Jayakumar Vanialingam (JK) was awarded the ‘Most Promising Designer’ at the recent Borneo Fashion Week 2018. He was also awarded a scholarship with Limkokwing University to study fashion design to enable him to further hone his skills in designing and building a fashion label.
Over the years, JK has had a colourful career path; from aviation to hospitality and finally fashion. We sit down with him to talk about JK Homme and paying homage to traditional prints and fabrics.
You have travelled the world, became a restaurateur and now started your own fashion label, JK Homme. Tell us about your colourful career.
I live my life to the fullest and I believe in achieving my dreams with passion. In my younger days, my dream was to travel the world and meet new people. Hence, I decided to join the airline industry at 21. I have been in the service industry for well over a decade and I decided to take another leap of faith. That’s how fashion happened!
What inspired you to dabble into the world of fashion?
My interest in fashion started at a very young age. I was 12 years old when I started designing my late mother’s outfits to work. She was a teacher and loved fashion. I will forever cherish all the times we would match colours and fabrics to create her outfits. I still can’t believe that she allowed me to do so. Fast forward to present times, the pieces in JK Homme was inspired by my unique experiences travelling the world.
Between JK Homme and JK Femme, do you find it challenging for men and women?
This is perhaps the most challenging yet exciting part of my job. Besides creating wearable art, I also want to ensure that my clothings are comfortable. The cuts, fabrics and stitching is all different. I strive to make my men’s collection, JK Homme, non-fussy yet sophisticated that allows men transit from office to a night out effortlessly. For JK Femme, I want women to have a little fun in style and high fashion. In all my designs, there is always an element of ethnic prints or fabrics from Borneo and India.
We are looking forward to your showcase at the Indian Fashion Festival (IFF) 2018. Tell us about the designs in your showcase.
For IFF 2018, I would be showcasing a total of 11 designs from both JK Homme and JK Femme. These designs are a combination of ethnic Borneo designs with elements of Indian culture. That is as far as I can reveal for now. if you want to see the entire collection, you will have to come to IFF 2018!
Tell us how you will all be stepping in style into 2019.
2019 is going to be a very exciting year. Firstly, we will be launching our e-commerce website. We will be collaborating with some international brands and organisations to broaden our horizons. You can also expect the launch of JK Scents and JK Accessories in the near future.
Catch JK in an extravagant showcase of JK Homme and JK Femme this 31st December 2018 at the Indian Fashion Festival (IFF) 2018. IFF 2018 is sponsored by Loveetha and will feature other local designers such as Vine G, SS Couture and JK Homme. The event will be graced by Indian actress and Big Boss Fame, Bindhu Madhavi, celebrity designer, Sidney Sladen and MP Prabhakaran. Visit www.iff-2018.eventbrite.com for tickets.