J.Jill Inspiration | Our Exclusive Tropical Print
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Design Story

Behind the Design: Our Signature Hand-Drawn Fruit Print

Few things signal summer’s arrival as strongly as the appearance of tropical prints in fashion. While the exact origin of this perennial trend is unknown, some tie it to the emergence of aloha shirts in Hawaii after WWI. Since then, the print types have expanded from kimono-inspired florals to the various fruits and foliage we see on everything from shirts to dresses, skirts, accessories and more. We love the fun, festive energy they bring to summer outfits, so our design team developed a unique one for our summer collection.

Created by assistant accessories designer Alyssa Fishenden and available only at J.Jill, the hand-drawn print features watercolor pineapples, pears, watermelon slices and palm leaves on a carbon background. Here’s a look into the process and the inspiration behind it.


How did this print come about?

“We really wanted to develop a fruit print she could easily integrate into her wardrobe. I sketched a few options for our head of design (Elliot Staples), and once this one was selected, I added colors that paired well with our collection.”

Describe your creative process.

“First, I selected fruits and leaves of different shapes that I thought would create a unique, lively tropical motif. I set up a still life of the fruits and sketched each one separately. I also sketched the leaves and then painted them with watercolors and outlined them in pen to add varied brush strokes and line qualities. Next, the sketches were scanned so that colors, shapes and sizes could be manipulated digitally. Then, the separately edited fruit-and-leaf motifs were used to make a repeating pattern.”