HIS mission is to create a wardrobe of essential items of clothing for women for all occasions, and when we caught up with Moses Fennel from House of Fennel recently, indigenous Jamaican creativity was all in the look.
Mannings Hill Road was the venue to showcase his work, and afterwards he shared with All Woman a glimpse into the method behind his passion.
AW: When did you first realise you wanted to pursue a career as a designer?
MF: From primary school days I had a keen vision of fashion styling. I did clothing and textiles while at St Jago High School. At age 13 I created my first khaki pants and wore it to school. It wasn't perfect because I did not understand the procedures for the upper section of the pants — the pockets, fly, front zip and waistband. This was one of the main drivers that inspired me to complete a diploma in fashion design and technology at Garmex HEART Academy.
AW: If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what would it be?
MF: That one thing would be to have followed through with my high school guidance counsellor's advice while at school — to make for sale white blouses for the sixth-form students.
AW: What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out?
MF: When I started out I did a few fashion shows without marketing the collection, which resulted in having the items and not getting a sale for them. This occurred more than once.
AW: What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?
MF: Social media is the gateway for brand recognition, marketing, advertising and sales in this day and age, and the future business of fashion.
AW: What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line?
MF: I would not say the biggest fear. I was employed as a firefighter for the Airports Authority of Jamaica and the Jamaica Fire Brigade consecutively [so] this [starting out was] a shift from a monthly pay cheque and benefits paradigm that I once resonated with, to starting my own line and seeing inconsistent monthly cash flow. I have a dream quest for starting my own line locally, with the aim of going regional and global [by] serving different market groups of customers.
AW: What is your favourite part about being a designer?
MF: Working with fabrics from 2D to 3D to create unique apparel for clients, seeing customer satisfaction, and travelling overseas to participate in fashion-related events.
AW: How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes?
MF: I want women to feel empowered, elegant and eclectic when wearing House Of Fennel apparel, and feel in a state of zen while exuding a level of nonchalance.