Behind the Brand
Baba Jagne, the talented designer behind the namesake brand JAGNE, was born and raised in Gambia. The West African designer was fortunate enough to be born into a family of talented tailors designers including his siblings, parents and uncles.
Excited to follow in their footsteps, Baba excitedly made his and his peer’s school uniforms as his first sewing project. While in school, he learned the fundamentals of garment construction when he became an apprentice in his brother’s atelier. Shocked by his talent, his brother gave him his first job when he saw his talent superseded his hired workers. Soon after, Baba’s work ethic, skill and enthusiasm for tailoring landed him a job at his aunt’s atelier, when his older brother personally called in the favor.
This was a key turning point in Baba’s life because this atelier sat in a 5 star hotel, in the prominent side of town, boasting European tourists and diplomats as their clients. It was here that Baba’s skill elevated most because he was taught new techniques when his high-end clients would bring in European designs to be replicated. Dissecting the luxury designs first hand, taught him vastly, that soon he was promoted to head tailor where he was in charge of women’s wear and intricately detailed, menswear. His skill and eye to deliver detail and a clean design led to many clients coming solely for him. However, after a few years, he peacefully departed ways because he felt he reached his peak for knowledge and was still eager to learn more. His quest took him across continents to pursue the American dream.
Upon arrival to the US, Baba took odd jobs from welding car parts to restoring tuxedos before he found home and settled in Los Angeles to design full time. He knew the city was it for him as he could see and feel the potential instantly. However, because Baba did not know how the fashion industry was structured, he decided to forego fashion school, a promise he made to his parents to leave Gambia, and went straight into business to learn it hands on. He was anxious to have his designs seen so he began designing his own wardrobe for personal use. When many prominent LA stylists complimented his work, Baba was inspired to create his first collection. The collection brilliantly shined talent but it was the production process that delayed Baba’s dream to create JAGNE.
Finding the right atelier to recreate the samples was a difficult task because none matched Baba’s impeccable standards for quality. When one was hired, the samples still fell far below expectations. On top of spending hard earned money, Baba spent much of his time correcting the samples to teach sample makers how to fix them. He knew this would be an issue when stores placed orders for production so he canceled the quest before complications ruined his reputation.
However, this delay for the brand only sparked inspiration for his next move. Knowing that there was a difficulty locating quality sample makers in Los Angeles,
Baba saw this as an opportunity and quickly went into business with his own manufacturing house. Word of mouth spread quickly and he got many jobs from aspiring designers, athletes and even entertainers such as Beyonce and Cardi B. While business was good, it wasn’t his dream. Working 12-13 hours a day, all 7 days of the week. Was draining and Baba knew it was time to step away and get back to what gave him purpose.
JAGNE was reborn in the comfort of his home studio with more creativity and experience from a journey that brought him home.