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We have turned folk art into high fashion.

It was a trip to India, where I was dazzled by the vivid color combinations of women’s hand-stitched garments made from vintage dowry quilts, that became the inspiration for The joannajohn Collection.  These 100% cotton quilts have a rich color palette with unexpected pairings, as folk art often does. The quilting is achieved with tiny spaced rows of small KANTHA hand stitching which amplifies the texture. Each piece is HANDMADE, ONE-OF-A-KIND and REVERSIBLE.

Modernizing the coats and jackets to suit the American market became a first priority, accommodating sizes from XS to Plus Sizes.  An unexpected bonus was that men became interested in the larger sizes!  A children’s line of jackets for ages 1-12 quickly followed. Over the last four years, I have added more than a dozen styles to the jackets and coats.

Next came the accessories. I started with folk art cotton beaded necklaces of varying lengths followed by painted silk mala beaded necklaces.  Soon after I added a variety of colorful KANTHA scarves made from vintage sari silk.

In addition there is a selection of handbags made from the quilts which are fully reversible.

The collection is now available in exclusive retail shops, artisans’ galleries and museum shops throughout the United States.

Joann Narkis

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