Kimberly Gayle is a 22 year old Jamaican born creative studying Fashion Design in the West Midlands. Within her studies she has received large positive recognition, including being awarded 'Most Determined Creative' by BCU, Winner of the River Island Portfolio Award 2021 and being nominated for the GFW Portfolio, Illustration and Culture and Heritage Award.
With her inspirations drawing from her life experiences, culture, family and other successful Jamaican designers, Kimberly Gayle puts individuality at the forefront of her designs and work, wanting to tell a story and provoke thoughtful discussion with her garments. Her design style derives from earthy tones, intricate cut outs and a delicate perspective on feminine sensuality and confidence throughout her work.
For one of her final year projects, Kimberly was inspired by the experiences of many black woman, specifically her Jamaican mother, which have also trickled into her life whilst growing up. "I’ve had to be a strong black woman since I was seven.” And that is what the enduring meme of the “strong black woman” obscures: it makes it harder for others to see black women as complex beings. Worse, the myth of black women’s extraordinary strength makes it difficult for black women to see themselves.
'Stretch Pat' focuses on the contrast of strength and fragility experienced within her mum whilst raising three children being new to the U.K. Within her life she has experienced many hardships, unable to fully be vulnerable and fragile against the 'strong black woman' trope.
With the blanket stitched holes, representing the breakthroughs of fragility trying to repair itself on a hardened exterior, were all individually hand sewn by Kimberly over a course of a week.