Mon | Oct 23, 2017

A passion for fashion

Published:Thursday | June 16, 2016 | 12:00 AMShanna Monteith
Georgina Johnson-Jones sports her own designs.
Models show off Na'Mae's designs.
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LYSSONS, St Thomas:

Georgina Johnson-Jones has always had a passion for fashion and has made her childhood dream a reality.

The native of Needham Pen, a small community in Lyssons, St Thomas reflected on many years ago when she had her first encounter with the needle and thread.

"That was back when I was 11 or 12, I asked my mom to enrol me in a summer sewing class. So I was taught to make a simple blouse and skirt. I was proud of my first attempt, but still felt there was still so much to learn. Throughout that summer I learnt how to use a sewing machine and scissors and put pieces of a garment together, but I remember looking at the finished product at the end of summer and wishing I could make something that was good enough for a magazine.

"I mean, it was OK and I was glad I learnt something, but I wasn't satisfied," she said.

Though she admits that she did not continue training, Johnson-Jones told Rural Xpress that she tried to remain up-to-date throughout her high school years by dabbling in simple designing during her spare time.

The past student of Morant Bay High School revealed that she went on to pursue performing arts and a degree in psychology as she was of the view that a career in designing may not have worked because of its unpopularity.

"But I still felt something was missing so after my degree, I began exploring the beauty and fashion industry and reimmersed myself in the trends and focused on redefining my personal style.

"So I began 'thrifting' (buying second-hand clothes) and redesigning these items for myself, but this still wasn't enough, so I bought a piece of material and made a skirt with instructions from YouTube. I then went on to make a blouse and a swimsuit cover-up, and whatever else I felt bold enough to try. I knew I wanted to go further, so I made business cards and garment labels. I decided to get formal training once again and went to Garmex (Heart Academy)," she shared, adding that it was there that she learnt about patterns, silhouettes, styles, and so on.

Johnson-Jones created her clothing line which she calls Na'Mae, a knitted version of her parents' names; the very people who she believes inspire her sense of style.

 

First gig

 

The 26-year-old fashionista recalled her first gig as a designer.

"I was asked to be a sponsor in the Miss UWI Mona pageant. I got the opportunity to design the outgoing queen's final gown. This made me realise how in love I was with formal wear - the elegance, the drama, the beauty of it all. Currently, that's what my line is about. But I am also incorporating more casual streetwear."

According to her: Na'Mae's main focus was to provide women's wear that is timeless, edgy and that could be worn for casual formal and semi-formal occasions.

"However, I have been getting a lot of requests from men to have pieces available for them as well, so it's something I'm looking into".

The business now caters to approximately 30 clients, mainly women between the ages of 20 and 45 years old.

When asked about the inspiration behind her designs, Johnson-Jones said: "It usually comes from a mixture of different trends along with how I want an item of clothing to make me or the client feel; whether its edgy, mysterious, glamorous, sexy or a combination of all those.

Those will determine how the clothes drape over silhouettes, the colour it will have, the material and what part of the body is accentuated with what accessory."

rural@gleanerjm.com