Wednesday, February 21, 2018

It was a pleasant surprise when Old Harbour News learnt that one of the fashion designers behind Miss Jamaica Universe Davina Bennett’s wardrobe is a native of Old Harbour.

Within hours we made contact with Donald Mirander, the young 24 year-old designer who only got involved in the trade three years ago.

Bennett ignited global appeal as she finished third from 92 beauties in the 2017 Miss Universe pageant held in Las Vegas two weeks ago.

The stunning Nubian beauty from Mitchell Town, Clarendon, had tongues wagging as she sported a distinct natural afro hairstyle along with several eye-catching outfits, some of which were done by Mirander, who gre up in the Old Harbour community of Marlie Mount.

Mirander, a past student of Marlie Mount Primary and Glenmuir High, was the creator behind Bennett’s royal blue cocktail dress that had an extravagant knot at the back and also the black jump suit worn by the Miss Jamaica Universe winner at the Celine Dion concert in Vegas.

Donald Mirander (left) and Davina Bennett (Photo: Contributed)

In an effort to maintain uniqueness and originality, the Rednarim brand founder told Old Harbour News, that he tries not to read too much fashion articles.

“I try not to read too much fashion news, because I want to maintain originality. And even if I look at what’s trending, I put my personal touch to it to give it that unique look,” Mirander, who recently graduated from the University of Technology with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Apparel Design Production and Management, said.

It took him less than a week to design, cut, sew and complete the pieces worn by Bennett during her time in Vegas, he revealed in our interview recently.

“All the materials were bought here in Jamaica,” he said of the pieces done for the beauty queen. “Yes, we have some good materials here in our local stores.”

The partnership with Bennett only started in May of this year, he recounted, after doing a show in Kingston.

“It was Davina who reached out to me after I did a show at the Jamaica Pegasus,” he said. “She was like ‘I like really love your work’ and then we had a meeting the same week.”

Since then the two have been working together, with Mirander the artist behind Bennett’s pieces paraded at the Miss Jamaica Universe pageant in August.

Despite his limited years in the fashion industry, Mirander’s work has been a real shot in the arm, a work of artistry and imaginativeness.

Jamaica's 'First Lady' Juliet Holness in her Rednarim design (Photos: Contributed)

His work has been strutted by Jamaica’s ‘First Lady’ Juliet Holness, wife of the Prime Minister; 2015 Miss World third runner-up Sanetta Myrie; 2016 Rhodes Scholar Sherona Forrester and he was even invited to join the 2017 Miss World Wardrobe.

Increased attention is highly anticipated, but the young university graduate, who was the only male in his batch, is up for the rising demand that is to come.

“Yes, definitely,” says the talented designer who finished top of class, “there has been a steady growth. I will have to expand for sure. But everything comes down to managing the demands. It’s important not to take on too much work because I do not want to compromise on the high quality standard I’ve set myself.”

Mirander can be found via Facebook and Instagram

Published in Entertainment

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