a fortes design was and is built by a designer in her twenties aspiring toward the creation of a
product that is equally functional and beautiful. Creating a line of clothing that is simple and
modest was designer Janessa Bautista's first step into building a collection of products
incorporating her handmade textiles that hold utility along with style.
a fortes design is "a strong design" because the designer is striving to build clothes that hold
up and get better with wear. Like with the hemp she uses in many of her textiles, the
durability and strength of the clothing and the softness that evolves over time with constant
wear is her intention. Janessa is committed to using sustainable and local products and
services whenever possible, but does not by these means define her brand. Rather, fortes finds
meaning in the character of its home, New York City. The designer is in her studio, on her
bicycle, popping in and around an American town full of redundancy in people and nature.
Printing these living redundancies onto sustainable fibers and then photographing them in the
forest is something very deliberate. Conceptual prints of "families" or trees or butterflies
burst color out of the pockets of many garments, often contrasting to their hushed earth-
tones exteriors. Child-like simplicity and beauty is shot through such details and is an arc
over the entire fortes design studio. Each garment produced can be worn to work in or
dressed up for whatever the evening holds. a fortes design has set out to be a line that can be
lived in and worn over and over again, maintaining strength – the root of fortes.
janessa has relocated to portland oregon as of november 2008 and continues to produce locally.