While balancing life as a chart-topping comedienne and supermom to twins and a toddler, Jessi Cruickshank is now flexing her fashion design skills with the launch of a new clothing collection made in collaboration with Joe Fresh.

Perfectly timed to the arrival of Mother’s Day (and in preparation for that summertime heat), the collection includes playful matching sets designed with a chic checkered pattern for the whole family to enjoy—from the little ones to you and your partner.

“Joe Fresh gave me so much freedom to create a family collection that is fun, bold, and different from what they usually do. They truly let me design everything from the print to the colours, the cuts to the hemlines,” says Cruickshank. “As a result, this collection is a real embodiment of my family’s aesthetic for the summer. It’s easy, versatile and playful. It can be worn to the beach, the pool, and beyond. And warning: you and your kids will get compliments wherever you go.”

Ahead, the multi-hyphenate mama gives her best style tips and shares how to make the most of a family-orientated summer. Plus, she reveals her favourite pieces from the limited-edition summer capsule collection, available online and in select Joe Fresh stores on May 2nd.

Who, or what inspires your style?

“My friends without kids! I am often surrounded by fellow moms, and when you have little kids, it’s easy to fall into the ‘I wear leggings as pants’ trap. I’m guilty of it every morning at school drop-off! But I also love fashion. I love to feel great in what I’m wearing and I love to stand out, so I usually look to my fashionable childless friends for inspiration because they are the ones who often have the extra time (and extra cash!) to stay on top of what’s trending and to go out and buy it.”

Joe Fresh x Jessi Cruickshank

Joe Fresh x Jessi Cruickshank Jessi Shirt

Price: $35


How has motherhood changed your personal style?

“See aforementioned ‘leggings as pants’ trap. I’m not quite there yet, but I certainly want to feel comfortable in everything I wear now, because chances are I’ll inevitably find myself rolling on the ground trying to break up a fight between my twin boys or chasing my toddler through the house and/or streets wearing it.

My secret is to own high-end basics. I live in vintage re-done Levi’s jeans, a white T, and statement jewelry. I also love owning bold, trendier pieces that stand out in a crowd, especially when they don’t break the bank. Like the set I designed for Joe Fresh!”

What are your favourite outfits for on-the-go, family trips?

“I’ll say it with my chest: VER-SA-TI-LI-TY. I’m too busy (lazy) to ‘plan outfits’ in advance. I need to throw clothes into a suitcase for my kids and know that every pair of shorts will work with every T-shirt and vice-versa. That’s why I love the ‘Rio and Dray’ T-shirt and shorts set. Your kids can wear them as a set, or mix them up with literally any neutral on top or bottom and they look awesome.”

Joe Fresh x Jessi Cruickshank

Joe Fresh x Jessi Cruickshank Kid Rio + Dray Set

Price: $24


What are some of your favourite ways to dress your kids during summer?

“I love dressing kids in the summer because it’s so much easier. No boots? No coats? No toques? No problem. We’re a real shorts and T-shirts kind of family. Comfort is key for my kids and when we move through the world together as a family, nothing makes me feel better about myself and my life than when my three kids at least coordinate together. It makes me feel like I have my life together and I am in control (even when I’m not). So can you imagine how happy a matching all-over print makes me?”

What items do you always have to pack in your summer tote?

“A hat and sunscreen! I am a pasty, freckly redhead… I would describe my skin tone as ‘transparent,’ so I need the highest of SPFs at all times and the widest-brimmed hat I can fit into a tote. I also have snacks for the kids (but, let’s be honest, I end up eating most of them), whatever my toddler insists on bringing with her that day, and a bathing suit. I never know when I am going to want to jump into a pool (or need to jump into a pool to chase after my kids), so I like to stay prepared.”

Joe Fresh x Jessi Cruickshank

What’s your advice for making a kid-friendly summer more interesting?

“Don’t be afraid to get messy! That is how memories are created… when you let your kid run into the water, or the sprinkler, or dive into the mud or get covered in paint, so I say, this summer try to let go a little bit. That’s also why I don’t think kids’ clothes can be too expensive or too precious because you can’t be worried about getting them messy!”


What are your favourite pieces from the collection?

“I secretly designed the women’s set for me. It’s the only thing I want to wear this summer. I love the shorts as a poolside cover-up or paired with a white T-shirt and sneakers. I also love the shirt tucked into denim or worn tucked into the shorts for a clean ‘onesie’ look. It is so versatile, so playful and so fun.

I’m also very into the toddler dress. I changed the cut to be wider, more voluminous, and less fitted than a typical girl’s dress. My daughter, Romi, likes to roll with her brothers, so this is a dress that is comfortable, easy, and looks adorable. All the pieces are just that—easy, effortless showstoppers.

Joe Fresh x Jessi Cruickshank

Joe Fresh x Jessi Cruickshank Toddler Romi Dress

Price: $16