Deaf Person of the Month
Julian “JuJu” Moiwai
Chubbies Man Model contender
"As a first-generation American born to immigrant parents from Germany and Sierra Leone, I am a proud Peace Corps baby." Deafened by spinal meningitis at the age of 10 months, he was lucky—“My parents took sign-language classes at a local community college to be able to communicate with me."
He attended Central North Carolina School for the Deaf in Greensboro before it closed in 2001 (it's now part of University of North Carolina, Greensboro). Then he was mainstreamed in second grade and afterwards, in a small Deaf/HoH program. "I relied on my heavu involvement with soccer to stay out of trouble." He became a champion player, "making All-State before graduation."
At Durham School of the Arts, he studied photography and theater, graduating in 2008, and at RIT, he earned his B.S. in Advertising and Public Relations in 2012. He moved to Clearwater, Florida, to work for ZVRS (he's now Content Producer at ZVRS and Purple Communications). He ws also involved with the USA Deaf Men's soccer tream competing in last year's Deaf World Cup in Turkey.
Chubbies is a relatively new company specializing in casual wear—shorts, swim trunks, and tops. It's noteworthy for its lighthearted Website; it also operates eleven stores around the nation, primarily in the Sun Belt. In 2012, Julian made his first online purchase of two pairs of shorts. After he moved to Austin, he received a message inviting him to the opening of the new Chibbies store there. He showed up with a friend, and, quite without any intention, had a Snapchat video taken of him, then learned that the guy shooting the video was one of the company's founders.
That led to an invitation to a video shoot on Son's Island, and that in turn led to his participation in the Man Model campaign. He and his friends produced a delightful video. He made the Top Twenty semi-finalists.
He's also a certified drone pilot. "Shooting video is my passion." What's up next? A film project. And, hopefully, lots of sunny days.