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Designer Kimon Baptiste taking career to another level

Designer Kimon Baptiste  taking career to another level

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Local fashion designer Kimon Baptiste of Kimmystic Designs, hopes that her next effort would earn St Vincent and the Grenadines greater recognition, on the international fashion scene.{{more}}

Baptiste left these shores last weekend to take up a three-month internship in the United States, under the watchful eyes of Vicktor Luna, a finalist in the last season’s ‘Project Runway’ television show, leading up to his own presentation in September.

Optimistic about her stint with the designer, Baptiste told Searchlight in an exclusive interview that she will be putting her best foot forward and hopes to make St Vincent and the Grenadines proud in the process.

“It’s a very positive thing. I want people to remember the name St Vincent and the Grenadines and Kimmystic, so I am going to work very hard and I would just want the Vincentian support and love and prayers.”

The 1999 Miss SVG said she gained the opportunity to apply for the position, following a discussion with a fashion consultant at an event in Barbados last year, who, after viewing her collection, urged her to submit a resume to Luna.

“It was long process and I had to be patient, because whilst he was open to the internship, things were not yet in place…. And so about a month ago, he called and we had an interview on the phone, and at the end of it, he said he liked me and that he would be willing to take me on as an intern, and work with me and see how it goes from there.”

According to Baptiste, her role as intern would give her the opportunity to learn a lot from Luna, whom she described as a fantastic tailor and designer.

“I am expected to know everything and do everything he does,” she explained.

“He still does a lot of press for Project Runway; so in addition to the fashion part of it, I have to be able to source fabric, take charge at certain points, respond to the press for him and do everything that he does on his own.

“It’s not an 8 to 5 job; he wanted somebody passionate enough to be able to go home and respond to emails and things like that.”

A designer in her own right for the past 13 years, the self-taught seamstress burst on to the international scene in 2009 to rave reviews, and has been making a mark on the industry ever since.

Baptiste indicated that she is looking forward to the experience of working with Luna, and hopes that her career would receive a major boost from the exposure.

Offering advice to up and coming designers, Baptiste warned that the industry may seem glamorous, but it calls for hard work and dedication.

“I think it is important to persevere, be willing to take the good criticism as well as the bad, because not everyone is going to understand or like what you put out there; so it’s about having a broad back and being able to stand up with and for your design.

“Humility is also important. You have to be willing to take advice and have faith as well, because when I started, I never expected that I would have an opportunity such as this.

“I don’t think of myself as there yet; I still think I have a ways to go,” Baptiste said. “Things are happening and hopefully it gets bigger and better from here.”

Luna was a featured designer on season nine of Project Runway. He was one of the four finalists in the season finale, which aired in October last year.

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