THE ONE ON: The ace designer (right), with stylista Yendi Phillipps, both wearing NeahLis originals on the set of TV J's Smile Jamaica.
In the life of any creative artist, a period of change is inevitable, and NeahLis (née Lisa McIntosh) is the living proof. Having just wrapped her final stint as a participant in Style Week Jamaica, the seasoned designer has set her sights on raising the bar and conquering new territory – internationally. “It’s certainly not a retirement for me,” she quips. “I’m taking my work into the London market soon. Come September, October, we will have shows in London.”
It’s an ambitious leap forward for the design diva who ranks among the most respected women in the local fashion industry. In almost a decade she’s made a name for herself (and her cool label) with a distinctive style that blends feminine ease with stunning form and function, earning collaborative opportunities with everyone from popular local entertainers like D’Angel to international stunners like America’s Next Top Model’s Tyra Banks and pop-R&B cutie Christina Milian.
In spite of her success in a tough business, the designer remains grounded. “Everything you go through you have to be humble, and that is what I have,” she admits. “It brings you into the right frame of mind to help you grow and become a more mature individual.”
In any case, for NeahLis it’s a season of switching things up and, quite naturally, that’s reflected in her most recent collection, an eye-popping 23-piece set fittingly dubbed Mariposa (Spanish for butterfly). “It represents the rebirth, the transformation and the taking flight,” she tells TALLAWAH. “As we get ready to take the work into another year and to new places, it’s about considering where I’m going and looking forward to what the future has in store for me.”
And that includes turning 44 – and loving it. “I’m looking forward to it,” she giggles. “I’m hoping for a blessed, blessed next five, ten years. All you’re gonna be reading about are awesome things because once God is in the picture you’re good to go.”