Cutting fashion with Shellene Williams
Ever knew someone that you always felt would make it big on the international scene, and it was only a matter of time before they got there? Well, let me introduce you to Shellene Natasha Williams. Originally from Redemption Sharpes, but now residing at Green Hill, the self-employed designer is making her mark with every cut and stitch of her garments.
Shellene had been featured in a previous issue of Buzz, but since then, this Fashion Princess has made excellent strides. Itâs also time to find out what keeps this designer reaching for the stars.
BuzZ meets Shellene
Q: How did you get started?
A: Sewing runs in our family and I believe it subconsciously came from my grandmother, she has good taste. But I really began designing after I realised that my clothing was not up to par with my friends who wore high fashion. So I would make my own clothes to keep up with the trends. I would have to say that it was because i wanted to fit in with the crowd that I began sewing.
Q: Describe your sense of style.
A: Itâs funny, because today I want my clothing to stand out in the crowd. My style can be a bit weird but youâll remember it. Iâm young and every now and then I like to show some skin but I can dress like Mona Lisa today and like Madonna tomorrow.
Q: Whatâs the name of your line?
A: It was called Gen-X (short form of Generation-Next) but I donât want to limit myself to just the young hip crowd, So today itâs âShellene House of Design.â I have some of my designs at Sunsail and the Beauty Bar. Iâm trying to get some of my pieces in the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Barbados.
Q: What is your goal in the fashion industry?
A: I intend to own my own factory producing ready-to-wear clothing. The designs created will be for the confident lady who is not afraid to show off her assets and it will also be for the conservative (person). But I would love to venture into doing menâs clothing too.
Q: What do you find frustrating about your work?
A: My apartment is too cramped, I hurt my back bending over to cut and sew the materials, but like a true Williams I grit my teeth and push forward and stitch until everything is perfect. After I press the garments and hang them, I feel proud and the frustration just fades away…itâs a good feeling.
Q: When was your first real taste of a fashion show?
A: It was at the Image Modeling Agencyâs Fashion Caribbean 2003 when I did a section of 15 pieces and I sold them all after the show. Some of my friends who came over while I was working with scraps of cloth asked if I knew what I was doing but I had the vision.
Q: Who would you like to dress?
A: I am not really a rock music fan but I would love to dress the musical rock band âGreen Day.â Those guys have captured me with their unique style. I will also love to get my hands on R&B artist Alicia Keys and hip hop star Lil Kim.
Q: What donât people know about you?
A: That I read and write ALL THE TIME! I just discovered a river near to my house and I go there to hear the water and meditate. I love quiet time by myself, but I also value quality time with friends socialising. I can be sort of a neurotic cleaner at 2 or 3 oâclock in the morning (laughs). There are times when I stay locked up in my apartment listening to music and dancing. I love doing hair; especially dreadlocks and I could see myself owning a hair salon that caters to only that hairstyle.
Q: Your goal now in life is to do what?
A: To make my mom happy! When I was younger I was a bit rebellious and we struggled to have a good relationship but now that I am on my own, although I donât have any kids I now realise how difficult it must have been for her as a single parent. So …(sighs)…I want to give her something back, like a nice piece of land and a nice house…I love that woman like no other. But I also worry about my brothers and sisters.
Q: So your concern is about family?
A: Definitely. I am the eldest so I want to help secure my younger brothers secondary and college education. I donât want any man to take advantage of my sister who didnât finish school. I want her to know that she still has a chance to do something with her life.
Q: Any closing words?
A: Some people tell me that itâs difficult to make it in your own country, but I want to prove them wrong. I worked at Raffles Resort for a year and I met international model Carolina Kanocova and she advised me to âNever let anyone tell you that your dreams are too big and youâll never make it.â
That stuck with me. I know the design world out there is rough and competitive but I guess that will make success sweeter.