Jamaican designer pushes ‘bulletproof’ swag

Sanjay Nelson is the owner of Jae Epic Designer Trendy Fashion Collection. (Photos: Dennis Brown)

Sanjay Nelson’s small stature made it difficult for clothing to fit him the way he wanted them to. So, it was no surprise that when he was 14 years old he began altering his garments by hand.

Despite being talented in fashion, Nelson was more fixated on football. And after leaving Seaforth High School in St Thomas, he went on to work in a supermarket, before landing a job at beverage company Wisynco.

Sanjay Nelson did a course in fashion designing last year.

After ignoring his gift for quite some time, 26-year-old Nelson, who lives in Portmore, St Catherine, eventually asked his dad to purchase a sewing machine for him although he did not know how to use one.

“After I posted my work on Instagram, I have been getting calls from all
over.”

— Sanjay Nelson

While he was at home waiting to get a call from the Heart Garmex Academy, one of his friends told him that a popular sandals company in Kingston wanted someone to stitch leather. Even though he needed the job, Nelson said he was elated when the institution contacted him in August 2018 to do a course in fashion designing.

“I need the understanding to construct patterns and designs, that’s why I go to school,” said the father of a two-year-old boy.  

A year since enrolling at the Kingston-based training facility, Nelson, who is the founder of Jae Epic Designer Trendy Fashion Collection, has created a niche in the entertainment and fashion industry.

Inspired by the variety of chest rig bags that are trending across the world, Nelson created his line, ‘Epic Rigs’, that has been featured and worn by Jamaican celebrities like Sizzla, Chronic Law and Hot Frass.

“After I posted my work on Instagram, I have been getting calls from all over,” he said.

Emphasising on his love for patterns, Nelson, who plans to further his studies in fashion designing, said he is looking forward to creating tuxedos and bridal gowns.