LONDON – It is an opportunity of a lifetime for an up-and-coming Filipino-British designer to design the uniforms for the staff of one of the biggest malls in China.
Jennivi Jordan, who was born in Parañaque but grew up in London, will be designing the women’s uniform of Joy City Mall in Beijing, China.
The 28-year-old Jordan finished a degree in fashion design at the University for the Creative Arts in Epsom, England.
Her love for the arts encouraged her to pursue a career in the fashion industry.
“I suppose I’ve always been interested in arts. Since I was in school, my favorite subject was arts,” she said.
“And then it was a natural progress when I went to college I studied arts and design,” she added.
When it was her turn to choose a specific field for her university studies, she recalled she was torn between two subjects she loved in college--animation and design.
“I was thinking of doing between fashion and animation but eventually I decided that fashion is my favorite subject because I love dressing up,” she said.
When she was taking her fashion design degree, she was an intern of one of London’s highly respected men’s fashion designers Stefan Orschel-Read. He became her mentor and is someone she looked up to when she was starting her career in the industry.
Dressing up was already her interest when she was a kid but when she was starting to create her own designs, she drew inspiration from everything that catches her eye.
“To be a great designer you have to take your inspirations from anything. It could be an object, culture, music and film. Anything inspires me and whatever interests me at that time,” she said.
Her biggest break in the fashion industry was in 2009 when she was given the opportunity to showcase her designs at Caribbean Fashion Week.
“I entered a competition here in London. I really didn’t think I was going to win and then they called out my name. I was really happy,” she said.
She won the fashion show international designer award given by the Young Designer International Awards Organization, established by a group of popular designers in London.
“The prize was a showcase in Jamaica which I’ve got to do and again that kind of lead to other opportunities,” she said.
The other opportunities she was referring to was the chance to design the uniform for the female employees of Joy City Malls-- one of the biggest malls in Beijing that houses both the most famous in the world and homegrown brand names.
It was the trust from her mentor Orschel-Read that led her to her recent big break in the industry.
“He got the contract with them but because he does men’s wear and the whole stuff is for both men and women, he contacted me,” she said.
Orschel-Read then asked her if she would like to join him for the project.
“He said you know, would you be interested in doing this project? And I said, yes, that’s amazing, of course,” she added.
The alumnus of the prestigious Central Saint Martin's also praised her work when he offered her the job.
“He said you know I really like your work. And I could see your kind of solid work will go really well with what their requirements are, so that’s how I got the job,” she shared.
Jordan is so grateful to her mentor for the break in her career. “I am really grateful to him because I got this job,” she said.
As a young designer, who is also starting to create her own name in the industry, she only has a simple advice to those dreaming of a similar break in one of the most exclusive fields in the world.
“First of all, experience is vital. Go out there, get experience. Learn about the industry,” she said.
“It’s true sometimes that it’s who you know and that it takes time but just work hard, be persistent, keep going because eventually you’ll get there,” she said.