Designers Cary Vaughan and Jenna Wilson have never met a stripe or plaid they haven’t liked. You might say they’re obsessed. In fact, woven textiles with variations of the patterns are what Ace&Jig, their four-year-old boho apparel collection, is all about. Another obsession? Slip-on, slip-off pieces that get you out the door quickly—the two entrepreneurs are also moms. (FYI: Their children inspired the line’s name: Cary’s five-year-old daughter Alice’s initials spell ACE, and Jenna’s six-year-old son James’s spell JIG.) We caught up with the designers as they planned their next shopping trip to the markets of Marrakech and chatted about their collage-like approach to fabric design and the unexpected textures they love.
You’re friends who work together. Sounds pretty great. How’d that happen?
We met as interns at Language—a label that’s no longer around—and then both joined LaRok as creative directors. After a few years there, we decided it was time for a break. We each got married, had children and then founded Ace&Jig.
So has the fact that you’re both mothers influenced the collection’s aesthetic?
We are usually dashing about, so our collection is a realistic portrayal of what we want to be wearing in our everyday lives—something easy to throw on, special enough to be a signature, timeless and comfortable.
No two Ace&Jig patterns look the same. How do you manage to pull that off?
We have vast antique textile collections and pull from these, as well as from heritage cloth around the world. We’re always inspired by the woven stripe. And all cultures have a history of woven cloth—we’re just making new stories with ours. A big focus for us is collaborating directly with weavers in India to create custom patterns; we work with a man who’s been running the looms and developing fabrics in India for over 25 years. We pick the yarns and he dyes them with his bare hands, always considering how the fabric feels to the touch. Our textures are always evolving.
Let’s talk about other textures you love. In food?
When we’re in India in May, we go through cartons of Alphonso mangoes. Buttery soft, and they have a very short season.
Under your feet?
Filiki Tulu rugs from Anatolia, Boucherouite rugs from Morocco, Boro rugs from Japan and all types of rag rugs.
To hang on your walls?
3D texture dominates for sure. We’ve hung quilts, weavings, rag rugs, oil paintings with rich layers, plus a revolving display of our kids’ art. We’ve even used hula-hoops as frames and woven our scrap fabrics across them.
And when it comes to music?