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Montgomery Harris

The American Legacy is the raison d'etre for this forward fashion designer. Montgomery Harris received a first-hand experience of southern charm and the 'Southern Belle' esthetic from her birthplace, Birmingham, Alabama. Armed with a sharp sense of style, she set her sights on fashion design after her family moved to Harlem, New York. She played her hand at designing and producing various innovative looks that had many heads turning due to her signature knack for mixing couture with Americana.

After moving to Brooklyn, her residence of twenty years, Montgomery found the key logo for her lifestyle collection while on holiday in Arizona – Jolinda. The name of this highly recognizable character, recalls an iconograhic feel. Montgomery merged the roots of her southern heritage with the image of 'Jolinda' as a symbol of excellence, to show how far American ethnicity on a whole has come. Any ethnic culture can relate to the head-wrapped smiling beauty as Jolinda has garnered a loyal cult-fan base across Europe, Asia and South America.

Montgomery's acclaim – including receipt of the Vidal Sassoon Award for Style in 1995 and the Absolut Vodka Style Award in 1999 – has proved that she is indeed on the right path. During its four years on Broome Street in Soho, Jolinda, Inc. has gained quite a following. People from all walks of life appreciate Montgomery's vibrant artistry. Now, she has brought her unique style and innovation to her new boutique in Harlem. From businesswomen to celebrities, no one is immune to the appeal of 'Jolinda' or any of Montgomery's signature pieces.

Montgomery is self-funded, self-started and her natural intellect is only bringing her closer to her ultimate goal of helping people to feel good and find meaning in what they wear. She has transformed the controversial image of 'Jolinda' into an increasingly ubiquitous icon. As her patrons broaden on a daily basis, Montgomery proves that her company, Jolinda, Inc., stands for innovation, vision and integrity for out American heritage, "Lest we forget."

"My collections are joyful and sexy. They look like a child's giddy vision of what a grown up lady would wear, effortless and matchlessly chic. The styles are classic—the combination of a dress with a matching jacket or a coat with pants; my colors and prints are fantastic! I marry the familiar with the unexpected, the pretty with the grotesque. Good design is always on a tightrope of bad taste.

My creations are not for the timid. Collections are built around themes: the circus, butterflies, music, iconography, and pop culture. The fabrics and accessories used echo my motifs. To wear Montgomery is to court fantasy, to display a sense of humor."


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