38 Leopardo by Jessica Harris
Normally I post photos I take right away, but these are shots I took in March at the boutique of my good friend Jessica Harris. Those of you familiar with the blog may recall her work from the Fenech 5 fashion show, which I posted about in January. It’s interesting how life can run you in parallels to a person and then finally it all comes together. For instance, besides sharing a name, Jessica and I both studied art history at Boston University at the same time, but never knew each other. During my time at BU I worked at the university’s art gallery, where I had the chance to speak with artist Ann Tracy while she was exhibiting there. As it turns out, Jessica was Ann’s assistant for a time and helped inspire her to pursue fashion design. When we did first cross paths, it was (of course) in Italy. This was during our time studying abroad in Padova, where we were both enrolled in BU’s exchange program. Though we hung out a few times, Jessica already had quite a few connections in Rome and was making frequent visits, so we didn’t see each other much. Directly after the program in 2001 Jessica moved permanently to Rome and enrolled at the Accademia Koefia, where she studied fashion design.
When I moved to Rome in 2005, we were reintroduced by a mutual friend living here. At the time Jessica had just opened her own shop in Trastevere, dubbed 38 Leopardo for its address (vicolo Leopardo 38). Ever since we’ve been great friends, which is something I’m so thankful for, as when you live so far away from your family, the good friends you find really become a great support system.
But, I’m not just writing this entry because Jessica is my friend, I’m writing it because she happens to be an amazing designer. The shots here are mostly dresses because we were putting on an event themed around evening wear, but Jessica does everything. Every design, every fabric selection, everything is by her and direct from the store. Again, it only takes one look at the Fenech 5 fashion show shots to see that she is a seriously creative and talented woman. If you are into unique, fun, and stylish clothing definitely stop here and you’ll get something that no one else has.
Another reason I’m super impressed with Jessica is that she started her own business in Italy, which is no easy feat, especially if you aren’t from Italy and need to learn the system. She’s also managed to get the attention of Korean Vogue, Italian Elle, as well as numerous fashion blogs all on the merit of her hard work. It takes a lot of love, perseverance, and confidence (besides talent) to pursue this type of career, so I salute her for that. She also happens to be an awesome friend and a super nice person, always willing to give advice to budding fashion designers or collaborating with artists to display work in her store.
vicolo del Leopardo 38
+39 06 454 354 76
Tuesday-Friday 10-2pm, 4-7 pm
Update: Jessica’s store has now moved to the Monti area. See more information in this updated post on Leopardessa.