'I am no longer a foreigner'

He calls himself an Indian now. After living in India for nearly four years, John Uche Jesus, a fashion designer by profession is in love with this country because of its rich culture and fashion.

A resourceful young man from Nigeria, after learning design from J D Institute, is running his own showroom Diamond Ark, in Safdarjung Enclave.

John Jesus is popular for his red carpet gowns, suits, shirts, pants and traditional garments  - which includes Indian, African, Indo-western and his latest Afro-Indo. His creations are daring and fresh. Though he has a BSc in Geology from University of Calabar, his mother is a well-known designer back home. So, becoming a designer was an obvious choice. “My mother is a very popular local designer in Nigeria and that is how I developed this interest.

John first arrived in India, “as a tourist and was awestruck by the rich culture and fashion industry.” Although he expected to see a ‘developed’ India on his first visit and returned a bit disappointed. “My first experience was not fantastic as I had expected good roads, airport and places. But things have immensely improved now. Even the taxi drivers and rikshaw-wallahs speak English now. It was earlier difficult to communicate with them.”

His first fashion show was named ‘Discovery’, where he created fabulous and outstanding African inspired designs using India traditional fabrics. The geologist turned designer is a man who believes that he has what it takes to rule the fashion world, he believes that the top brands today in fashion world will not rule forever its either he overtake them or he will join them.

One of the first in the trade to establish his brand here John says, “Fashion is business, am a fashion freak, I have passion for fashion and am not just into it because it’s lucrative”. With his creations he won the best collections and the most outstanding collections in JD annual designs award. 

He has developed a unique styles of his own, reflecting creativity in Western garments and ancient traditions of Indian and African craftsmanship in a contemporary manner. Its understanding of ancient designs and the innovative use of traditional crafts has created a new classicism. The brand is renowned for its distinctive use of colours, quality of fabrics, intricate embroideries and a gloriously rich Indian, African and Western aesthetic.

Talking about Indian outfits, John says, “Africans love to wear Indian clothes and are very inspired by Bollywood films too. Indian ethnic wear is also quite popular out there.”

Expressing his love for India and its food, the Nigerian says, “I am no longer a foreigner now. I have made a lot of friends here and I am really happy staying in India. And samosas are my favourite dish which I relish each time.”

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