Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Fashion Frolic with Jami Spence

Published:Monday | January 4, 2016 | 1:00 AM
The magic all starts with a sketch and that's exactly what Jamie is doing.
Spence in one of her favourite designs to date - a zebra jumpsuit.
Spence in action at her shop in Pulse Complex on Trafalgar Road, Kingston.
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Flair's Fashion Frolic feature takes you on another behind-the-scenes journey to really get to know some of your favourite and celebrated designers. This week, we get to know a little more about Jamie Spence of YC designs.

Fashion designer Jami Spence goes by designer name 'James Black' with her fashion line Yahdie Conscious, now YC.

Spence said her designer name came as a result of her alias name 'James' and added the 'Black' because she likes wearing black so she put both of them together.

Spence's designs are a reflection of her funky personality - hence her specialisation in unique, sophisticated street-style with an edge.

Her talent and passion were recognised when she was in sixth form, and her team won best costume the first year they entered the JAMFIT cheerleading competition, "I realised just how much I enjoyed coming up with the concept and bringing it to life. I thought it was the coolest thing ever," Spence told Flair.

The name 'YC' also came during her sixth form days at St Andrew High School for Girls. "My partner and I needed a name for this T-shirt brand that we wanted to start - depicting inspirational quotes Jamaican style. I was saying 'Yahdie' a lot referring to a Jamaican, and during that time 'Conscious' or one-drop music was huge so we put them together," Spence explained.

Although fashion was not Spence's first choice, immediately after completing her degree in economics and briefly working at Bank of Jamaica, she started her line and realised that that's where her true passion lies. She hasn't been able to ignore it since. "I quit my job because I needed something that allowed me more time to work on the brand," Spence explained.

So far, among her most successful moments in the industry was four years ago when her blog JBSTYLEZONE was featured in Vogue Italia. "I was so excited and it felt absolutely surreal," Spence said excitedly.

 

A MOMENT

 

 

WITH SPENCE

 

 

1. How would you describe your sense of style?

 

My style is laid-back, but always with a touch of sex appeal. It's also a bit unpredictable. Some days I'll be super girlie and classy and other days I may be in ripped jeans and a cropped top or a loose tee.

 

2. How would you describe your design style?

 

Crazy. Sexy. Cool. LOL, but less of the crazy. YC pieces make you feel like you are a part of this exclusive, cool girls club because the pieces have a unique look, but it's not forced or elaborate. I love anything that is comfortable yet sexy and so I always bring that to my design process. I'm obsessed with jump suits now and, to me, that is the ultimate no-brainer outfit. I like when fashion is easy but makes people look twice.

 

3. What is your most important rule of fashion?

 

Less is more! That's it ...

 

4. What is your favourite design or collection to date and why?

 

My favourite collection is always my most recent collection, so, in this case, it's my Summer 2015 collection - Treasure Beach. With each collection, I can see so much growth in my designs I can't help but be more in love with my most recent work.

 

5. What advice would you give to young, passionate designers?

 

Running your own business will always have a lot of challenges, and it will test you to see if this is what you really want to do. If you are passionate about it, you will find a way to make it work.

I would say read and watch videos of people who have made it, especially, those who started out with very little. It's always a good idea to follow a plan that has worked for someone else, and find a way to fit it into your own life, based on your circumstances. I'm currently reading #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso, and it has really inspired me to keep going while also giving some insight into running a multimillion dollar company in the fashion industry.

James Black Designs

Email: yahdie.conscious@gmail.com

Contact: (876) 850 - 5969

cathy.risden@gleanerjm.com