Nasrin Jean-Baptiste is a stylist and the founder of our favorite new handbag line, Petit Kouraj. A few weeks back, she came by the studio to show us the bags and we couldn’t get over her entire look–we knew we had to share her style with you!
We love her use of bold color and her approach to a well-edited closet. Below, we chat with Nasrin about finding inspiration in the people around her and why she decided to launch Petit Kouraj…
Describe your style in 3 words or phrases.
Nostalgic, Fun, Easy.
What is your ideal outfit or uniform?
Having recently launched Petit Kouraj, working as a freelance stylist and being a mom, I am constantly running around. So, I like to be comfortable and yet need to feel connected to my sense of style.
Over the past few years, I’ve edited down my wardrobe to–more or less–only my favorite pieces. That way, I am always wearing something that sparks a particular mood or memory that makes me feel good. I find this to be a huge energy saver, as I’m only selecting from items that I truly like and that I know work for me. I think it’s important that when you catch a glimpse of your reflection in a mirror or window you are reminded of something uplifting–so, I like to wear pieces that mean something special to me or that show off the parts of my body I want to highlight that day.
Who are your style icons?
I don’t really have any style icons. I mostly like to draw inspiration from my favorite brands’ catwalk shows and find ways to recreate an aesthetic in my own way. I love to look at older people that still clearly have an exuberance for life and fashion to see how they put things together. I’m inspired by my friends and how they show their personalities through their clothing, I’m lucky because they all happen to have a great sense of style and identity.
If I had to pick one person, I would say Diana Ross has the most imperishable style, no matter what the decade… she’s a constant source for fashion references.
What inspired you to start Petit Kouraj?
Petit Kouraj which means ‘little courage’ in Haitian Creole. It was created in 2018 and was born out of asking myself the question, ‘without fear, what am I truly capable of?’ and the pursuit to find out.
I had been working as a fashion stylist for years and was yearning for growth, to be challenged in new ways. I had long held this idea for a handbag line but always allowed the voice of doubt to be louder than my dreams. It wasn’t until the birth of my daughter, Daye, when I started to dismantle the fears preventing me from going for it. I discovered that, just like childbirth, my fears around my biggest goals could be overcome when you dive deep. I decided that I wouldn’t be concerned with the daunting concept of starting a brand, but that I would concentrate on the little acts I could do daily that would help push me closer to my goal – hence the name Petit Kouraj (Little Courage).
This is was the first spark, but it all came to fruition after a research trip to Haiti for my birthday last year, where I took my samples to an amazing women-operated workshop and discovered that my line could represent something way bigger and more impactful than me. That it could be produced in a way that not only echoes my values of mindful ethical consumption, but that also adds to the beautiful and rich Haitian culture. I’ve since returned to Haiti earlier this year to produce the full collection, that is on sale now–and I’m looking forward to going back to produce new styles later this year.
What’s the most recent thing that has influenced your style?
Learning to only consider what I think my style is.