The global fashion industry has long been under scrutiny for its sweatshops and use of harmful chemicals, waste and byproducts. One Long Island native is out to change the way consumers see fashion and conscious consumerism. Meet fashion designer and creator of Indigo Apparel, Jackii Ramis.
Ramis grew up around art, fashion and music, her creativity fostered by environment. “My father was a house painter. He used to bring me along on jobs and I’d paint people’s closets. My aunt was a fashion designer in New York and she taught me how to sew as a kid. My mom is a painter and a cake decorator—a visual artist.”
Every summer her mom or aunt would rent a house on Fire Island. Ramis would bring all of her art supplies and paint shells or make crafts.
“My parents are divorced and they worked a lot, [which is why] I’d wake up on the weekends and take out all of my crafts and try to make something. I did sports as well in school, but art was just what I liked to do growing up.”
After graduating from Centereach High School in 2006, Ramis went on to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology and study abroad at the Politecnico di Milano School of Fashion Design in Italy. Her work in sustainable design was unique, colorful and extremely wearable, quickly earning recognition from leaders in the field. She has exhibited at Citta del Arte, in Italy, and Ramis’ 2012 “Two Hemispheres” exhibit at the Gabarron Foundation now resides in the permanent collection in Spain.
When she returned to the States, founding Indigo Apparel seemed like a natural next step. “When I first started the company, I didn’t have any idea what my plan was, I just knew that I couldn’t design wastefully. Out of that came this company.”
Hyper-focused on sustainability and authenticity, Ramis’ designs are an amalgam of her unique personal style and trending silhouettes. Indigo Apparel features everything from breathable, comfortable yoga pants to custom, hand dyed scarves and handmade knitwear, all at affordable price points.
Ramis creates using deadstock, organic materials and bamboo, as well as low-impact dyes and strictly vegan materials to keep the brand eco-friendly.
“I want everyday people to be able to afford and wear sustainable clothing. I’m absolutely not trying to tackle that issue by myself, but I know I’m doing my part to make it possible to locally purchase handmade, organic clothes, which up until about three years ago was not even an option.”
Ramis’ work has been recognized by names like Muuse, Victoria’s Secret and Vogue Italia, and she continues to establish her name as a ready to wear and couture designer. She also brings her passion for local business to the Artisans Found, a grassroots organization for local artisans that produces pop-up shops across Long Island.
Ramis is based in a small production studio within the newly opened NOVA Sanctuary in Oceanside, a center for wellness and creative arts founded by tattoo artists Ryan Gatt and Shannon Toohey of Salvation Tattoo, and Crosstown Realty agent, Jon Ciangulli. Additionally, the apparel can be found on the web and featured in various Artisans Found pop-ups.
Fans can look forward to couture Jackii Ramis line, as well as new styles for Indigo Apparel’s 2017 collections.