Minneapolis designer Kimberly Jurek-Valanzasca has been showcasing her bohemian, globally inspired women’s fashions for more than a decade. Now, she’s launching a new brand, Alma Mia.
“I’ve been designing for a while, and I decided to rethink what it is that I want,” she explains. “I have this great exciting desire to create something every day, and I think I lost that for a minute.”
Named for the Spanish phrase for “soul of mine,” the new label is “designed for the free-spirited” and features bright, vibrant colors and patterns, lightweight denim, organic woven jersey, and easy-breezy silhouettes. The brand launches this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a celebration party at Uptown boutique Showroom. The party is the first chance to shop the new collection and enjoy live music, sips, and bites.
“I’ve been experimenting a lot with finishes, stitching, washing, and drying techniques,” she says. “It’s fun to think, how is this going to turn out?”
The collection is also inspired by Jurek-Valanzasca’s love of travel. Her husband is from Argentina, so she travels there and other locales with her family as often as she can. “I feel like it just changes my perspective and keeps me inspired and fresh,” she says. “It makes me brave, it encourages me to do something different, take a risk, and grow.”
The designer got her start at indie fashion shows, such as Voltage: Fashion Amplified, back in 2005 before social media and other resources made it easier for local designers to sell their designs. She founded her Kjurek Couture label in 2005 and was joined by artist and designer Jennifer Chilstrom in 2011 before giving the line a new name, Kindred Folk, in 2016.
Back when Jurek-Valanzasca first began designing, it was all but unheard of to find local fashions in boutiques in town, apart from stores such as Cliché and Design Collective, which shuttered in 2013—which that inspired her and Chilstrom to found Showroom, a brick-and-mortar storefront dedicated solely to local fashion designers.
As for Kindred Folk, Jurek-Valanzasca revealed that the line has been discontinued. Fans of the line, which was known for incorporating hand-dyed textiles and a heavy dose of rock ‘n’ roll fringe into its boho aesthetic, can shop remaining pieces from past collections at a closeout sale hosted at Showroom between Tuesday, May 22 and Saturday, May 26.
“I’m starting fresh and it feels very good to me,” Jurek-Valanzasca says. “This is a whole new adventure and a whole new beginning.”
As for Chilstrom, she will continue to create her own artwork, clothing, and textile designs out of her studio at Northrup King Building in Northeast Minneapolis, which you can visit during Art-A-Whirl from May 18 to 20.
View more photos of the collection: