Damsel in Dior's Jacey Duprie Talks Cotton and Her Splendid Launch

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If you haven’t already seen the new Splendid line by Jacey Duprie (better known as Damsel in Dior), the time is now. Her designs are cool, modern and comfortable, but many are unaware of Jacey’s unique journey into the fashion world: among a sea of Upper East Side fashionistas, Jacey stepped unto the scene from a family of cotton farmers in Texas.

We caught up with Jacey to ask about life on the farm and how cotton has inspired her journey and personal style through the years . . .

QU: What was it like growing up on a cotton farm in Texas?

JC: Idyllic. With wide open spaces and fresh air, my brother and I not only learned about responsibility and built a strong work ethic by helping out during harvest season each year, but we were also strongly encouraged to explore the fields and utilize our creative minds. Growing up in the middle of a cotton farm was unlike my childhood friends growing up in town. We had to create our own fun. Whether it being building mud forts or helping my Dad move tractors, life on the farm felt special, unique and fun.

QU: Then to now: How has your personal style evolved since your Texas childhood?

JC: My personal style growing up in Texas consisted of a white cotton t-shirt, a pair of Levi's and running around barefoot. Honestly, not much has changed with my day-to-day style. I will always resort to my "Texas uniform." A lot of people don't know this but I still drive barefoot today because that's how I learned how to drive on the farm. However, since moving out of Texas, my style has evolved quite drastically because I get to play dress up more often. In a nutshell, I'd say it's just gotten a bit more sophisticated.

QU: Why was making a cotton clothing line so important to you?

JC: This project is one that's been pulling on my heartstrings ever since I created my website because it brings my journey full circle. Cotton farming has been in my family for over 150 years and I honestly felt a bit of guilt wanting to leave the farm to explore other opportunities in my life. I always felt a bit like a fish out of water because I didn't want to pursue a career in agronomy or ranching. Little did I know at the time that I was setting out for a career that would inevitably return me to my cotton roots. A lot of times the fashion industry can get a bad rap and designing a collection with Splendid was a way for me to make my stamp and earn credibility in the industry in a wholesome way; the Texas way!

QU: Has your approach to fashion and styling changed at all after becoming a designer?

JC: I honestly feel like I have always been a designer at heart. When I'm in the dressing room I'm constantly talking to the designer in my head ... "Why didn't you make this shorter?" or "This would have been perfect if the sleeves were longer." So, getting to finally put my inner designer to work felt incredible!

QU: We love how your collection brings together a mix of casual and cool. How would you describe the line in three words?

JC: Transitional. Comfortable. Modern.

QU: Why would you encourage fans to look for cotton-rich materials?

JC: You would be so surprised to learn that there are hundreds of consumers who do not know that cotton is a plant! Because manufacturers have been replacing cotton with other fabrics, it is greatly affecting cotton production in the U.S. Not only is cotton super soft and extremely durable, but by investing in cotton-rich materials you are investing in the future of cotton farming.

QU: What’s your favorite item of clothing and why?

JC: Right now it's the drop waist dress that I designed for Splendid. I literally cannot take it off and right now, with the cooler temps, I'm wearing it with pants under. I've been on a 3-year search for the perfect drop waist and I finally have it!

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