She calls it a watershed moment.
And while the requisite grief followed, so did a zeal to “bring more of a voice to myself and express myself beyond just being the woman who makes jackets,” she says. “There’s a lot more behind that.”
Tarr’s expansive work ever since has left no doubt that she’s got plenty more to say, and show.
Tarr recently unveiled the first few episodes of “Biased Cuts: A Sartorial Podcast,” co-hosted with her friend and fellow designer and Marin resident Lisa Anderson Shaffer, who helms her own fiber art jewelry brand, Zelma Rose.
“I’ve been in the fashion industry now for two decades, and I’ve seen and experienced a lot of highs and lows in terms of the way the industry runs and the way people interact within it,” Tarr says. “I decided I want to speak about it and felt that that was valuable.”
The pair have known each other for a long time and “I love her point of view on the industry,” Tarr says. “We’ve both seen a lot of the bad behavior in the fashion industry.”
They’ve already recorded their full first season and have gotten fantastic response, covering the recent visit by fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg to The Hivery, the top 5 things to know about each of the podcast hosts, and customer bad behavior.
“You don’t go up to your dentist and say, ‘I can do what you’re doing,’” Tarr says with a laugh.
The podcast is drawing listeners from both within the fashion industry and outside it. “It’s just been really fun to put ourselves out there in a free-flowing way. We’re just throwing ourselves out there and seeing what happens.”
Tarr’s watershed moment has sparked much more than an engaging podcast. She’s launched a sustainable jacket collection featuring all cotton jackets from repurposed fabric (Tarr handpainted one of them that she’s currently featuring on her website).
“Cotton requires the most amount of water to create,” Tarr says. “This is one step closer to being more sustainable. My brand’s carbon footprint is pretty small - everything is designed and sold within a 60-mile radius. And we can always do more.”
Tarr is also releasing a limited edition t-shirt design that she illustrated.
“I have always done little illustrations and doodles and drawings,” she says. “It’s been fun to try new things for me.”
That also includes one-of-a-kind Monoprints that are available to download for free to use as an Apple Watch or iPhone face.
“It’s been a natural evolution that I’ve been thinking about for a while,” Tarr says. “I’m ready to give back and make sure that women know that they don’t have to feel daunted by this industry.”
And if all that's not enough, Tarr is launching "50 Jackets for 50 Strong Women," giving 50 of her jackets to 50 women nominated for their service on the front lines of the Covid-19 crisis. Think healthcare workers, grocery store employees, postal workers and first responders. DM nominations via her Instagram.
The 411: Multi-talented designer J'Amy Tarr is on a creative tear. MORE INFO.
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