Style: Escape Artist

Jasmien Hamed’s Très Nomad brand appeals to world wanderers

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Très Nomad, a ‘slow fashion’ company based in Sausalito, uses 100 percent natural silk fabrics for made-to-order clothing. Photo by Britney Gill Photography.

When you visit the studio that Jasmien Hamed’s clothing brand Très Nomad calls home, the garments immediately evoke a crave for ‘down time.’ Located at the ICB building in Sausalito, the space is filled with airy jumpsuits perfect for riding a camel in Morocco, caftans ideal for lounging poolside and loose dresses calling for sunset strolls along the beaches of Bali. The only minor detail left to be arranged is the plane ticket.

The ‘very’ (from the French ‘très’) nomadic brand was hatched around three years ago, in the hands of Hamed, an experienced nomad herself. She was born and raised in Holland, a daughter of a Dutch mother and an Egyptian father. “As a well-traveled child and young adult I was always fascinated with rich cultures, folklore and costumes,” she recalls. Hamed moved to San Francisco in 2003 to pursue her styling career, and worked on commercial projects from large to small, before moving to Sausalito, “a little slice of Europe in Marin,” two years ago. “It feels a lot like home,” Hamed says.

The initial path to Très Nomad was, as it happens, accidental. Hamed made a few patterns for herself, eager to find a dress that fit. “It was around the time that maxi dresses were in fashion, but being 6 feet tall, I always had a problem with anything store-bought, as it was too short for me,” she says. “I contracted my local tailor to sew me the dresses and I over-dyed one in indigo. Then, I wore it to a party in Ibiza and eight different girls came up to me saying they loved it so much and wanted to know where I got it from. I knew I was onto something.”

Très Nomad’s current offerings range from overalls, to maxi and tunic dresses to tops and pants, all in silk, and in more than 30 hues. Why the seemingly impractical fabric? “Working as a fashion stylist for the past 20 years, I have seen the quality of garments go downhill,” Hamed says. “From the type of fabrics used to the way everything is made. So naturally, when I shopped for work and would find something in silk, I would grab it because I knew it had that elegant luxurious quality.”

Silk is also environmentally friendlier than many fabrics. “It has been around for so many centuries, and the way it’s produced has not really changed much,” Hamed explains. “It’s a renewable fiber that’s also biodegradable and requires less water to produce than many other fibers. And, it’s incredibly strong, which extends the lifecycle when made into a garment.”

Hamed dyes the garments in a technique called over-dye, done by hand over the stovetop. “This method gives me control over the color and outcome,” she says. As for the dazzling selection, she adds, “I have always liked the idea of offering a lot of color choices, since colors really reflect your mood, so naturally, over-dying was the right process for me because I wanted to come up with a business model where I didn’t have to keep any inventory. The only inventory I have is a bolt of silk. I won’t have problems of overstock and waste this way.”

Since launching Très Nomad last year, Hamed’s most popular colors have proven to be marigold (golden yellow) and poinsettia (red). “The marigold is a color that suits many different skin tones; it’s such a happy color,” she says. “And the red … well, every girl needs a good red dress!”

If all goes according to plan, Hamed’s clothes will soon come to the bridal world. “We are in the process of adding some bridal styles to the collection, for brides who want something simple and elegant without all the frills,” Hamed shares. “I was recently looking for a dress for one of my styling clients and realized how hard it is to find a simple dress. Not every girl wants the lace, the ruffles.”

Back to that pool and the sunsets, Hamed, of course, is well aware of the escapist appeal that her clothing offers. “A nomad is a person who travels with a purpose to different corners without a permanent abode,” she says. “I design pieces that are easy to travel with and that you can wear from the pool to the dinner table, no matter where you are in the world, and feel effortlessly elegant, like you could fit into the local culture.”

Très Nomad, ICB Building, Studio 271, 480 Gate 5 Road, Sausalito; call ahead for an appointment at 415/373-2539; tresnomad.com.

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