Mon | Apr 19, 2021

Neisha-Yen Jones embraces her ‘passion for fashion’

Published:Wednesday | April 7, 2021 | 12:05 AMShereita Grizzle/Staff Reporter
Neisha-Yen Jones has always rocked her natural hair.
Neisha-Yen Jones has always rocked her natural hair.
The responses to NYCH Designs’ shirt dresses have been overwhelming.
The responses to NYCH Designs’ shirt dresses have been overwhelming.
Neisha-Yen is an advocate of the chic, free-flowing shirt dress.
Neisha-Yen is an advocate of the chic, free-flowing shirt dress.
Proud, black woman.
Proud, black woman.
Neisha-Yen  gets to express herself through NYCH Designs.
Neisha-Yen gets to express herself through NYCH Designs.
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As a trained dancer, TV host and award-winning actress Neisha-Yen Jones has enough to keep her busy on any given day. Still, as a firm believer in no limits, Jones refuses to be boxed in and has dedicated her life to developing all the talents she has been blessed with. The latter is the reason the multitalent has now entered the world of fashion design.

In an interview with The Gleaner, Jones expressed that having always embraced her ‘passion for fashion’, she used to create her own looks for different occasions. She recalled how admirers would approach her enquiring about the look. She said when she revealed the look was created by her, she would then get requests to recreate the design to suit these individuals. She explained that in those moments, the seed for NYCH Designs was sown. “I have been designing my own outfits for a while and I have been styling myself for different events as well. When I was taking home my Actor Boy Award a few years ago, I wore a couple of different designs on the night and I did them all myself. Persons have always pointed to how I dress. They have always commented on my take on fashion and expressed that I am a unique individual with a great sense of style,” she said. “Based on the kind of feedback I would get, I have been wanting to start my own clothing line for a while now. I knew there was a demand for it, and so I just decided to go for it.”

STYLISH SHIRT DRESSES

With that said, Jones explained that COVID and the shackled feeling people have grown accustomed to inspired the first piece in her clothing line, a chic, free-flowing shirt dress. “NYCH Designs stands for Neisha Yen Creative House and it’s all about expressing who I am at the core, and I love shirt dresses. I think that it’s one of the best inventions ever. It’s chic, it’s classy, and I am just in love with how it makes me feel. With all that is happening with COVID, people feel restricted and conflicted right now; and I just thought that there’s no way you should feel that way when you put on clothes. You should feel liberated, calm and at peace, and shirt dresses make you feel just that. They’re stylish, fashionable and free.”

Pointing out that she’s also a proud black woman, Jones said her designs also embrace her African roots. “The first thing that I always celebrate about me is my blackness. I am all about natural hair. Now it’s very trendy and fashionable, but I’ve always embraced my kinks and coils. I am proud to be black, and so everything I do as part of NYCH Designs gets to express who I am. I mean I am not going to overwhelm you with the headwraps and all that, but I still want to include things that represent the motherland because that is who I am. That’s why the African prints are an integral part of NYCH Designs,” she said.

Jones said that so far, the responses to her shirt dresses have been overwhelming. So much so that she has had to hire extra hands to get orders out on time. “We launched in December, and by January I had so many orders I was overwhelmed. Sometimes I would have like 30 orders and, of course, I can’t make 30 dresses on my own, so I needed the additional help. Right now, I have four seamstresses that work for me,” she said. “The response has been very humbling. Persons have been expressing how much they love the dresses, and some even have one of every style in different colour mixes. I have people who are ordering in bulk for their families. It’s been really overwhelming, and I am just at a loss for words to say how grateful I am.”

There are three styles of the NYCH Designs shirt dresses available. The half-and-half, which consists of a half-side of solid colour and a half-side African print. There is also the trimmings design, where there is a solid-colour dress with African print running down the front centre to ‘catch the eye’ as Jones put it. Then there is the straight solid- colour dress for those who prefer something simple and chic. Interested persons can reach out to Jones via her Instagram page @nychdesigns. The designer says she is currently working on putting in place international shipping so that interested persons outside of Jamaica can start placing orders.

shereita.grizzle@gleanerjm.com