Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine July 2016 - Page 21

Interview with Fashion Designer Jean-Marie K. Thomas of WHEN & WHY DID YOU BECOME A FASHION DESIGNER? From a very young age, maybe as young as eight years old, I had a passion and instinctive aptitude for fashion. After graduating from the Carmen Penco School of Fashion Design in Trinidad and Tobago, I launched my brand, ‘aJeanté’ in Antigua in 1998. Since then I have been designing and managing aJeanté’s clothing label which is presently produced both in Antigua and Jamaica. I design for both male and female. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR BRAND? I describe my brand as elegant wearable art. The artistry of my brand is visible in both my Cruise Collection, and Haute Couture Collection. My Cruise Collection consists of a wide range of versatile, easy to wear designs that set the perfect laid-back mood and comfort for vacation, whether the setting is in a dining room, the pool, a day on the beach, or a night out on the town. The elegant designs of my Haute Couture Collection all tell a different story; one could make a grand entrance at a formal affair in the pe rfect, high end, custom fit design. Both collections depict Caribbean luxury and lifestyle and are a true representation of the aJeanté brand. WHAT INSPIRED THE BRAND NAME AJEANTÉ? The name aJeanté represents a personal love story that I hold very close to my heart; this love is transferred into every sketch, every fabric selection, and every stitch. WHAT DOES DESIGNING AND FASHION MEAN TO YOU? One of the things that fascinates me most about design and fashion is its ability to tell a complete story about culture and era; with one glance at a fashion photo, one could easily answer the question of, where and when it was taken. To me, this makes designing and fashion the perfect storyteller of lifestyle, culture and history. TELL US ABOUT YOUR LAST COLLECTION My last collection was inspired by a hot summer day. With comfort in mind, I personally selected breathable, light weight, natural fabrics, and matched them with easy breezy soft flowing silhouettes. 17