Wearing resort wear instantly transforms you into a more carefree version of yourself. Putting on a light, flowy garment can make you feel full of laughter and sunshine on the inside. It is also a style you can wear year-round by layering.
Carlton Jones is a resort wear designer who creates collections with this concept in mind. His clothes make you feel good. He believes that “Resort clothing is less of a destination, it’s a feeling.
Jones grew up on beaches in North Carolina and developed professionally in Harlem, New York. As a fashion stylist, he has worked with celebrity icons such as Queen Latifa, Halle Berry, Lenny Kravitz, Jay-Z and Michelle Obama. Now he combines his love of style and fashion with a resort-inspired collection built around sustainable practices and fabrics.
Here, Carlton Jones shares thoughts about his brand with Organic Spa magazine:
Karim Orange: How long has the Carlton Jones Collection been on the market?
Carlton Jones: I started this collection in 2014 with a small capsule for a specialty boutique in the Bahamas. At the time, I was excited to design clothing inspired by many of my clients.
KO: Why did you choose to work with bamboo?
CJ: I initially started working with bamboo because it feels amazing! I also knew it was naturally organic since it requires no fertilizers. What I later learned is that it combats more greenhouse gasses than other trees. It also has natural antimicrobial properties that fight bacteria. This made it a win-win for me and my quest for sustainability within my brand.
KO: Your ChicShlep tote bag is on the top of my ‘must-have’ list. Where is the leather upcycled from?
CJ: I work with two sisters from India who I’ve worked with since my first collection. They upcycle discarded leather that would otherwise end up in landfills, They employ local women in their community. Women empowerment and fair trade are an emphasis of the brand.
KO: Can your clothing be worn year-round?
CJ: Absolutely! You can always layer clothing.
KO: If you could have a conversation about fashion with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be? What would you discuss?
CJ: I would have a conversation with Willi Smith. We would talk about the determination that led to him becoming one of the most successful designers of color to date. I would also want to discuss his inspiration behind being the first designer to have menswear and women’s under the same label.
KO: If you could design and dress anyone (dead or alive) who would it be?
CJ: Prince. Cleopatra. Aaliyah.
KO: What will we see from Carlton Jones in the future? You will see more sustainable fabrics and gender-fluid comfort-based fashions. You’ll see more collaborations with other talented multi-discipline media artists and designers.