It’s called ‘Nawf Shore’
It's pronounced Nawf Shore. Duane Jones was worried he was losing his Bermuda accent after 15 years living in Canada.
To get back in touch with his roots he created a line of Bermuda-inspired T-shirts. Called Nawf Shore, it's the latest in his menswear brand, Be Glitterati.
“It kind of came about because I was a little homesick I guess and I started thinking more about my roots and that kind of stuff,” said the 34-year-old who grew up on North Shore, Devonshire.
“I noticed that my accent has become progressively weaker as I stay out here in Halifax. People don't even believe I'm from Bermuda sometimes.”
The graphic designer has run his Be Glitterati as a part-time business for four years now.
He mixes his interest in street fashion with his training as a graphic designer to create men's clothing.
Mr Jones wanted his friends back on the Island to be able to relate to his latest designs.
“I grew up near Loyal Hill in Devonshire and that's how my boys would say it, ‘Nawf Shore',” he said. “When I started creating this I realised there were other places that might understand the North Shore reference, like Hawaii, but the pronunciation I'm feeling is very specific to Bermuda.
“I'm hoping to get it picked up by local retailers on the Island. I've been investigating it and might even create a South Shore one.”
Mr Jones had an interest in fashion from a young age.
“My mom would also talk to me about style and would tell me it's important not to be trendy, but rather to have a certain set style that can transcend throughout the years,” he said. “My designs tend to be in that same vein because they're more minimal. Seeing that I'm a graphic designer my challenge was following design principals so that when people see a word they know what it means, but I was also focused on the aesthetic as well. I wanted it to look good and appeal to people in that target market and demographic so they could align with it as well.”
Mr Jones left the Island to study at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design 15 years ago.
He met his wife, Natasha, there; they have two children aged four and seven. He was hired by a small start-up magazine after graduation.
Nine issues were released, but the magazine shut down after its first year due to a lack of sponsors.
Mr Jones said he learnt a lot from that experience about entrepreneurship.
“I worked with an Israeli businessman and he would let me go into meetings and things like that with him,” he said. “I had no intention originally of starting my own business.
“I figured the people who did that knew so much more than me, but I realised they don't. They just made calculated decisions based on their experience — sometimes it went well and sometimes it didn't.”
He found work in the wedding industry, before taking a graphic design position at Dalhousie University.
“I started working on Be Glitterati more seriously a few years ago after remembering how much I had learnt from job opportunities over the years.
“There was a time when I was sour about some of the employment situations because I felt like my work wasn't appreciated. But I learnt a lot from those and realised I most enjoyed designing for myself rather than for clients.
“I starting thinking what would happen if I would come up with my own clothing line, marketing and branding it myself. That was around 2011.”
It offered a chance for him to be acknowledged for his work, he said.
“At some of my jobs I felt like the boss would get all the recognition when something went right,” he said. “But often times the designer is also a key part of something and its success. After launching Be Glitterati it finally felt like I was able to live up to my potential.”
His pieces are designed to appeal to anyone who wants to look good but isn't interested in trends.
“There's also a message inside the clothing,” he said. “All of my shirts have a meaning attached to them.
“I used to be inspired by hip-hop a lot, but I also try to align with social causes I support. For instance, I created one shirt for Halifax Pride Parade recently. It showed a person with a rainbow-coloured afro on it.
“The next evolution is neckties. I'm inching my way more and more to formal looks and grown-up looks that reflect my style today. I just love ties and wear them to work a lot.”
Three trendy places to try if you’re in the Halifax area:
• Bicycle Thief: If you’re in the mood for good Italian soul food, Duane Jones recommends this spot. Located on Lower Water Street in Halifax, it attracts a diverse group of people.
“It’s kind of trendy and you people like to go there, but there’s also a lot of the older, mature crowd,” he said. “To me I like to go there because it’s the same demographic of people I target with my Glitterati T-shirt line. They like to dress well. It’s just an overall good atmosphere and good food.”
• Fresh Goods: This sneaker and apparel shop, located off Spring Garden Road, is one of Mr Jones’s favourites in the metropolitan area.
“It always carries new stuff,” he said. “The owner really makes an effort to be aware of what’s actually trending in streetwear, so you can look at a blog and see what’s hot and he tries to have it in his shop.”
• Halifax Public Library: Instead of an old outdated place with books, this library was recently built on Spring Garden Road to include everything from wi-fi to video games and privacy reading pods to relax in.
“It doesn’t feel like a library,” he said. “There are spaces people can talk in and not be quiet. It also has cafes. It’s just amazing.”