Francis James, Kearny Dietrich and Paul James

It all started with the quest for the perfect pant. And though many of us have been on this quest ourselves, and know how difficult it can be, few of us would go so far as to start our own design company and clothing line in order to make the perfect pant manifest. But this is exactly what Kearny Dietrich did, and it’s how the JG Sassy line was born.

JG Sassy is a new clothing line whose designers describe it as, “classic with a smack of attitude.” What started as the simple (or, okay, superhuman) task of creating the perfect pair of women’s pants soon turned into an ongoing collaboration between Kearny Dietrich and Paul and Francis James—the founders of Paul Francis Designs. The combination of Kearny’s vision, Paul’s technical craftsmanship, and Francis’ passion and keen style sense has blossomed into a full collection that had its runway debut earlier this month. To hear Paul tell it, the connection between Kearny and Paul Francis Design was strong and instantaneous. It was immediately clear that they shared a “conceptual vision,” and that the collaboration would be a lasting one.

Paul James has always had a love of clothing—having been designing and making his own from a very young age. Though his passion for clothing took him from Los Angeles to Seattle, and even overseas — with stints at Juicy Couture, Diane Von Furstenberg and Nordstrom — he eventually landed in Baltimore. When asked what brought him here, he says: “in a word—love…that and passion will keep me here.”  He’s quick to point out that the opportunity to own one’s own business (and work with such terrific partners as Kearny and the whole Jewels team) is more than enough reason to stay.  As he puts it, “all the success I feel in this and life, regardless if it is professional or personal, must be supported by love and passion…Of course hard work is a major component as well… but fashion is not only in New York, Paris or Italy—if you have ‘it,’ it’s wherever you are.” We can attest to the fact that these folks definitely have “it.”

Not only is the company based in Baltimore, every single garment is designed, draped, and produced in Towson. That’s right—this is clothing that’s totally local. That means that every step of the way, JG Sassy supports the local community and economy, rather than having the clothes made in sweatshops or overseas. And this isn’t a happy accident. The folks at JG Sassy are explicitly dedicated to “giving back” to the community through hiring local folks—particularly young people—and giving them the opportunity to truly become part of the fashion world.

Kearny’s inspiration for fashion comes from style icon Audrey Hepburn, and her goal is to help women build a wardrobe “that is easy, comfortable, and communicates a tremendous sense of style.” Kearny sees the typical JG Sassy woman as, well, sassy. When asked whom the line is geared toward, she says “the cultured, fun-loving, independent woman.” Who doesn’t want to identify with that crowd?

This fall’s collection features A-line skirts with leather detail, cowl neck dresses, silk blouses, and elegant wrap pants (remember? The perfect pant?). For the holidays, Kearny reminds us that now is the time to layer and that this season, tone on tone is going to be big. For colors, she recommends ivory paired with luscious creams and classic champagne—especially good in sensuous fabrics like lambskin, silk, and wool crapes. As for accessories,  “this season’s must have accessory is gold. Its rich warm color finishes each polished look,” says Kearny.  How convenient then, that JG Sassy’s trademark button (that’s consistent throughout the line) is gold. After all, if you’re going to create the perfect pant, you can’t stop short of the perfect buttons.

JG Sassy is currently available exclusively at Jewels Boutique at 1515 La Belle Ave in Ruxton. For more information, visit

3 replies on “Sophisticated and Local JG Sassy Keeps “It” in Baltimore”

  1. I have ALWAYS had confidence in you That you had what it takes to bring your business to this level..I LOVE your line and I love you both continue in your passion ..Congratulations! XXOO

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