Feature Interview: Brittany Johnson x Miakalani

I discovered Brittany a couple of months ago while searching for flow-y island-like dresses as the seasons were getting warmer and moving into summer. I loved what I saw. I felt the bright colors and flow of her dresses captured the idea of Caribbean fashion. Continuing upon my discovery, I learned that she also designed swimwear – perfect garb for those who live on an island and frequent the beach. I’d like to thank Brittany for taking the time to do this virtual sit down with me.

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Firstly, who is Brittany Johnson?
Brittany Johnson is a 25 year old mixed, Jamaican girl who decided to go for it!

What does Miakalani mean?
Mia-Kalani is actually the name of one of my younger cousins, a beautiful little dive full of spirit and life. I named the line after her and it means “Mine from the heavens”

When did your interest in fashion design start?
Well I have always been into art. I did it all through high school where I always received recognition for my work. My mother had an old sewing machine that she bought when she was a bit younger than me but never got around to using. One day, out of the blue, I thought to myself, “hmm I wonder if I can make a dress?” …put the sewing machine to some good use. I got up, went to the fabric store and bought a printed stretch satin material and rushed home and made my first dress. I put it in my blackberry display picture and got a lot of positive feedback. I felt so proud of myself. It was then I decided I wanted to improve on my newly found skill as a creative outlet and turn it into a business. It is my firm belief that YouTube is the best teacher lol. I would sit and watch sewing tutorials for hours and this helped tremendously and my sewing skills got better and better. In 2014 I did some sewing classes at ‘Apparel ‘n More’ taught by Mrs. Claudette Taylor from which I learned a lot. I am not where I’d like to be yet, but I am far from where I started. Still learning, still growing.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
EVERYWHERE! People watching, tumblr, instagram, nature, the colours I see around me…everywhere

How does being from Jamaica and being a part of the Caribbean influence your designs?
As a Caribbean designer I love bright colours and free-flowing, easy, but seductive lines and movement. I have just started experimenting with mixing colours, prints and textures. My new line will reflect the bright, eclectic Caribbean culture

How would you describe the ladies you design for and the pieces that you design?
Ladies that like to feel sexy, who don’t mind showing their curves or a little skin. My pieces reflect the type of clothes I myself like to wear.

Where do you see your brand and line headed in the future?
With enough hard work and dedication I see my brand becoming a house hold name proudly representing the Caribbean and more specifically, Jamaica.

Are you involved in any other sort of design work?
Content Creator for Skkan Media Entertainment

How would you describe the Caribbean Aesthetic?
Colourful, bold and eclectic

For a tourist coming to Jamaica, what would you say are the must see sights, must do things, and must eat foods?
Oh wow! There are so many places to see and things to experience in Jamaica. I could write an epistle but I will just list a few of my favourite places :). Blue Hole in Ocho Rios is a must! I also love Somerset falls and Blue Lagoon in Portland. Anywhere in Portland is gorgeous actually… Also Ricks Cafe in Negril where tourists can jump off cliffs up to 50 feet high. The Pelican Bar off the coast of St. Elizabeth is also a must see. Some of my favourite must eat foods are Pepper Shrimp from Middle Quarters. Best pepper shrimp you will ever taste. Also Ackee and saltfish with fried dumpling, boiled banana, sweet potato and pear (avocado). Yum yummm!

Here is Brittany, modeling a few of her very own beautiful designs.

from miakalani.tumblr.com

from miakalani.tumblr.com

from miakalani.tumblr.com
And here are a few more of her creations

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from miakalani.tumblr.com

from miakalani.tumblr.com



from miakalani.tumblr.com

miakalanifrom miakalani.tumblr.com

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