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Jawara Alleyne Challenges Mainstream Perceptions of Masculinity Through his Designs

Updated: Aug 7



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“We’ve found ourselves in a time where we need to re-navigate and that’s what I’m doing through my design."


Jawara Alleyne is a London based fashion designer from Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. He is a master of recontextualizing garments; meaning reimagining deadstock from his own archives or upcycling thrift-store finds. This is a practice in line with the culture that raised him. In the Caribbean, he says, “Everything is circular. Nothing is useless; everything gets used and repurposed and recontextualized.”  


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Jawara Alleyne


Alleyne grew up in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands before relocating to London and just completed a Masters in Fashion; Menswear at Central Saint Martins University.


Alleyne’s work challenges mainstream perceptions of masculinity by celebrating sensuality and dissecting cultural mythology. In an Interview, Alleyne revealed that his upbringing nurtured his understanding of culture and subculture.


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 “Growing up the way I did gave me such a huge range of experiences and an understanding of culture and subculture that really play a role in the way I approach, understand and reflect on my research. I think that’s what has given me the ability to take from my Caribbean experience, to speak with a point of view on fashion, design and identity.”


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Jawara Alleyne has been repurposing old garments since he was a child. Secondhand clothes, the act of finding them, deconstructing them, and then reconstructing them into new creations. This soon became a vehicle to experiment with fresh ensembles and cool costumes for Alleyne. In creating his piece, Alleyne pulls from techniques traditionally reserved for womenswear; this means breezy silk shirts are slashed at the sleeve so that fabric unfurls in loose waves, and the tendrils of a fringed shirt come beaded as if they were trussels of braided hair.


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Featuring on Runway shows has always been his avenue to showcase his pieces. Now stepping outside of the runway, Alleyne is planning a summer camp for teenagers in the Cayman Islands. The Art through Fashion Summer Programme and Art Residency will work with a number of Cayman cultural institutions. Alleyne wants to plant the seeds of a resilient Caribbean creative community and is working to grow into neighboring nations.

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