Nina Nayema designed by Naimo Awale

At what point did you figure out “I want to design shoes?”

I think it was back when I was in high school and I started working at Yorkdale mall.  It was then I imagined the perfect pair of shoes that would give me the appearance of those pretty stylish girls who wear sexy stiletto and knowing full well I could not walk in high heels. I remember wishing someone could design the perfect shoe for an awkward tall girl that could make me look classy and chic.

Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?

I've never studied fashion in school, the closest thing to fashion design I did was make-up artistry at Seneca College part time. Business and accounting was my full time studies.

Do you ever read fashion or design magazines?

No, I don't often read fashion magazines.

What inspires you as a footwear designer?

My inspiration comes from some amazing people I've met in my life, clients, friends, family, places I've been, cultural background and it's become a way I can express my ever changing emotions. Fashion to me is an amazing way to express yourself, and when I design I do it with the essence of the person in mind or a feeling inside.

Do you have a motto when it comes to shoes?

Yes, "Capturing your style, grace, and beauty in every design". My passion is to design shoes that is someone's dream pair, weather it is a simple flat or a pair of heels they have dreamed of for their special day.

What are your criteria for well-constructed and well-designed shoes?

The quality of the shoe and embracing the diversity of women's shoe sizes so that anyone can find a pair of NINA NAYEMA shoes in any size.

What style of shoes do you like and dislike?

Can't really say I dislike a style of shoes, but I do love any eye catching pair in whatever style it is designed.

Of all the shoes that you’ve designed, which has given you the most satisfaction?

I think I would say my Mimi pointed toe full suede wedges with the gold wedge heel detail. It had an almost mirror like finish that when you had it on it looked like it doesn't have a heel at all. And the best part was it was low and comfortable enough to walk and work in them. (Photo attached )

What do you wish people would understand about working in fashion industry?

I think in any industry it's always a learning process and everything comes with experience, drive and passion.  

If i were a supervillain; what would your powers be and why?

I think I would say the power to see the future. So that I can see the outcome of everything. No surprises!

What’s next for you?

We are working on a couple of projects and always creating new designs whether it is jewellery, handbags or shoes.

Anything we should be keeping our eyes open for the future?

Of course, for NINA NAYEMA. We hope to become Canada's Number 1 shoe brand.

Gilles Wouanko, Founder of African Fashion Week Edmonton

Intouch.NEWS sat down with Gillas Wouanko, founder of African Fashion Week Edmonton. AFWE was created in 2013. He explored his inner desirer of fashion while his stay in Paris, Montreal and now in Edmonton. African Fashion Week Edmonton is the high profile African focused even in Edmonton. Held during the Black history month. 

What are the three attributes that fashion show producer should have?

For me a fashion producer should be
- Very creative,
- A great team worker and leader usually have a big team to manage
- Should be able to handle pressure

The Day of the show your survival kit will definitely include?

- Keep your cool
- Be organize, have a plan and a schedule
- Delegate
- Communication

The most memorable location, which has hosted one of your events?

Weber Exclusive: The location, the space, the high celling, the staff. Just perfect.

What difficult situation you have faced and how you got out of it?

A difficult situation would be going to meet different businesses for potential sponsors, partnership etc... I feel like people are not really responsive, most of the time they don’t even give you the opportunity to explain present your project or to explain what its about.
How i got out of it, You keep pushing until you meet the right people who are willing to take the time to hear you and realize that you actually have something interesting going on. Like at Weber Exclusive for example.

Want is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company Luxure Productions Ltd?

Never give up, keep pushing.

What would you suggest to those that want to be involved into the business?

Be very patient, open minded and ready to work hard


You are a fashion designer? Will we be seeing your designs anytime soon?

Yes i am a Fashion designer, presented my first collection at AFWE 2015. i don’t think i will have the time to finish my collection for AFWE 2016 but will have a cocktail party to showcase thecollection when ready.

Anything we should be keeping our eyes open for in 2016?

