Jan Jooster by Leah Misika and Melisa Poulton is inspired by a local Namibian saying from the South “Jiri Jan Jooster” meaning “Oh dear” or “Oh my god” which is rather ironic because the man who lived in the south of Namibia by that name was known for his style and his “holiness” in his community.
Jan Jooster was a man that was way head of his time and stuck in an era where he was misunderstood and put in a box. This capsule collection by Leah Misika and Melisa Poulton is reminiscent of such characteristics. They sort to create a unisex capsule collection that would appeal to both the men and women that love their street wear out of the box but still with in it’s time.
We caught up with Leah Misika on what it was like to work on the collection with her friend and colleague Melisa Poulton.
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Nalebrity (N) : How long have you know Melisa for and when did you guys connect to being more than just designers but friends?
Leah (L): I’ve known Melisa since February 2016. We had just been elected as the New Fashion Council of Namibia and although we knew of each other we didn’t really know each other. We became friends that winter and as I was just start out to be a full time designer she helped me when I needed it and eventually we decided to work from the same space which she owns.
N: What about her work ethic do you admire the most?
L: She is resilient and will always willing to sacrifice to get the job done. She’s kind of amazing.
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N: How is it that the two of you have never worked together on a collection till now?
L: To be honest although we spoke about it we never followed through and it took us a long time to realize that although we work differently we both want the same things for our careers and businesses. This opportunity with Jäger X happened to be the perfect opportunity.
N: How did it finally happen, the collaboration?
L: It’s started with a conversation with the Jägermeister rep about what their brand wanted to do. I discussed the idea with Mel and soon after that we were planning to show case the collection for Windhoek Fashion Week but the deadline was tight so we had to moved the debate date.
N: How long have you guys worked on this for?
L: We pitched out collection ideas in October 2018 to the Jägermeister team. We designed the collection in December 2018 and officially started working on it in mid March after concluding our private projects.
N: What memorable thing will you take away from working with Mel on this collection?
L: There’s too many things but I’d have to say the amount of fun we had even during all the late nights. There is nothing better then having someone to laugh with about all the silly things we do as fashion designers; we talk/yell at sewing machines, spend and obscene amount of time looking for things like scissors, pins and seam rippers, we stitch things one the wrong way even if we’ve made that sort of garment a million times and can get frustrating if you don’t have some that understands and still has the nerve to laugh at you knowing their turn is right around the corner. Designer karma is the realist karma I’ve ever known. I don’t even laugh when zippers break anymore.
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Main image credit: Leah Misika