On The Road

How This Resortwear Designer Does Vacation

Tagging along in Mexico with J.J. Martin.

By: Noah Lehava

Imagine your day job required you to fly halfway across the world to paradise, where your days are filled with piña coladas, strolling through ancient ruins nested in a tropical jungle, and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Diane Kruger and Jason Wu. Well, if you’re Cov-alum J.J. Martin, designer of La Double J, this is your reality. But because we couldn’t join her on this particularly fabulous (international) celebration of her new pop-up shop at Hotel Esencia, she let us tag along by way of her personal photo diary. Click through the below to see her amazing Mexican working vacation.

“I flew from Milan to Mexico for the opening of a pop-up shop for my clothing label Double J Editions at Hotel Esencia on the Mayan Riviera. It was a remarkable place—perfectly remote and yet wonderfully chic at the same time. We were right on the Caribbean Sea with wonderful weather, great yoga and lots of friends. The hotel put together a fantastic cocktail party and outdoor pop-up shop under the coconut trees, where guests like Jason Wu, Jane Lauder, Fabien Baron and Diane Kruger all swung by to check out our new collection. The collection features all new clothes made from vintage patterns from the 1920s-1980s, which we have taken from the Mantero silk archive in Lake Como. We also brought along a lot of the vintage jewelry we sell on ladoublej.com and special pillows we made exclusively for Hotel Esencia. I like the remote, traditional parts of Mexico that are far from crowds: I really enjoyed the paradise found at the hotel, as well as our special trip to Coba, a tiny village with ancient Mayan ruins that I found completely fascinating. Valladolid, a colonial town with wonderful little shops was a highlight. It was truly a fabulous trip.”

“A beautiful wooden palapa at the Hotel Esencia, where I practiced yoga every morning. The yoga in Milan is not that great, so I was so happy and surprised to find amazing teachers in Mexico.”

“This is a religious fountain in Valladolid that’s made from hundreds of pieces of painted ceramic.”

“We travelled to Coba, a tiny town with Mayan ruins. We stayed at the Coqui Coqui hotel, which had only four rooms, but a beautiful spa and kitchen area.”

“Alessandro from the Hotel Esencia is the cutest Italian ever. We met in Milan many moons ago. Here he is setting up the fruit and flowers for our DoubleJ pop-up shop in his Prada pants.”

“An al fresco corner for dining at the Hotel Esencia. So chic!”

“Ciao! Here I am in our new DoubleJ One Love cotton dress. It’s a very good morning to midnight dress and was perfect at the sandy beach and dinner.”

“I’m sporting another dress from the new collection. This is the Curly Swing in the main hallway of the hotel.”

“Cruising back to my room after a day on the beach at the Hotel Esencia. I’m wearing DoubleJ’s One Love dress in the Tropicale print along with the Hotel Esencia’s straw bag.”

“More ruins. My husband and I arrived at the crack of dawn, so we entered the whole park when not a single other person was there. It was truly magical.”

“DoubleJ pillows at the Hotel Esencia.”

“Even though I grew up in L.A., I never sit in the sun anymore. Ever! So here I am in my vintage dress under the straw beach hut at the Hotel Esencia.”

“Every hour or so, some devoted waiter was dropping off the most perfect beach side snacks.”

“Every morning I did yoga in this magnificent Mexican palapa. I’m a big yogi and this area of Mexico, especially Tulum, which is 30 minutes away, is packed with great teachers.”

“Here is one of the Mayan ruins at Coba. Not sure I was supposed to climb up on this one, but I did anyway.”

“The peacock came for a visit my very last day at the hotel!”

“Here’s our DoubleJ One Love Dress with a vintage print hanging in the shop at the Hotel Esencia. They decorated all of their Mexican straw hats with our printed scarves.”

“Hotel Esencia's dining room. How chic is that?”

“How divine is the Hotel Esencia. Perfect for modeling our latest DoubleJ editions, this is the swing dress in silk twill in our kaleidoscope pattern, designed by the Swiss-based textile firm, Abraham, in the early 1980s.”

“I’m nuts about patterned ceramic tiles. I’m wearing a vintage DoubleJ dress on a tile floor we found in a shop in Valladolid, a small colonial town near Coba.”

“Look how charming the outdoor breakfast tables were at the Hotel Esencia.”

“Lost in a sea of pillows covered in vintage prints! It’s a good place to be.”

“Not even my feet were in the sun!”

“One day, we took a day trip to a tiny colonial town called Valladalid. One street in particular was filled with darling shops, including this clothing and accessories store.”

“One of the Hotel Esencia staff members modeling our Swing dress and vintage jewelry at the cocktail party.”

“Our pop-up shop at the Hotel Esencia! Juan Carlos and his lovely assistant get buried wearing our DoubleJ Editions clothes and the pillows that were made especially for the pop-up with our vintage patterns.”

“Post pop-up shop plop under the umbrella. Yes, I actually wore this One Love dress to the beach. I love a beach dress!”

“The beach bar at the Hotel Esencia. It was the best view in the hotel—that’s my husband up there in the right corner.”

“The cocktail bar at the hotel Esencia.”

“The DoubleJ and Hotel Esencia teams welcoming everyone for the pop-up shop.”

“The gardens of the Hotel Esencia. There were lots of peacocks roaming around, which I loved.”

“The Hotel Esencia walkway to the beach. I could stare at this picture all day.”

“This is right out front of the Hotel Esencia on the beach. You could surf on these colorful surfboards, but I did not. Basically, I just passed out underneath the mini beach palapa.”

“This local dynamo was belting out tunes during the pop-up shop cocktail party. She’s wearing our scarf on her head plus a pin.”

“This was my favorite corner of the Hotel Esencia, a giant palapa where I did yoga upstairs every morning. The downstairs hammock was perfect nap time. The dress is DoubleJ’s short and sassy in our new lilium print.”

“We debuted a whole new collection of our DoubleJ editions all made from vintage patterns sourced from the Mantero silk archive on Lake Como. The clothes were all hanging in the trees right under the coconuts with the ocean air wafting right over them.”

“Who doesn’t love a morning nap on a hammock. It’s Mexico’s version of the Lazy Boy and so much chicer. I’m wearing another dress the short and sassy from DoubleJ editions.”

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