As a new fashion start-up, CHIWARA Sportswear is committed to creating clothing that promotes black excellence and provides a reframing of the African narrative. To successfully launch CHIWARA, Glencora Twigg, the Chief Product and Sustainability Officer, needed to expand her capacity so she reach out to VCC for a fashion design practicum student.
During the interview, Glencora was impressed by fashion design student, Jaya Grewal, who brought previous fashion design experience from India. Jaya had come to Canada to take the VCC Fashion Design and Production diploma to expand her technical skills in fashion design.
“From the start, Jaya demonstrated a willingness to jump in and get the work done,” says Glencora. "The partnership worked because of who Jaya is – she brought maturity, humility, and an openness to learning along with practical skills and knowledge in fashion design.”
Working as a design assistant, Jaya’s tasks were varied from attending fit sessions and conducting trend research to creating 20+ technical/specification packages. “My work placement gave me deep insight into the many details and decisions that go into creating a new design. By attending team meetings, I also got to see the business side and learn more about how CHIWARA was committed to incorporating African culture in their clothing line,” Jaya explains
Now after graduation, Jaya is thankful for her experience at CHIWARA as it provided her with the feedback, mentorship and real-world exposure she needs to continue her career in the Canadian fashion industry.
(pictured a look for Jaya's final collection)