Donald Mirander, fashion designer

IMG-20150715-WA0000 Which Caribbean island do you hail from and give us the audience a brief synopsis on who Donald Mirander really is?

I see myself as someone who is passionate about life, adventurous as well as an individual who enjoys all areas of the arts. I am from the beautiful island of Jamaica, where I am currently pursuing a bachelors in Apparel Design, Production and Management. Outside of my academic ventures, I especially enjoy days when I have the opportunity  to be at home in my own space designing, sewing or just having some downtime with my family and friends. You see, my house is always filled with laughter, fun and outrageous moments. Apart from designing, another passion of mine is decorating. I am an events decorator, and I have been decorating for as long as I have been doing fashion. I think the reason why I enjoy decorating as much as fashion designing, is it gives me an unlimited amount of freedom with how I drape the fabric when I am decorating, as I do when I am draping on a dress form. Overall, I can say I am an individual who enjoys designing, decorating, living, family time and the arts.

Many creative minds like you have an inspirational story behind the passion. How did your journey in fashion designing begin?

My journey started way before I came to realize it. I say this because I was always someone who would spend hours in stores shopping or just inspecting every single detail of a garment. I was also heavily influenced by my family to be a lover of fashion, as they would always take me shopping, encourage me to carry myself a certain way, buy me sketch pads on top of sketch pads, as well as they would look to me for help in selecting different outfits for various occasions that they were invited to. So basically, I was nurtured to be someone who enjoys fashion. I was also really good at sketching from a young age and so naturally I was inspired to come up with different designs to maybe just have for a portfolio, or for something as big as designing costumes for different arts competition that my high school had entered. Also for me, designing became therapeutic, and so it made it easier for me to relax, whilst being able to be creative and innovative. This made fashion designing and fashion on a whole, the comfort zone that it is for me today. IMG-20150727-WA0037

Where did you get your sense of style? 

As I said before, I got my sense of style from the very fashionable ladies and gents of my family. Apart from that, when I was not interested in reading my history books I always drew for a fashion magazine, so that i made sure that i kept on top of the latest trends. Like most persons out there, I have a click in my head about certain things when it comes to fashion, so I know what to buy when I’m shopping, and I am always open to new ideas in fashion so as to keep my style fresh and not boring. One doesn’t have to follow every trend, but mixing what is considered your style with one of the latest trends is a good way to keep one’s style on point. This is what I do; I really do not run after every trend: I pick, choose and refuse, because there are constantly many trends around at once. So from the influence of my family, fashion magazines, my own research, and knowing which trends in fashion to follow is how I have gained and maintain my sense of style.

Donald's personal style expressed
Donald’s personal style expressed

Are you identified by a brand?

Yes I am, the name of my brand is Rednarim. Which is actually the reverse of my surname, Mirander. Hence the idea, Rednarim by Mirander. The brand is still a young brand in its developmental stages. Though not quite established as yet, however I intend to put all my energy in ensuring its success. Don’t get me wrong, I have my clients, and I am indeed grateful for the success that God has allowed me to have thus far, but for me, my journey has just begun, there is a lot more to accomplish. IMG-20150722-WA0004 What should we look forward to from your brand?

I like to think of my brand as a versatile one. So look forward to fresh, youthful, classy, timeless yet sexy designs. Yes, I said classy and sexy in the same sentence, that’s because an outfit can be both of these, but it is just up to the designer to know how to play on a design using the above named factors without making the design “trashy”, as less is truly more sometimes. Basically I like to put out designs that make my Goddesses (clients) feel like the queens they are, so expect nothing less than breathtaking designs, which I have been trying my best to consistently put out since I officially came onto the scene.

Having a great foundation allows one to have a better perspective of his own craft and to be become in touch with his “inner self”. How important is your foundation in fashion designing to drive you towards success on the international scene?

I totally agree, a great foundation is everything. It doesn’t even have to be a great big foundation, as small steps are very helpful, and taking baby steps allows you also to appreciate each stage a little more as you grow. Therefore one shouldn’t get discouraged by how small of a foundation they have at a specific stage in their career. My foundation honestly started with my Grandma (Mrs. Myrtle Mirander) allowing me to assist her with little adjustments of my garments or on our cushion covers within our home. Though, that was a small foundation,  as I said before nothing is wrong with starting small, as years later, here I am attending the University of Technology, Jamaica, pursuing a B.a in Apparel Design, Production and Management, and currently the only male in the entire program. So grandma, hats off to you for making me all rounded, as I am happy with where I am in my life of fashion.

Back to the international side of the question and how my foundation will possibly one day drive me to international success, let me once again go back to the idea of taking small steps. Currently, I am making sure that I gain as much knowledge as I can from my university to help prepare me for the future. In addition to that, I have already started to build my clientele, which enables me to “feel out” the business aspects of my career path before I graduate. This will ensure that I am better prepared when I am ready to expand my horizons. I have recently added an assistant to the Rednarim family so that whenever I am away business can be conducted as usual. Another aspect to the Rednarim family is the current face of Rednarim, Miss Kadijah Robinson, who represents my brand, as I specialize in womenswear, and I need a female to showcase my pieces on a daily basis. I say all of this to say, that those are the things that I am currently putting in place to drive me to my ultimate goal of international success.

