Christian Siriano is all about firsts. From being the first 22-year-old (and youngest) contestant to win Project Runway in 2007 to launching his first eponymous fashion line at New York Fashion Week in 2008, it’s safe to call the designer a fashion trailblazer. Now, Siriano, 33, is adding another “first” to his resumé, teaming with retailer J.Jill on its first designer capsule.
“J.Jill is a brand that I was excited to partner with because it reflects so many women and their desire for clothes that are easy, but stylish,” Siriano tells PEOPLE exclusively. “J.Jill and I believe that style is for every size and age, and this is actually the most inclusive design collaboration I’ve ever done.”
Since inclusivity is as the center of Siriano’s design ethos, the entire capsule comes in sizes 0 to 28, and in petite and tall ranges. He also tapped 71-year-old model Maye Musk and body positive activist and model Candice Huffine to star in the campaign.
“The brand has always provided pieces with inclusive sizing, so I knew from the start that they would be a perfect collab for me,” he adds.
In a series of capsules, one dropping in September and the following holiday capsule dropping November, the collection mixes J.Jill’s workwear silhouettes with bright colors and patterns. “I think every woman needs some color and print in her life, so I went for it with a bold print and bright turquoise accents.”
The first capsule features workwear dresses in jewel tones, color-blocking floral prints, blouses with ruffle details and structured jackets.
“A stylish blazer is a staple in every woman’s wardrobe, which we have in the collection, and it’s light and easy to throw on,” Siriano explains. “Another key piece is a great white shirt, whether it’s a blouse or a button up. The white shirts in the collection strike the perfect balance between relaxed and put-together.”
Christian Siriano for J.Jill is here! We’re thrilled to collaborate with one of today’s most influential and inclusive modern designers on his first limited-edition collection for J.Jill (available now!). Plus, be on the lookout for incredible surprises all week. #csxjjill
A post shared by J.Jill (@jjillstyle) on Sep 12, 2019 at 7:39am PDT
As a collection that caters to women, Siriano decided to create a “Compassion Fund” T-shirt, in which 100 percent of the proceeds from the tee will go towards the J.Jill Compassion fund to empower and support women of all ages and sizes.
“There’s always going to be room for improvement, but we’re on the right track,” he adds. “There has been a lot more discussion around inclusion and that makes me excited about what is to come.”
While Siriano has made great strides in making fashion more inclusive (his 2019 NYFW show featured models of all ages, sizes and backgrounds), he knows there’s still a long way to go.
“I’ve also seen a lot of brands offer more size options, and even though I am optimistic, I think we have more work to do,” Siriano notes. “Fashion is all about making everyone look and feel great, so I would love to live in a world where every brand is participating and just celebrate all the beauty this world has to offer.”
“I am always so humbled to have the opportunity to dress people on the red carpet, especially when they’ve chosen a dress that I’ve designed to celebrate a big achievement or award they’ve earned,” Siriano says. “My goal is to always make anyone I design for feel like their most confident and authentic self. Clothes make us feel and change how we present ourselves to the world so hopefully I make that process a little easier.”