BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — Fashion is a key sector of the region’s creative industries with designers creating unique styles inspired by their environments. Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in cooperation with the European Union supported the participation of eight CARIFORUM based designers in this years’ International Fashion Festival Boutique Business (IFFBB) 2018 in Barbados, giving them an opportunity to showcase their creativity and meet with the international buyers that were present.
The overall event is managed by the Caribbean Market Center in partnership with Liberty Fairs New York and the Barbados Investment Development Cooperation (BIDC).
Indira Moss from The Bahamas presented her label ILashan, which includes a range from swimsuits to ready-to-wear and bridal designs. Current WE-Xport participant Kimya Glasgow showcased her classic Caribbean look for the modern woman that presents a relaxed elegance influenced by the Caribbean aesthetic coming from St Vincent and the Grenadines. Not forgetting the male designers, David André from Haiti with his self-named David André Collection showed how diverse you can be with a single colour pallet.
The opportunity for regional designers to learn from industry experts and from those who have ‘made it’ should not be overlooked. The three-day event started with a fashion expo in the Queen’s Park Art Gallery on Friday evening.
One of the highly anticipated events was a workshop under the theme Fashion is Big Business on Saturday where attendees heard from Sharifa Murdock, co-owner of the leading business to business fashion trade event Liberty Fairs; Quincy Theodore founder of Brooklyn Circus, an incubation programme for emerging designers, and Samantha Belfer, senior buyer responsible to finding new emerging designers for luxury department store Saks Fifth Avenue, who presented on what retail buyers are looking for from designers.
“We know the Caribbean is burgeoning with talent within the creative industries, but our creatives also have to be good at business. Caribbean Export is pleased to be able to support CARIFORUM designers participate and leverage the opportunity,” said Alison Beckles, services consultant at Caribbean Export.
Other designers participating included Bhwram Atelier and Harvey Robertson from Trinidad and Tobago; Natalie Eastmond and Roy Thompson from Barbados; and Kristin Frazer from the British Virgin Islands.