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Perception vs Identity for Jawara Alleyne

Jawara Alleyne a London based fashion designer from the Cayman Islands and Jamaica is just one of our LOVE labels pioneering the art of genderfluidity and questioning the social constructs around masculinity. The collection a journey of self-discovery for the designer explores topics of Carib and Afro interest within his work and pushes the boundaries that define Caribbean art and fashion. By inspecting Caribbean culture and identity, he questions the sense of self, masculinity, and dualities in identity.

The lookbook was shot by the designer in Barbados. With this, he wanted to allude to a feeling of a time of slavery. A time when Caribbean people were trapped both physically and mentally. Questioning whether our feelings towards progression, creativity and sexuality and masculinity is keeping us in mental slavery.

See the Full collection in our gallery above and read the Full interview below. 


Who are you?

My name is Jawara Alleyne and I’m a fashion designer and artist from Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. I completed my BA in Design and Marketing in 2016 and immediately co-founded the model agency Nii Agency with collaborator Campbell Addy which was birthed out of our values surrounding diversity. I’ve now stepped away from the agency in order to focus on building my brand, currently, I’m working on personal projects to build my handwriting as a designer and develop my brand presence. 

Tell us more about the label and it’s message?

The brand Jawara seeks to explore and unearth aspects of Caribbean identity. Prominently focusing on the performance of masculinity and the censorship of sexuality in Afro and Carib cultures. The name ‘Jawara’ means lover of peace and as such, the brand aims not to provoke but simply to question identity in ways that allow for thoughtful discourse. 

Name one personal realisation you’ve had as you’ve begun to grow your brand?

The importance of finding your own voice, owning your own story and finding the most honest and authentic ways to communicate this. 

What is your end goal?

My end goal is to create work that makes a difference to someone. Work that forces people to think. The most prolific designers and artists were people who understood the time and space they were living in and understood their purpose within that. I want to create work that speaks to the changes I see taking place and want to see take place. Work that engages with society, that crosses the boundaries of fashion art and culture. 


Bio on the label: 

The ethos of the Jawara brand lies in the deeper meaning of the name Jawara. The idea of a lover of peace drives the feeling behind the brand and alludes to the laid back and welcoming feeling often associated with the Caribbean. The brand is rooted in the examining of topics of culturally relevant and the delicate balance of ideas thought to be unrelated. Creating narratives through the significance and importance of these differences. Jawara finds inspiration through both history and current affairs within the Carib and Diasporic Carib spaces. 

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