Who? Junny Ann Hibbert, founder and creative director, JUNNY; Harlem Fashion Row Icon 360 CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Award recipient
Finalist 2022 Rising Star Award (Women's Wear) Fashion Group International WWD
Rock roots... She's Jamaican from St Thomas, raised in Kingston by her late beloved mum Alex Melceta Johnson. “My mother was a seamstress. I have five siblings, she was a single mother, she created all our clothing. She made her patterns from the newspaper. From an early age, I created my own pieces,” says Hibbert.
She attended Mona Primary, then Campion College to fifth form; sixth form was spent at St Andrew High School for Girls, followed by The University of the West Indies, Mona, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities and Education.
When one door closes... Junny discovered her passion for designing after getting downsized from her sales executive position at ESPN. Her collections are described as bold, creatively exuberant and size-inclusive, drawing on the vibrancy of her Harlem and Jamaican cultural roots. Junny also shines a spotlight on not only black designers, but also women entrepreneurs who have pivoted from corporate careers in their mid-40s and beyond, to inspire those to take a leap of faith, follow their passion and unapologetically start something new.
The label breakdown... The unveiling at the recently concluded New York Fashion Week of her collection Kingston 7 YAAD takes inspiration from the music-filled, culture-rich streets of Kingston, Jamaica, the birthplace of the universally loved dancehall scene.
Kingston YAAD 7 (“YAAD”) captures the soul, strength, and sound of the rustic neighbourhoods found throughout Jamaica's parishes like its capital city of Kingston.
“Inspiration is taken from the Jamaican music scene of the late '70s and '80s, rough edges and all,” says the brand's designer Junny Hibbert. “The rhythm was formed in the ghettos; the lyrics derived from the streets. The dancehall culture embodies the struggle and the resolution of the people. Their style is composed of their joy, just as much as their pain. They appreciate all they have because they made it out of what many thought held no value.”