International fashion influencer Indashio has etched his name in history as one of the youngest designers to show at New York Fashion Week. His successful self-titled opening collection catapulted his career and has been worn by Hollywood stars such as Kim Kardashian, Christina Milian and Nicky Hilton. Indashio later went on to win the first season of VH1's hit series Glam God in 2009. He sat down with SO to talk about his passion for fashion, his latest collection 'Fall in Love' which showcased during his last appearance on The Rock at Style Week Jamaica's Fashion Block, presented by SAINT International in New Kingston earlier this year, and of course, his love for Kingston.
What are your earliest memories of Kingston?
I just remember coming to the airport for the first time years ago and being greeted with sunshine and smiles from Jamaicans. I immediately knew why many persons refer to it as the island of 'one love'.
What cologne are you splashing?
Yves Saint Laurent.
Describe your first experience showing your line in Jamaica.
I'll never forget my first time at Fashion Block. I stood on the runway and saw thousands of people who were screaming with excitement. I immediately realised how big fashion is in Jamaica. Plus, Jamaicans have so much style. I find the style here to be funky, flashy and loud — that represents so much of who I am. That is why I think I'm so drawn to Jamaica.
What is your beverage of choice?
What was your last bit of retail therapy?
A white kimono I got in Tokyo.
Design Genius was aired this month. Can you explain the concept of the show?
I have a show that premiered this fall called Design Genius on Fashion One, a new fashion network. Each week we will have three designers who will participate in three challenges to create one overall look inspired by objects of my choice. One designer is eliminated in each episode and the winner gets US$25,000. In our first episode contestants were taken to a hospital and given items such as IV bags to make clothing.
Why did you decide to be a part of Design Genius?
This show is perfect for me because when I first started my career I used to make stuff out of old dog toys or I used to make purses out of shoes. In a way that is what I feel fashion is about — making the unimaginable fashionable.
What's your most memorable meal in Kingston?
I really enjoy Jamaican food, so it is hard to narrow it down to just one. I enjoy Tastee patties with a bottle of Ting. I can get it in New York but it is not the same. I also like the ackee and saltfish I had at Strawberry Hill. The jerk chicken I had at Sweetwood Jerk Joint. I also love rum punch made with Appleton rum. But perhaps my fondest food memory in Jamaica is eating breadfruit for the first time, and getting mangoes straight from the tree.
Share some of your favourite cities.
I like Tokyo, Manila, Athens, London, Botswana, Johannesburg and Kingston, of course.
Who are some of your celebrity clients?
I have styled Amerie, Janice Dickinson, Aubrey O'Day, Vivica A Fox, Vanessa Carlton, Nigel Barker, to name a few.
What is your philosophy?
My philosophy changes a lot. But the one I am living by now is 'stop and smell the roses'. That's one thing I love about being in Jamaica. In New York City it is always just 'go, go, go!', 'Give me my coffee! I want it now!' or 'Why am I still waiting?' But in Jamaica it is a calmer, go-with-the- flow vibe — you can actually stop and smell the roses here. It is so much better when you live your life without rushing.
What is the last book that you read that you loved?
The Secret: The Power by Rhonda Byrne.
Why did you decide to start a nail polish line?
The nail polish line that I am a part of is a 'male polish' by EVOLUTIONMAN. My limited edition colour is called Indashio Black. I am all about setting trends, so hopefully it will become the next trend for every guy who wants to unleash their inner rock-star.
What's next for you?
I am preparing to celebrate my 10th anniversary in the business next year. So I will be launching my documentary next year, which will include me coming to Jamaica, in addition to the other places I have visited over the world. So I will be going to film festivals to promote it. The documentary will include the milestones of my career. I've been in the industry since I was 19 and I want to celebrate it and all the people who were a part of my journey. I will also be working on a new collection which will be released next year.