Jawara Alleyne was born in Manchester, Jamaica where he grew up for 14 years then moved to the Cayman Islands in 2005. Growing up Jawara was always an artist and could always be seen with a sketch book. Jawara was a relatively introverted, which allowed him to focus on doing the things he loved and was able to develop a passion from an early age. His favourite thing to draw was the human figure, though not always anatomically correct since he found himself becoming more creative with the garments his figures were wearing than the figures themselves. Through this process Jawara unknowingly entered the world of fashion design.
Though Jawara was predominantly an art student, he was also very academic and loved to read, which was extremely important for him to be able to maximise his potential and live out his dreams of becoming an artist.
At the age of 16, Jawara did his first collection at the Fresh! Fashion Show in the Cayman Islands and stunned the society as a boy with extreme amounts of drive and talent. The following year, he was awarded with the designer of the year award by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation for his 2008 collection. The same year he went on to representing the Cayman Islands at the Global Young Leader’s Conference. Jawara was always a well rounded student. He learned from early on that in order to do what he loved, there were certain criteria’s that had to be met before he could get the opportunities that would propel him towards fashion and art as a career.
School was extremely important for him and he found himself excelling above his peers because of his diligence and dedication. He was able to occupy key leadership roles within his school community, being a peer counsellor, prefect, and deputy head boy, he has learned to stay grounded and focused on the things that were most important.
A year after his first award, he was once again awarded with the designer of the year award after presenting his 2009 collection. His hard work and passion was definitely paying off and awarded him with numerous appearances in publications. Some of which were She Caribbean’s Summer and Autumn issues (2009) where he was described as the next generation of Caribbean designers. His designs have also graced the pages of Grand Cayman Magazine and Bliss Caribbean.
Jawara graduated from high school and wasted no time by using the next two years to complete his Associates Degree in Business Administration. He previewed his 2011 collection at the Cayman Fashion Solstice fashion show among designers such as Caesar Galindo of Bravo’s ‘The Fashion Show Ultimate Collection’ and Korto Momolu of ‘Project Runway.’
In 2012 Jawara was accepted into the London College of Fashion where he is currently studying to complete his bachelors degree in Fashion Design and Marketing. Before leaving the Cayman Islands, he did his very own farewell fashion show called Journey, which launched his 2012 collection and also encompassed of key pieces from all his collections.
Similarly, as his fashion show was entitled Journey, this blog will take you through the Journey of becoming a fashion designer, from humble beginnings to gradual success. Through the eyes of the designer himself.