! I remember thinking it felt surreal, like I needed someone to wake me up.
Likewise for Chloe, when I first interacted with her for Joélle, she was super friendly and supportive of the brand from the beginning. She was happy to support me with nothing in return. A true gem of an individual for who I am grateful for! When I was a stylist, working with celebrity clientele was one of my goals, so this achievement meant a lot to me—someone wearing my pieces to a high-profile event, especially considering my small following and lack of orders at the time.
What’s next for Joélle and yourself? Are there any upcoming projects, collaborations, or new design directions that excite you and push the boundaries of fashion?
At the moment, the focus for Joélle is to grow. I love and care for Joélle very much, it’s like my baby, so little by little I am carefully curating the brand to what I want it to be. I am very optimistic of the future for Joélle, so I really do see it going to big places! While we grow the brand, I am working on our SS23 collection: Figure Ambition, which takes a little more of a youthful and fun turn, whilst still maintaining the identity for Joélle.
I’m really looking forward to releasing this collection! I also hope to meet so many more innovators and creatives on the journey of growth for Joélle. I’ve been blessed enough to meet people who are as passionate as myself in the fashion industry and have inspired me to create and view things in a different perspective, so I can’t wait to meet many more. The sky’s the limit for Joélle and it’s just the beginning!