Mickella Anderson: Youthlink Writer
Look out Class of 2017 - a fresh and exciting clothing line is poised to dominate and annihilate with some killer looks for the upcoming grad season. Na'Mae is a name to know and designer Georgina Johnson-Jones stopped by Youthlink to tell us why."When you think about graduation season, I want you to think about Na'Mae," shared an enthusiastic Georgina. "I really want to capture that audience (graduates) as mine."The Morant Bay High past student hasn't always had this passion for fashion. She revealed that as a child, her hobbies included watching television and reading. "I guess the interest in clothing and fashion started to develop when I was about in grade six. I really started to take note of the fashion; what I liked about them and what I didn't like. Then, I drew how I would tweak them." She continued, "My mom sent me to a sewing class for the summer and I dabbled here and there, but I never took it seriously."Georgina, who was quick to point out that she is not married as her hyphenated surname would suggest, said that during high school, there was little to no room for pursuing her interests in fashion. "Morant Bay High School in that time, they weren't very diverse as now, so if you were doing business, it was just business; there was really no mixing of interests." After high school, the St Thomas native went on to pursue performing arts and a degree in psychology, daunted by the unpopularity of careers in fashion.Later, living in Kingston, she realised that what she had given up was her true calling and pursued formal training at Garmex HEART Academy to broaden her knowledge of designing and to try her hand at entrepreneurial pursuits -and so Na'Mae was born. "It is a mixture of different things depending on who I am designing for, but I realise that it's always on the bold style. I try to make it a little bit different and stand out because the world of fashion is very competitive." The name 'Na'Mae', she said, is a fusion of both her parents' names. "I was thinking about it one day and I began thinking that it really is a combination of the styles of both my parents. 'Na' is for Naval, for my father, and 'Mae' is my mother's middle name."Although her line is mainly women's wear, Georgina admitted, "I do occasionally design for men, usually blazers and jackets.""I have collaborated with other designers. I did a collaboration with Crochet Eye Candy; I entered the designer dress competition by Helen G Events, I actually sponsored Miss UWI Mona last year. Over these two years it definitely has been a growing process," shared Georgina.She lauds her Mom as one of the biggest supporters of her craft. "She really has been supporting me, putting the word out there; giving input she's really on board."She projected, "There's a lot I want to do but I definitely would want to grow my clientele because one of the biggest hurdles is getting out there and having people know that you actually exist. For the very long term, I would hope to do everything from scratch; actually creating the fabric, doing the embellishments myself because I really do focus on detail."About the 2017 grad season she said, "I will have ready-made gowns, but if you come and say 'I like that but can we change it to this?', then I am totally open for that. I will be having a social media giveaway during the season where I'll be giving away a graduation dress. All you have to do is follow and comment on the post why you want to win it."