Inna Navarro Jeans for Genes Day Interview

Inna Navarro Jeans for Genes Day Interview

Jeans Are In Universal Store's DNA

Looking good and doing good will come together in spectacular style at Universal Store this week, with Australia's go-to denim retailer making your jeans purchase matter more than ever, donating cash to revolutionary medical research for every pair sold.

To support Jeans for Genes Day on Friday, 2 August, the retailer has teamed up with Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI) to help their amazing youth scientists find cures for children's genetic diseases.

For the second consecutive year the fashion experts and expert researchers have joined forces with $5 from every pair of jeans sold online or in-store from Saturday, 27 July to Friday, 2 August to be donated to this awesome cause.

Universal Store Marketing Manager Emma Lamkin said the partnership was a great opportunity for fashion-conscious youth to help change the lives of future Australians when they grab a new pair of jeans.

"Not all of us can do what the brilliant minds at CMRI do, but we can help fund their incredible work by supporting the Jeans for Genes campaign," she said.

"As your local denim fitters, we're thrilled to be raising funds and awareness for our friends at CMRI supporting their ground-breaking research and leading to a better tomorrow for little Aussies.

"It's incredible to think that buying a new pair of jeans will mean you're not only looking fresh but helps fund revolutionary research."

In the lead-up to Jeans for Genes Day, the Universal Store crew stepped inside the CMRI lab to catch up with five youth researchers, getting an insight into their work day-to-day and kit them out in a fresh pair of jeans.

"Universal Store has an amazing variety of jeans and is a natural alignment for the Jeans for Genes campaign … their support helps spread the word about the important research being done to find cures for children with genetic diseases," said CMRI Research Officer Vivian Silva Kahl, who looked rad rocking Nobody Denim jeans, a Perfect Stranger Leonie Knit top, Luck & Trouble blazer and Tommy Jeans Essential Sneakers.

Make your denim purchase matter this week with a pair of jeans from Universal Store, visit

Universal Store stocks leading brands in men's and women's fashion including Wrangler, Abrand, Ziggy, Nobody Denim, Levis, KSCY, Tommy Jeans and Lee.

In addition to more than 60 stores across Australia, Universal Store has an extensive online clothing store at, complete with live chat to assist customers in creating a whole outfit or to find the exact item to finish off their look.

Interview with Inna Navarro, Research Assistant

Inna Navarro works as a research assistant in the Translational Vectorology Group at the Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI) where they develop vectors or microscopic tools for gene therapy.

Question: How long have you worked as a researcher at the Children's Medical Research Institute?

Inna Navarro: I started working at the CMRI in January this year, so a little over 6 months.

Question: What does an average day look like for you?

Inna Navarro: There are always multiple projects ongoing and a lot of experiments, so my days are usually very well planned out. I have to manage my time well to make sure I have time to do all the tasks necessary to keep everything moving – for example, to be able to run a certain experiment on Friday, I'd need to prepare for it in the days leading up to it. No time is wasted and every little task is for something 'bigger'.

Question: What's the most rewarding part of your job?

Inna Navarro: The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that it's important and meaningful work. Everything that we do on a daily basis counts for something, and no matter how routine or small it may seem at the time, they are all important pieces in finding answers for real people.

Question: What do you hope your research at the CMRI achieves?

Inna Navarro: I hope my work one day helps a child in need. The research we do is geared towards helping the 1 in 20 kids that are diagnosed with a genetic disease that at the moment is still "incurable." These are kids that spend the first years of their lives being limited in one way or another because of their condition instead of being able to freely enjoy their childhood, whose parents get told that at the moment there is no answer available. If the research we do can cure even just one child, and give hopes to other children, that would be amazing.

Question: What inspired you to pursue a career in this field?

Inna Navarro: I have always been into science, I grew up in a house of scientists and was inspired at a young age by my dad who is researcher. Working in this field is incredibly inspiring because you can see the impact it can have on people's lives.

Question: As a Universal Store Jeans for Genes youth researcher, what do you hope the fundraising efforts achieve?

Inna Navarro: Jeans for Genes is Children's Medical Research Institute's iconic fundraising campaign. It is known nationwide in Australia, and it's amazing that kids in school are aware of the campaign from a young age. The proceeds of the campaign go directly to the labs, and not only does that enable researchers to find cures and ultimately help children nationwide, but hopefully it raises awareness in the communities and inspires students to get involved. It would be amazing if the same kids wearing jeans to school and donating a gold coin on Jeans for Genes day grow up to be researchers of Children's Medical Research Institute in the future, whose research can be funded by the same campaign. In partnering with Universal Store, young people can look and feel great in a new pair of jeans, and (hopefully!) consider a career in science. From now until Friday, 2 August, $5 from every pair of jeans purchased in-store or online at Universal Store goes directly towards the cause and our research.

Question: How did you become involved with the Universal Store Jeans for Genes partnership?

Inna Navarro: I spend most of my time in time in the lab doing experiments, but the first and last thing I see when I enter and leave the institute every working day are posters of the kids that our work is affecting firsthand. When I heard about the collaboration, I became very keen to get involved as it is such a unique opportunity of being able to raise awareness for Jeans for Genes and specifically target young people who are my age and give them the chance to get involved. It's easy to get caught up in work and life, and it's nice that young people can do something as simple as get a new pair of jeans from Universal Store and look great while knowing that they are helping and contributing to something bigger.

Question: Why are causes like Jeans for Genes so important to the community?

Inna Navarro: It's important because it raises awareness in the community that 1 in 20 kids are born with a birth defect or genetic disease. 1 in 20 kids is such a significant number – that is one kid in every classroom that needs help. It raises awareness in the community and at the same time gives everyone a chance to contribute, a way for everyone from all walks of life to get involved in simple but important ways. And as the money goes directly to the labs, it immediately goes towards something significant.

Question: How can people get involved and help such an incredible cause?

Inna Navarro: People can easily get involved by raising awareness in their own community, whether it be in schools or the local towns, from having bake sales or any other activity that can bring people together for the Jeans for Genes cause, to wearing jeans on Jeans for Genes day and donating whatever they can and want to, to pursuing studies geared towards becoming a scientist in the future. And now Universal Store has opened up a way for youth to get involved, by simply taking this chance to get a new pair of jeans that they needed anyway, they are putting $5 directly towards the cause.