Young fashion designer Jami Lake was one of the newest fashion designers featured on Caribbean Fashion Week 2015. Jamaican Diva’s caught up with Lake to learn more about her and her designs.
You are an established fashion designer but is this what you wanted to be when you were growing up?
Definitely, this is an innate passion. I remember just like dressing up just everything that has to do with the fashion industry, my mommy used to be a model. So I used to love looking back at her pictures and stuff when she was in her twenties and I was very intrigued by that. I was just in love with the fashion industry from a very early age.
At what age did you start designing?
Okay so I left high school in 2009. So I guess I was like 16 going into 17 and I started Montego Bay Community College where I did and Associates Degree in Clothing and fashion. I didn’t do anything concerning fashion in high school. I didn’t do textiles or stuff like that in CXC I did like Bio and Chem and business subjects I did a good mixture. But I knew I wanted to become a fashion designer. So I decided to embark on that after high school.
How long have you been designing?
About six years now.
Tell us about your most recent collection.
This collection behind me is the fall May 2016 Jamaica and I was basically inspired by minimalism and femininity and an effortless woman basically. The square is a very important shape in minimalism and I am appealed by that. Also, and it’s a reoccurring shape of the silhouettes of the designs. I wanted to play on femininity. I wanted to have the conversation of expressing a different type of femininity. So they’re very boxy and angular and a lot of people interpret it as futuristic or even androgynous sometimes.
How did you go about being one of the new featured designers for CFW?
My head of department Miss Jones. I guess she had the links with Romae who is basically the creative director at Pulse and she (Romae) contacted my head of department and she (Miss Jones) recommended two of the final year students and I was included and I was a part of that.
What is your target market?
She’s basically say 19 to 29 but I don’t want to put myself or the pieces in a bracket or you know box them up. So I’m thinking around that age. She’s young, fashion forward, she likes risks. Simple but not like grandma or old lady simple. It’s just she is a very effortless woman and that’s what I’m really intrigued by a very effortless woman.
Some might say clothes that are designed by fashion designers aren’t made for everyday people. What would you say about that?
Yeah some designs are not for every day wear. I guess Au couture and Avant Garde designs I guess they’re not everyday wear and it’s very different, sometimes odd. I would like my pieces to be everyday wear. I would love if their wearable that’s what I want because I want you to reach for my pieces, frequently in your wardrobe. So I aim to produce wearable clothes.
Give us a price range for example this jacket.
OK the suede jacket. This is considered an outer wear. And my outerwears for women would start as low as $8000 or $7000 and up. So I don’t have like, there are not set prices ok where all jackets are $7000 or $7500 it depends on the design on the fabrication. It depends on the complexity of the design. It depends on the urgency. How quickly do you want this design? So there are a lot of variables that factor in the price.
What is your personal style?
So my personal style. I’m a very emotional person so I dress how I feel. My mood, But general, introspectively I think that it’s minimal 1. I think there is a certain edge to my wardrobe. It’s very edgy. Sometimes I incorporate Africaness types of vibes. So it’s like Afro-punk chique, clean and that changes based on my mood. But it really stays the same at the end of the day.
Do you try to input your personal style into designing?
As a part of developing ourselves as a fashion designer from about third year. We are asked to let go of all the excitement. The “hosh posh” of the fashion industry and really let go and really think of the person you are and how you carry that into your art. Yes I do feel like I put my personal style in the designs in the collection. I feel like it’s a part of me. I feel like as an artist you are going to see parts of me in whatever I create.
What has it been like studying at the Fashion department at Edna Manley College?
It has been an interesting journey. Very challenging at some parts, but very rewarding. I feel like I’ve grown as a student and as a designer and as a person. I really grasped what I could and took advantage of what I could from the institution. With everything there is some lacking. There are some hiccoughs. I grasped and took as much as I can from what was given to me.
What is the one thing that very few people know about you?
I’ve gotten that I come off as very stern and serious and probably older than I am. But what people don’t know about me is that I’m a very silly and soft hearted person. I’m actually different on the inside than what I come off to be.
What life lessons have you learned along the way?
Time management, patience, I’ve learnt to be patient especially with myself because sometimes you know you have an outcome a vision in your head and how you want things to turn out and I realised it won’t always be that way.