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The face of Rednarim

IMG-20150722-WA0006 Many persons think that as a designer, you wake up one day and create a collection. Could you express any of your challenges while in the process of creating your collection?

Yeah, designers definitely do not  wake up and create a collection, but what we wake up with is maybe an inspiration to where one wants to take his new collection. Coming up with a collection is not as easy as some persons think, it takes time, patience and the love you have for your art (a very important factor). So far in less than a year I have done two mini collections, and I can definitely go through the many challenges I faced. (Just a note about these two mini collections before I get in depth. When doing a collection, the pieces are normally cohesive, however for both these “collections”, rather than focusing on them being cohesive, I went ahead and did different looks for specific reasons at that time). I remembered for the first collection I did, I actually decided to do the fashion show I was gonna showcase at, a couple days before doing it, and so I had no time to even do a fitting with the models. I did all adjustments before they went out on the runway, (and believe me when I say, that is a difficult thing to do!), but with the help of God, family, and dear friends such as Chantel Levy and Rosheika Grant, Rednarim’s debut was a success.

The second collection was also very successful even though the major obstacle; time, was again an issue, as I had a short time to come up with this collection which I had aimed at making a special one; as it was a collection designed for the current face of rednarim, Miss Kadijah Robinson. It was not only a promotional campaign for Rednarim, but also for the purpose of introducing her to the general public. The main reason why time became an issue is because Kadijah is also a college student and so she had exams, whilst I had practicals and portfolios to complete. I had to not only work around her time, but my unpredictable schedule as well. Apart from that, I had to do the shoot before I flew out this summer so as to leave behind something to keep the brand going…. I ended up doing the shoot the day before I left Jamaica for the States, so one can only imagine the literal running around I had to be doing. Overall, I am elated I went through with the shoot and didn’t put it off, as it too was a success, again because of God, family and friends.

As a fashion blogger, sometimes I may have doubts about a concept. I sometimes feel that the concept may not meet the expectations of what I am looking for until the final “product” is accomplished and I am satisfied. Donald as a designer, have you ever thought you made a “not so impressive” piece but at the end the piece was well received?

Honestly, situations like that will happen in life but thank God I have never been in such a situation before, at least not yet. I am the type of person that thinks through each stage of the design and construction process as best as I possibly can so as to avoid any such thing from happening as it is hard to get to the top but so easy to fall. This is one of the main reasons why if I am not impressed, I wont even put that design out because as I mentioned before, I see my clients as Goddesses and they deserve nothing but the best. If I am not pleased, I don’t expect them to be either, hence I will discard such work, or take that piece back to the drawing board to bring it to its ultimate perfection.This is the reason why I am the designer and they are my clients because they expect me to bring forth the best product to the table after their consultation and so I refuse to produce and put out a design that is not impressive. 

Where does your interest lie, is it either “ready to wear” collection or “haute couture”?

My interest lies everywhere, as I said before I think of my brand as being versatile, as one has to be able to adapt to the needs of his clients but at the same time also be able to be versatile enough to go outside of the norm, and bring something different to the eyes of the world. IMG-20150727-WA0002 IMG-20150727-WA0004 IMG-20150805-WA0002 IMG-20150805-WA0003

Could you mention one of your greatest accomplishments as a young enthusiastic designer?

This is a tough question for me because I genuinely look at everything as being a great accomplishment, no matter how small. I always try to be as thankful as I can be. However, if I had to choose one, I would say my greatest accomplishment so far was being able to be brave enough to put my first mini collection out there, knowing that there was no turning back. That to me is great because it can be so scary at times to just throw yourself out there especially like how I did not plan on presenting at that fashion show but anything is possible when God, family and great friends are with you. (I know I have mentioned God, family and friends many times already but I have to give credit where it is due.)

Let’s be REAL about our growth within an industry such as this; are there any words of advice you would like to share to those “creative minds” like ourselves who seek to pursue a career in the fashion industry?

To those who wish to pursue a career in the fashion industry, it is hard work. It takes time, patience and determination. Once you know what you want, then all you have to do is put in the work. The industry will not open up to you, you have to put yourself out there and open up to them and show them what you have to offer. Be the creative person that you are, know when to adapt but definitely know when to break away from the norm. Also if you do meet obstacles along the way, no big deal, learn from them, each tear, battle lost or rejection should only make you that much stronger than what you were before such disappointment came. Finally, as simple as this is about to sound, be polite, kind and genuine. Such qualities will take you a long way, as no one wants to do business with someone who has an attitude that’s difficult to work with.

So for those fashionistas out there who dare to be that lady in Rednarim, provide us with your contact information. 

Yes please, do feel free to send your inquires to either rednarim@hotmail.com or ladyinrednarim@gmail.com.

Instagram pages: @rednarim and @ladyinrednarim

Facebook: Donald Rednarim Mirander IMG-20150727-WA0033

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