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Prajje Jean-Baptiste:

Fashion Designer

May 1, 2020 | Fashion

Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born in Haiti, I migrated to the US when I was 13. Lived in Boston until after
College, lived in NY for about 10yr. I recently moved to Philly for the past 2 years.

Q: Where do you currently reside?
A: Currently I live in Old City Philadelphia, and you can say Haiti as well.

Q: What are your ties to Miami?
A: I have a special place in my heart for Miami. When I just moved to the states, I couldn’t
go back to Haiti, and Miami was my getaway, I love the beach. Something about Miami made me feel at home, so during my college years and well after I went to Miami every year, sometime twice a year. On the other hand, I have ties with an organization in Miami doing amazing things in Île-à-Vache Haiti, called Flying High for Haiti. I Produced a Runway fundraiser for them after the devastating hurricane Matthew. Also before the pandemic I was due in Miami in early fall this year for The Ayiti Community Trust Gala-Byen Chelbe, I am a host committee member and I am looking forward to the event. I have been saying I need to go to Miami for a while now.

Q: What was your career path?
A: My career path have always been fashion, since I was a boy. Although then it was more
of an escape or dream, but as soon I got to the states it was clear that it was going to be my reality.

Q: Who influenced you the most?
A: The arts, the most abstract or grotesque type, it makes you think, become more excepting to things that you are unfamiliar with. Things that are uncomfortable to talk about but only can be expressed through art…. mine is my culture. The Haitian culture is such a rich culture, but yet you find it almost taboo to talk about with people because of Haitian people’s negative connotation they attach to it. That is where I come in! I put it right in your face, so beautifully you can't deny it; it’s respected. I find that the Haitian people still in the years 2020 will adopted
and make any other culture or BS their own, and completely trash the Haitian
Vodou culture. Haitian Vodou have a major influence on my brand image, it is in
fact the pòtòmitan: “central pole” of the Prajjé Oscar brand.

Q: Who have you dressed?
A: Over the years I have dressed; Lara Spencer from Good Morning America; Sunny Hostin, from ABC’s talk show The View; Sara Underwood, Fox 25 anchor; Wyclef Jean; most recently Grammy nominated Nathalie Joachim this year. I did style Tommy Hilfiger for a Japanese Magazine when I worked in his store.

Q: Any one of the above you preferred dressing the most?
A: No, not necessarily, I love all my clients the same and enjoyed working with each of
them. You learn new things, and develop different special admiration for each Client.

Q: What motivates you?
A: The fact that I didn’t have the most memorable childhood, I come from a different world,
a world of survival and no such things as a light at then end of the tunnel. That keeps me motivated each and every day, it helps me stay focused and not take life and the opportunities it presents me for granted.

Q: Can you describe that moment (experience, emotion,) when you knew that you were pursuing your passion?
A: The day I woke up my senior year at Mass Art and find myself featured in a double
page article in the Boston Herald. I knew that day there was no turning back. Its
not something you can really describe in words you have to feel it, hear it, smell
it… It's a very weird feeling.

Q: Any projects in the works?
A: Thus far, all my projects are on hold, which included; phase 3 of my initiative, The
Prajjé Oscar Fashion Project (building an Atelier in Haiti); The Ayiti Community Trust Gala-Byen Chelbe; Fashion event for Fondasyon Klere Ayiti with the First Lady of Haiti; hosted by Fashion For Development; many brides with postponed wedding.

Q: What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?
A: Most people would find it shocking to know that compliments make me very uncomfortable, I don’t know why.

Q: What’s a quote you live by?
A: “Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and hope of the slave. I rise.
I rise. I rise.” Maya Angelou


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