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
Thursday, 05 November 2015 17:18

Old Harbour saddened by UTech student killing

Last night’s brutal murder of Shanique Walters, a medical student at the University of Technology (UTech), has sent shockwaves through the entire Old Harbour community where she grew up.

Walters, a 22-year-old medical student at the faculty of College of Health Sciences, was chased and shot dead by a gunman, according to police information.

Police reports are that Walters and a female colleague were walking along Hope Boulevard at about 7:00 pm in Hope Pastures, St Andrew, when a car, with two men aboard, drove up and demanded their belongings.

While the friend acceded to the demands of the gunmen, Walters ran off but was chased by one of the gunmen who shot her in the head.

A past student of Old Harbour High School, Walters was within touching distance of realizing her dream of being a nurse until last night.

Many of her friends, past schoolmates and members of the public from the wider Old Harbour community are still in shock as the news reverberates throughout the country.

Below we capture a few comments posted on Facebook about the resident from Darlington Drive, Old Harbour who was a motivator and a true friend according to those who knew her very well.

Romario Real Medz McCalla: Nooo! this can't be true me little troublemaker friend from high school

Princess Tory: So from last night I've been scrolling thru my news feed n be seeing this sad news which shook me so badly n to woke up with the same that had me thinking deeply of all sort of stuff why? Why? Why? The girl is so young with such a bright future man... Smh. I mean I don't know her personally and as a social friend but I always admire her potential and vibes going to OHHS. I must say this is truly sad. My heart goes out to her friends and family and parents.

D Drive Darlington: Shanice so sad my heart cries out for you so much you just live on the other fence beside my home on darlington drive… (crying).... And i told her she going to be the best nurse ever. Crying so much

Dorothy Scott-Genias: Condolence to her family and the OHHS community. May her soul rest in eternal peace.

Latifashane Simpson: Wow! A she? damm I know her wow… kmt jah know. RIP

Carvel Stevens: R.I.P Shanique I'm really sorry to hear this. Gone too soon but is only God knows

Denielle Denique Cole: Even though we r d same age she was my sister, my friend, my mother!!!! Always there wen I needed her with that pretty smile to give words of encouragement!!! I constantly wait lastnight for someone to tell me its not Shanique Ever Bless Walters..... trust me its not pretty... y can't us work for our own? Y we want to reap wat we don't sow? Just remember there is always a unseen eyes watching u n u av to give account for everything u do... RIP Shanique... u will b missed...

Ïtž Käÿ: In the arms of the angel, fly away from here. I know you are in good hands now. Rest in Peace Shanique Ever Bless Walters may ur soul be at rest baby girl…sigh


Published in News

The services sector in Jamaica currently contributes more than 70 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and has been earmarked as a priority area by the government.

But, while acknowledging that the sector has the potential to create unparalleled growth for the Jamaican economy, Janice Robinson Longmore, executive in the JN Group, has identified an urgent need for local businesses to improve their levels of service delivery. She believes that operational inefficiencies across industries could undermine efforts to position Jamaica as a viable location for sustainable global competitiveness.

Speaking at the University of Technology Management Seminar, ‘Achieving Management Excellence: Enhancing the Impact of Future Leaders in the Workforce through Innovation and Engagement,’ held at the Jamaica Conference Centre on March 24, Longmore noted that the services sector is expanding its suite of offerings and more business process outsourcing (BPO) companies are now seeing Jamaica as the ideal location to expand their services.

However, she pointed out that employee engagement, improvement in operational efficiency, and innovativeness, were the keys to unlocking the country’s BPO potential.

“Business leaders are usually academically gifted. Sadly, some leaders focus only on company profitability, and fail to address operational glitches, or to engage their lower level staff,” she observed. This, she said, leads to lack of cohesiveness among teams, and stifles creativity.

“When we address deficiencies in the way we operate our businesses, and our employees are fully engaged, we create the ideal climate for the convergence of efficiency, engagement and innovation,” Longmore advised.

She noted that ‘little things’ such as following through on commitments, giving adequate advice and information, and even the basic courtesies, made a difference to how businesses are viewed, and urged executives to “get inside the consumer’s head’ and use the right blend of time, money and people, to deliver their services.”

The executive showed how companies and organisations in the JN Group responded to the changing needs of their customers and members by introducing the premier online banking product, ‘LIVE by JN’, which allows them to move funds, both locally and internationally, in real time, to other JN accounts, as well as to accounts held at other financial institutions.

Formatted for personal computers and mobile devices, ‘Live by JN’ also facilitates other essential routine tasks, such as credit card and bill payments and cell phone top up.

To date, ‘LIVE by JN’ has become the largest branch of JNBS, having processed transactions valued at some J$ 4.74 Billion in the 2013 to 2014 financial year.

“This is what I mean by making the link between operational efficiency, innovation and company profitability,” she emphasised.

Published in Business News

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