Interview: Lamin Gibba | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Lamin Gibba, a young student from Heaton, Newcastle, who came to the city from his native Gambia to better his chances in life, has won the prestigious Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Enterprise Award. Having originally contacted The Prince’s Trust to develop his fashion brand – Jerry J Clothing, he has then gone on to grow his distinctive range of clothing to be worn by young people around the UK and even professional footballers. We speak to the young designer to find out more.

When did you move from your native Gambia to Newcastle and what was it like adapting to Newcastle life?
I moved from my Native Gambia to Newcastle in July 2017 and I didn’t find it difficult to adapt to life in Newcastle, because people are very friendly and helpful if you are willing to work hard.

When did you realise you wanted to design clothes and how did you find out about The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme to make that a reality?
I always had an interest in fashion which developed from spending time in my aunt’s fashion and tailoring shop in Gambia, as well as studying Fashion at Newcastle college. I found out about The Prince’s Trust through a co-worker while we were at work talking about self-employment and he recommended it to me. 

Tell us more about Jerry J Clothing. What inspires your designs.
Jerry J Clothing is a high-end designer streetwear brand. It’s aimed at modern people who like to dress in style,  The UK based brand has created a complete range of high-quality designer streetwear items that ‘elevated people’ will aspire to wear. I have invented the phrase ‘elevated people’. To me, it means people who are always aiming higher and striving hard to achieve their personal goals in life.

In secondary school, growing up as a teenager in Gambia, I started hanging around with kids who were into music and I started doing rap music. My Dad was very strict and he wanted me to concentrate on my education and stay out of trouble, so I created the street name, Jerry. My street name is Jerry and my son’s is Jacksons and together they form Jerry J Clothing.

My designs are inspired by my African Influence.

What did it feel like to win the Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Enterprise Award?
I felt very excited and I started to recognise the hard work I was doing is pushing me to do more.

What’s next for you and your fashion label?
We want to be in one of the High Street stores within a year, and I believe we can do it. As once said by Napoleon Hill, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”.

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