I can’t remember when I first met Taylor Jay, the designer and founder of Taylor Jay Collection. Like many people in the overlapping circles of the African American community in the Bay Area, Taylor is someone that everyone knows of, even if they don’t know her personally. And, it is very likely that if you spot a chicly dressed woman having lunch at one of the Bay area’s hippest restaurants, or at a fundraising gala, or responding insightfully on a Zoom conference call, that woman will be dressed in at least one of her favorite Taylor Jay pieces. She will also a staunch fan of the designer and her work. The reason for supporting both is obvious: Taylor’s clothing is the embodiment of her perspective. Her go-to fabric, cotton jersey, offers relaxed comfort and style, and her thoughtful silhouettes are modern and inclusive with their body positive approach.
When opening her latest flagship in downtown Oakland a few months ago, Taylor Jay’s focus was not only on showcasing her latest couture quality collection that was inspired by her heritage but also in providing a place to showcase the creative talent in the community. Before sheltering in place became the norm, a conversation at a women’s event led Taylor to graciously invite me into her sunlight-filled store for a trunk show. Her generosity extends much beyond me to other local “makers” who have also had the pleasure of spending time with Taylor, selling their work in a beautiful retail setting, and brainstorming on opportunities we can create to proactively support one another.
Now that social distancing has become a lifesaving necessity, Taylor Jay has expanded her community impacting actions to create fashionable face covers to inspire people to make their own protection a habit. Designed to complement her Kotton collection, Taylor’s two-toned lined masks are as comfortable and flattering as her clothing. An additional (and oh so) Taylor Jay bonus? For every face cover you purchase, Taylor Jay Collection donates one to a person in need.
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