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Renee Moodie: A future by her design

Published:Friday | December 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMVanessa James/Gleaner Writer
Renee Moodie strikes a pose in an outfit designed and created by her.
Renee smiles for the camera in another outfit done by her.

Renee Moodie is a talented Jamaican fashion designer who plans one day to make her name in the industry.

The 22-year-old Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) student is studying fashion design and also sews in her spare time for clients she has garnered over the years. Moodie explains that she transitioned into fashion designing after realising her love for art. "It (her passion for fashion designing) didn't start out like that. It actually started in high school when I did visual arts. I loved art and realised that I was good at it. My passion for designing did not start until I did a certificate course at Edna and a tailor close to me taught me how to sew actual clothes for people," Moodie shared.

The certificate course led Moodie to do a degree at EMCVPA, where she enrolled in 2014. She had to draw on strength, however, because of a surgical operation she had to do two years later. "I had to do an operation in 2016, and because of that, I have to do an extra year at Edna because I hadn't completed some prerequisite courses. After the operation, I was not able to move around with ease. Sometimes I did not even want to go to school, and sewing was a challenge, but my parents would encourage me; they were my support system," she stated.

This obstacle only helped Moodie to be better than before as she now has a client base that has been consistently growing. She cites time management as the reason she can effectively manage school and her growing business. "I try my best not to schedule during exams, and I am the one who sets the times for clients to come for fittings. Even then, that is done around my school schedule, so neither one hinders the other," she told The Gleaner.

Fashion designing has been an income earner for Moodie, and she considers herself blessed to have parents who are on board with her dreams. "They have been supportive of what I am doing, but my mother was concerned at first. She was worried that I could not survive after I complete Edna, but when she saw what I was doing and how it has helped me, she changed her mind and would push me and support me. My father was always supportive of what I do," she said, smiling.

Moodie hopes to further her studies in fashion designing and wants to be given the chance to be identified on an international scale. "My intention is to attain my master's degree in fashion designing. It is my hope that during that journey, I will be able to collaborate with established designers in the industry. Furthermore, I hope that I am presented with the opportunity to design for the eloquent women who represent Jamaica on the international stage," she explained.

The very talented young lady is confident that fashion is more than just looking good: "I believe that our boldest statements are made through our fashion choices, and seeing ... women attired in their brilliant colours and fabric manipulate designs is a representation of what fashion really is - being bold and life-changing."

Moodie's life is all about the arts, evidenced by her admission that she would teach art if she wasn't already living it. Her work can be seen on Instagram at Tufoi_Designs and TufoiDesigns on Facebook.