INTERVIEW: JHOANNA ALBA, MENSWEAR DESIGNER + ENTREPRENEUR

Headshot 1Meet Jhoanna Alba, a Menswear Maven, Designer and Entrepreneur based in Los Angeles, California. Jhoanna is the Founder of ALBA: Bespoke Clothing and the woman behind the scenes who keeps the biggest names in sports and entertainment looking sharp! Her client roster includes the most recognizable sports heroes and superstars from Magic Johnson to Russell Westbrook, who’s well known for his creative sense of style.

Jhoanna developed a passion for fashion at a young age; a style enthusiast destined for a creative career in the fashion industry. She now designs custom suits and garments that are tailored to fit the unique style of each of her clients. By catering to their fashion needs for special occasions and milestone events, she creates impeccable looks to match the personalities of some of the most elite athletes of our time.

We had the opportunity to do a Q&A with Jhoanna to learn about her journey and the vision behind her brand, ALBA. Check it out below!

DARLA: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Jhoanna Alba: My name is Jhoanna Alba. I was born in Manila, Philippines. My mother taught me how to sew by hand when I was six years old. I started sketching designs when I was 10 and making my own clothes. I always knew I wanted to be in the fashion industry. 

What inspired you to start a career in menswear?
One of my first jobs was working at a tuxedo shop in Beverly Hills. At 16, I was managing the highest volume tuxedo shop in the country. I loved working and styling Grooms for their wedding. I was styling major events and fell in love with menswear. 

What’s the concept behind your line, ALBA?
ALBA stands for A Light Beyond Appearance. Our concept is designing The Look of your Legacy.

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How do you go about creating custom looks for people?
Our company is based on relationships and referrals. With new clients, I do research on each individual, then create a look book based on what I feel will best compliment them and their brand. The look book would consist of formal wear, business attire, casual wear, shoes and accessories. For existing clients, I keep a file of everything I have made for them. This ensures each look is unique to their style. 

What inspires you as a designer?
I am inspired by a mix of retro and vintage fashion, including classic looks from 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s. I love to shop at vintage stores wherever I travel. 

groupWhat are some of the highlights about working with athletes and your unique clientele?
I enjoy being part of their most memorable occasions, such as, draft day, red carpet events, weddings, etc. It is an honor to share these memories with them and their families.

What does a typical work week in your field consist of?
There is no typical work week. Every day is completely different. I can get a call from a client today and be on a plane tomorrow. We are a service oriented company and pride ourselves on that. 

What are some key lessons you’ve learned thus far?
As a woman in a male dominant industry, I’ve learned the value of working hard, building relationships, and try to lead by example. 

magicWhat do you hope to accomplish with your work?
I hope to leave a legacy of giving back and positively impacting people lives.

What advice would you give a younger version of yourself in need of motivation?
Have faith. Be strong. Never burn a bridge. And love what you do!

Follow Jhoanna Alba’s work @ALBALegacy for all the amazing custom looks she’s put together for athletes and to witness how she’s creating a legacy of her own!

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