Meet Joelle Fontaine - I Am Kreyol
L'or Noir (Gold Vinyl Jacket)
L'or Noir translates as black gold in french. It is special to me because it mixes my love of architecture and fashion into such structural garment that ultimately represents the regal qualities black women possess. It's multi-dimensional, layered in the most perfect ways, rigid in some aspect, but smooth and delicate, beautiful like a flower. Her skin catches the light effortlessly. She stands alone, yet enhances the beauty, power and confidence of anyone who wears her.
Biography: A simple Caribbean girl, the colors and textures of Joëlle Fontaine’s creations invoke
no comparisons. Her fashion label- Kréyol- incorporates her love of costuming and
ancient time periods in a comprehensive collection that represents sophistication at
its best. Encompassing Fontaine’s fascination of 1800’s silhouettes, vintage, precise
cuts, bold funkadelic patterns, discothèque sequence and classic femininity- Kréyol
also utilizes old Haitian uniforms and dresses, made by her mother from Fontaine’s
childhood, as a basis and inspiration for design.
The company, where Joëlle Fontaine is the designer, has been in operation since 2004.
Gaining some recognition very quickly, at 23 Fontaine moved to NY to kick off Kréyol,
leaving her young son and husband in Boston during the weeks and commuting home
on the weekends. During that year Kréyol was featured as an Avant Guarde winner of
GenArt’s design competition, won third place in the ISE Foundation Fashion
Competition and had the garments exhibited at their museum in SoHo for a month,
styled a Moet & Chandon campaign, and was featured in New York Fashion Week as
well as Caribbean Fashion Week in Jamaica. The traction was promising, but the
balancing act between family and fashion posed to be a major issue in Fontaine’s life.
She returned home to Boston to focus solely on her family.
In 2010, in the devastation after the earthquake in Haiti, Fontaine once again turned
to her love of fashion to organize a fundraiser and raise over $10k to help
organizations in her homeland. She hasn’t stopped designing since. In 2013, Kréyol
was re-introduced to the market with a new sense of purpose and fresh aesthetic that
has been captivating the masses.
Kreyol’s ultimate goal is to utilize fashion as a catalyst for change, beginning with job
creation for poor and disenfranchised women in the U.S. and eventually in Haiti, a
country where Fontaine has roots. They have created a movement focusing on women
who love fashion and aim to stand out, with a goal to empower them to be their best
Kreyol is a partnership between Designer/CEO, Joelle Jean-Fontaine, Seamstress/
mother, Yolette Fontaine, and COO/brother, Stanley Rameau. A family affair, the three
have been working together laying the groundwork for this fashion company. Since the
launch in 2013, they have been featured in the Conde Nast Traveler, AfroPunk, New
York Fashion week at the largest Macy's in the world in collaboration with 19th
Amendment, and most recently, named as one of the top Haitian Designers by Teen
Boston Caribbean Fashion Week August 8-12, 2018