At 24 years-old with a fledgling clothing line on the market, designer Dominique Donaldson is using social media to help break her Le Karja products in a competitive market. She launched the casual wear pieces in May 2020 shortly after graduating from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
Le Karja is named for her mother, Karja, a Jamaican who also attended (FIT). “I design for a new generation of young people who identify with both cultures and aren’t afraid to express that. My designs are bold, headstrong, and beautiful just like my customers,” said Donaldson, who was born in New York. “I connect with my shoppers through Instagram @Lekarja, Facebook, Twitter, and tik tok. Technology and social media have been the key to my success and as a Gen Zer, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Le Karja’s catalog includes T-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants and swimwear which are inspired by her mother’s hometown of Fletcher’s Land, a gritty community in West Kingston, Jamaica. Through several visits there, Donaldson was introduced to the unique vibe of urban life in her parents’ homeland.
Her father is from Dunkirk, another tough Kingston enclave that has produced artists like Wayne Wonder, Spragga Benz and Agent Sasco.
“I am a product of Jamaica as a third generation ‘Well-Cute Family’ daughter (and) that fact will never go unowned. My clothing brand takes inspiration from all of this, all of the ups and downs and experiences of being a Jamaican in America,” said Donaldson.