Coral Gables resident Priscilla Codinach, now better known as Priscilla Jade, is an innovative lingerie designer who has a line of smart and sexy garments available in several area boutiques and online as well.
Codinach, who attended St. Brendan Catholic High School, which has a fairly conservative dress code, has just launched her latest collection called “Noir,” which is a line of mix and match pieces — all in black.
At one point she thought she might become a medical professional, but she followed her heart and ended up with a surprising and creative business. Although she surprised everyone, including herself, the roots of her interest in feminine fashion reach back to her childhood.
“My grandmother taught me how to sew when I was 8,” Jade said. “I wanted to make my Halloween costumes every year. I created projects from anything I could find in the house. When I started college I originally wanted to do something in the healthcare field, but something triggered when I left for fashion school.”
The lingerie angle also was a natural extension of her childhood experiences and was shaped by her early observations.
“When I was young I danced and performed in these costumes with ruffles and bows,” Jade said. “I found a similarity between my costumes and the things I found in my mother’s lingerie drawer. I put two and two together and realized the sassy coy attitude women had when wearing these outfits. I couldn’t wait to wear lingerie.”
Born in Alabama, there is a trace of Southern Belle in her personality and in her approach to life and fashion design, but she also is all about women’s empowerment and feeling great in lingerie on its own merits, not just to please a man.
While some of her pieces are very sexy, others are aimed more at the perfect amount of sexiness for women’s everyday wear. Jade also does custom bridal lingerie by appointment.
“Being sexy is timeless,” Jade said. “A Priscilla Jade woman is classic and confident. Some can consider fancy lingerie a luxury, as it should feel on the skin. However, I believe that over the years, with the struggle to maintain a lifestyle, that what I create is accessible and affordable for every woman.”
Having come a long way from her high school days, Jade works hard on her creative venture, and has even gotten interest from Vogue magazine and Ocean Drive based on her latest collection. But that hasn’t kept her from being a big supporter of the community, working closely with the Get Styled Give Smiles Holiday Campaign, Toys for Tots, Hands on Miami and other worthwhile causes.
Besides her current designs, Jade keeps trying out new ideas and hopes to expand her collections to include other members of the family.
“I design with all elements of getting a good night’s sleep,” Jade said. “My collections include comfortable loungewear items and corsets with tie-side panties. I will be designing a men’s line in the near future and creating a sleepwear line for children.
“I have built amazing relationships with boutiques all over Miami. I have learned so much from the women who dress real women with real budgets. You can visit the website and find a listing once the new collection is available at retail stores.”
Jade said she is enjoying the ride on which her passion for fashion is taking her. Even interviews are more fun than she thought.
“I thought I would freeze up with interview questions,” she said. “When the interviews are over, whether they are in person or though email, I surprise myself with my answers. I have been designing for many years and love being able to talk about what I do. Relating to my customers about my passion and drive means so much to me. It’s made me who I am today and pushed me to where I want to be.”
For more information visit her website at www.LingeriebyPJ.com. She’s also on Facebook and Twitter.