Designer Spotlight: JHB

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Sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right, and sometimes you get it right the first time. She was a student of the Sarajevo Art School when she first got introduced to the magical world of her future profession. Then came the Academy of Fine Arts and the first serious steps towards her career. Rudely halted by the 90’s war, she was forced to put her studies on hold. Jasna Hadžimehmedović- Bekrić is one of the most renowned fashion designers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, best known for her feminine dresses featuring colorful floral prints, hand painted silk details, luxurious shapes, asymmetry and elements of silhouette deconstruction. Last Friday, we had a fashionable chat at a local pâtisserie and shared our views on the past and future of the industry. Mesmerized by her unique and feminine energy, I can only hope to properly convey her thoughts and vision to readers.

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Once the war ended, she obtained her degree at the Academy’s department of Product Design. This was in 1999, a year before she started her eponymous label. After a couple of lattes, we took a trip down memory lane and recalled her fashion debuts. Back in the day when print was still very much alive, there were a couple of weekly and monthly magazines for women which celebrated beauty, fashion and culture. One of them was Nada, who offered young fashion designers the opportunity to submit their sketches and ideas out of which the best ones were promoted within the magazine and on the stage.

Although she unwillingly speaks of the war days, there is a glimpse of a smile on her face while she talks about the TV show RAT/ART where she spent years working (interestingly) in the field of graphic design. The radio television of B&H dome, or best known as the the “grey dome”, to Jasna and to many others served as a safe haven and a place where the war stops and creativity begins.

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Since 2000, she successfully manages her own label JHB Fashion Design and runs her atelier in Sarajevo. As if her work already does not take much of her time time, she works on different costume design projects for theater and TV shows, and movies. This creative superwoman is always on the hunt for new ideas, that often arise from the strangest opportunities. That is how MODIKO was established, Sarajevo-based Association of Fashion Workers and Costume Designers. One night, at Vlašić mountain, Jasna and her friend and a colleague designer- Amna Kunovac- Zekić, decided that our country needs an association of creative professionals. MODIKO was established in 2010, and for the last six years, it promotes Bosnian fashion at its finest.

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Jasna presented her work at many local and international fashion shows, she continuously works on promoting the local fashion scene around the globe and hopes to inspire young colleagues to do the same. Her ambitious plans for the future are the next step in creating a better fashion atmosphere in our country. And… Mark my words, she will succeed in creating it. Jasna, good luck!

Photo Credit: Private Archive