Polish artist and fashion designer. Born in 1970.
Polish artist and fashion designer. Born 1970. After working for a number of prominent designers in London, she returned to Poland and founded SOULSTITCH, hosting craft workshops that explore the role of handiwork in contemporary culture.
Monika Jakubiak started designing at the age of twelve. She began her career in fashion and tailoring shortly after completing secondary school in 1989, working as a seamstress in a factory. Later she got a job in Poznań as a wardrobe assistant for Danuta Stenka and Krystyna Feldman in the New Theatre. She also interned at the city's Teatr Biuro Podróży (Travel Bureau Theatre).
In the mid-1990s she packed up her sewing machine and left for London. There she worked her way up through the fashion ranks, eventually joining the design teams of such successful designers as Clements Ribeiro, Mulligan, Karen Nicol and Hussain Chalayan. Her short stint in Hussain Chalayan studio was a turning point in her approach to fashion. Later work with DAKS Simpson and Timothy Everest inspired her fascination with bespoke tailoring. After seven years in the industry, she realised she had to take the next step in her career - even if that meant quitting her job and enrolling at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London - the academic mecca for the fashion industry.
In 2003 she graduated in fashion design from Central St. Martins. Then she moved to India and spent several months honing her craft. Finally, she decided to return to Europe, to London. As Monika puts it, it was an 'instinctive' decision. Upon her return she set up her new artistic practice - Soulstitch - which offers sewing workshops for children and people with learning difficulties. The main values of Soulstitch workshops such as focusing on the personal achievements of all participants, dedicated craftsmanship and the exchange of original ideas through spontanous community interaction, have gained a loyal following. Jakubiak's work with the company also resulted in a host of further fruitful collaborations with various museums, galleries and institutions, such as the Tate Britain, Victoria & Albert Museum, Waterman Centre, Virasad Gallery, AFF Stary Browar, DPT Wigry and Zachęta Gallery of Art in Warsaw.
Since 2005 Monika spends two months each year designing womanswear collections for the Indian company Jaipur, Anokhi fashion label, often making use of hand-printed fabrics - a treasure that is slowly disappearing in the industrialised world. Many prominent design labels, such as Chloé, Vivienne Westwood and Zień, have supported Soulstitch practice. Her professional life is her means of linking two disciplines that are often erroneously placed at odds with each other - fashion and the arts.
Source: Adam Mickiewicz Institute
Also see: Cobra TV interview with Monika Jakubiak