What started off as a phrase coined by men in hip hop culture to best describe a woman with remarkable physical attributes, is now a chic, urban-lifestyle brand with an underlying message of female empowerment. The driving forces behind DimePiece Designs are founders, designers, and friends Laura Marie and Ashley Jones. Created in 2007 as a way to embrace their love for womenâ€™s fashion and make their mark on streetwear culture, these ladies have opened new doors for females in an industry once monopolized by men.
â€œA Dimepiece is a woman who is unique unto herself and doesn’t place herself to any categories. Sheâ€™s self-governing, opinionated, knows how to work with what she’s given and is ultimately just herself.â€
Format: Please state who you are and your role at DimePiece.
Ashley Jones: DimePiece consists of Laura and myself (Ash). We’re a women’s contemporary streetwear brand based out of Los Angeles. Our roles are kind of um, everythingâ€¦owners for short.
Format: What were some of the driving forces which lead you to create DimePiece?
Ashley Jones: We got really tired of just talking about it over vodka Redbulls; and so we finally wanted to manifest our vision into reality. The driving force behind DimePiece is two things: our unwillingness to work for â€œthe manâ€ 9-5 and our obsessive compulsive disorder for womenâ€™s fashion. We wanted to make our mark in fashion and street culture with something that is original and completely our own. (Hopefully it’s getting to that point:).
Format: Who makes up the DimePiece team?
Ashley Jones: Laura, myself and our two interns. Yeah, itâ€™s kind of cozy. But between Laura and I it seems like we have a whole other imaginary person because we take on so many different roles within the company and work ourselves like dogs. Ugh.
Format: There are many definitions out there as to what a dime piece is. One that I read defines a dime piece as a girl who is banginâ€™, hot, beautiful. â€œA perfect ten.â€ How would you describe a dime piece?
Ashley Jones: The general male consensus of a Dimepiece is a woman with Barbieâ€™s body; itâ€™s all about her appearance and kind of degrading to women. We mean for the term to be ironic, and to turn the perception of the word and be able to use it proudly. A Dimepiece is a woman who is unique unto herself and doesn’t place herself to any categories. Sheâ€™s self-governing, opinionated, knows how to work with what she’s given and is ultimately just herself. She doesnâ€™t rely on her appearance for recognition and is totally against running for prom queen, ha.
Format: How does DimePiece set itself apart from other brands that cater to the same demographic?
Ashley Jones: We never intentionally try to be different. We believe in our own vision and go with it, and it works for us that way. Iâ€™m not really into seeing what everyone else in street apparel is doing because itâ€™s such a niche market that itâ€™s really easy to draw comparisons between brands. When youâ€™re in a market like this youâ€™re going to get a similar demographic by default, but I think every brand has their own vibe and style, and the consumers recognize that.
Format: How would you describe the current trends on the streets of Los Angeles?
Ashley Jones: L.A. has such a broad range of style; there are tons of trends going on. As far as street wear goes, I think weâ€™re in a transition mode right now. Replicating the 80â€™s is on its way out, neon ensembles and doorknockers are finally exiting the cool spectrum (thank you Jesus). I see a lot of people getting into simple, more serious colors like greys, blacks and whites along with more complex silhouettes. I think itâ€™s all looking a little more fashion forward and less tacky and costume-esque.
Format: What are some of the influences you draw from when designing your clothes?
Ashley Jones: Weâ€™re really influenced by Los Angeles as a whole, the random things you see on Hollywood Blvd. everyday, feminists, chauvinists, the mentality of generation X and Y, pop culture, contemporary art, vintage fashions, feminist revolutionaries, and labels like Miu Miu, Alexander McQueen, Rei Kawakubo (Commes des Garcon) and Heatherette. The list goes onâ€¦
Format: Your brand is all about promoting self confidence in women. What would be your best advice to girls who need a bit of a confidence boost?
Ashley Jones: Donâ€™t identify yourself with only your appearance. Be at least as interested in what goes on inside of you as what goes on outside. Have internal things to offer the world like ideas, knowledge and personalityâ€¦looks will fade. Fuck Americaâ€™s idealism and gender roles. Do what you like; donâ€™t do anything that isnâ€™t you. Donâ€™t limit yourself by social constraints. Have the courage to live your BEST life possible. Gawd I sound like Oprah but fuck it.
Format: Katy Perry was seen wearing your â€œLA Leggingsâ€ for the making of her Hot or Cold video. Are there any other celebs that you would love to see rocking your gear?
Ashley Jones: I really want Rihanna to rock our new â€œAinâ€™t No Wifeyâ€ tank (for obvious reasons).
Others? Juliette Lewis, Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Mila Jovovich, Agyness Deyn, Mary-Kate Olsenâ€¦all great women with amazing fashion sense.
Format: In spring â€™09 you will be releasing DMPC specialty pieces? What can we expect to see in this collection?
Ashley Jones: Spring 09 is called â€œPlastic Cityâ€. We based the collection on the immense idealism that Los Angeles puts on its youth and the youth across America. Our muse was also our nemesis: Barbie, the plastic devil. We took design cues from that but also stuck to the fun femme theme that we do each season.
We stepped out of our box of the basic tee and created our own custom tank, scoop neck blouse and tunics. We did more faux leather appliquÃ©s like we did Holiday 08′, and also added specialty items like our Napoleon vest with back tuxedo tails and zig zag mini skirt. I really adore this new Spring 09′ season because I feel like it’s truly “us”.
Format: What does the future hold for DimePiece?
Ashley Jones: Weâ€™re going to be doing a specialty accessory and some other non-clothing things to sell exclusively on our site. Weâ€™re working on making every new season better than the last, just totally focused on growing, expanding and learning all that we can in the process.