We are having:
- Miss Africa Edmonton (About showcasing the inside and outside beauty of the African Women as well as her intelligence, elegance and grace.)
 in Summer
- Miss Afropolitain in Toronto May 2016 (Pageant contest showcasing afropolitain young ladies beauty and intelligence)
-  Luxure productions Ltd yearly networking cocktail party around September
- The yearly winter ball  
- Charity Gala as I am working on a charity project i will have a Gala to introduce the project (no date yet).

Conversation with Aman Dhalay - Javeda Designs

How do you define "fashion" and why do people care about it so much?

Fashion means something different from person to person, but at Javeda fashion to us is a tool from which we can define ourselves, express ourselves. Style is a mechanism through which one reflects their personality and preferences to the world. Fashion is a method of personal expression. People care about fashion because it’s something which is engaged with daily and something which we use to reflect ourselves, our persona, our taste, etc. It is through fashion that one is able to stand out and feel good about themselves.


Why did you decide to become a fashion Designer?

I have always loved good design --whether it was interior design or couture. When it comes to creativity and design I was influenced by both my parents. My mother has always been a fashion diva who serves as an inspiration to me. My father has influenced me with his creations, designs and meticulous attention to detail. I developed a passion for interior design at a young age and later in life I created my own fashion brand and interior design business. To me the two fields are closely linked. Both a beautiful living space and a fine piece of clothing require the same amount of creativity, craftsmanship and attention to detail.


What is your favourite part about being a fashion designer? What inspires you when you are creating your designs?

My favourite part of being a fashion designer is that I am able to creatively express myself and my clients through designs! Inspiration can come from anything and anywhere. But most of my inspiration comes from my Indian cultural heritage infused with the western culture which I was born into. My clothing line is a fusion of this inspiration; however I also focus on a lot of traditional Indian wear.


What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?

The first piece I ever designed was when I was 15 years old. It was a dress that I designed and stitched for my 6 year old cousin. The dress was of a black and white checker print on cotton fabric, with little red bows across the neck line. I remember the excitement when it was completed!


Who are the celebrities (Bollywood and Hollywood) you would love to dress up and why?

Bollywood – I have many favourites but one in particular that I would be honoured to dress up is Sonam Kapoor. She would best carry my designs.

Hollywood – Sarah Jessica Parker. Ever since “Sex and the City” she has been my favourite Hollywood actress. I have always loved her fashion in the show and in real life.

It would be a dream come true to dress both these beautiful ladies up!


What matters to you most as a fashion designer?

As a fashion designer what really matters to me is quality of my work and how I can make someone feel and look beautiful in my designs.



How do you feel you have grown or changed as a designer since you entered the fashion industry in 2009? What have you learnt since you started out?

It’s been 7 years since I launched my brand and as any designer in the beginning it’s always a struggle to get your brand out there.  You have to understand your market and people’s desires, and based on that you can move forward. Product knowledge is essential in being able to bring my clients vision to reality, and this learning is continuous. Each year as time passes fashion changes and as a designer I need to stay on top of my game.  

I first started designing professionally for family and friends and soon after I developed a well-rounded clientèle. In 2010 I had the opportunity to run a fashion boutique where Javeda was one of the brands that was carried amongst other Bollywood celebrity designers. Having a store front gave me the experience of running a business and understanding the market. I begin taking part in local fashion shows and then was invited to Western Canada Fashion Week in 2011 where I launched Javeda’s first collection “Vibrant”. In 2012 I became part of WedStudio as their South Asian Bridal Gown designer.   I have learnt that being a designer and running a business is 2 different things and you need find a balance between both to make a successful brand.

 “Aman Dhalay” in one word would be?



“Javeda” in one word would be?



If you were a superhero, what kind of powers would you have?

I think it be fun to have the super power of being able to read minds. I’d like to know what my clients are thinking, their visions, desires, ideas, to be able to truly bring to life what’s in their imagination! But in the meanwhile we here at Javeda go with the traditional chat over some tea or wine.


What’s next for you?

Currently I'm excitedly developing our 2017 collection. In the long term we are working towards participating in the New York fashion week.


Anything we should be keeping our eyes open for the future?

There are always plans with Javeda! But a girl can’t spill all her secrets. Follow us on Facebook at Javeda and Instagram @javedadesigns to keep tuned with the unravelling of our plans!