Navi Johal says her own experiences as a teenager trying to find clothes that fit led her to fashion and making clothes.
Johal is the woman behind nauni J, a local brand that started in 2017, which will be showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week’s upcoming spring/summer 2020 show Oct. 7 to 13 at David Lam Hall (50 E Pender St., Vancouver).
Johal’s collection will be shown Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 5:40 p.m., according to VFW.
Her designs, according to VFW’s website, is meant “to encourage individuals to love and respect themselves while feeling beautiful in their own skin.”
Johal said she started designing clothes for her dolls as a child, before making clothes for herself.
“Eventually going into malls and having big hips and a small waist as a teenager and not finding anything was very discouraging and that… led me into fashion and making clothes,” Johal said.
With her designs, Johal said she wanted to help others who felt the same way.
“It was just one of those things that made me feel self-conscious about myself, so I decided to take that step in making a change for that.”
In her clothes, Johal said she doesn’t include any labels – except for her brand name, nauni J.
“You won’t find any sizes in my clothing because no one should be defined by a number or size. We should be defined by who we are.”
She said her designs are all about diversity, which she uses Surrey and B.C. as inspiration.
“Everyone’s got a different body type, everyone’s got a different body shape, and so that’s the inspiration I’ve got because we’re not all the same,” said Johal, adding that she also picks her own models, so there’s a “bit of diversity in that too.”
This season’s design, she said, will include cocktail dresses, gowns and jumpsuits, adding that she’s “really inspired” by Alexander McQueen, Gianni Versace and Blonds NY.
“So you’ll see that in the collection.”
Leading up to her show, Johal said there was “tons of stress.”
“But it’s good stress because you just want to get your stuff out there and you’re really excited,” she said.
Johal said she’s the only person working on her show, adding that she’s doing the sketches, pattern-making, creating the samples and then making the collection.
“For me to be able to do all that stuff, it does, for sure, get stressful,” she said. “I’m just getting more and more excited as the days go.”