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Vincy designers shine at Islands of the World Fashion Week Debut

Vincy designers shine at Islands of the World Fashion Week Debut

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Seven designers from St. Vincent and the Grenadines were among thirty-eight (38) designers from around the world who had their works showcased at the first ever Islands of the World Fashion Week (IWFW) in Nassau, Bahamas, earlier this month. The work of local craftmaker Merle Gellizeau of Merle’s Art & Craft, was also featured in some of the designs.{{more}}

The Show, which took place from November 5th-8th at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, featured well-known and new designers Deb E Barbour, Kimya Glasgow, Kimone Baptiste, Karen DeFreitas-Fraser, Lisa Cordice, Ingrid John and Tamiko Browne, who made her mark by copping two of the awards that were up for grabs.

CED Business Gateway Project ensured their participation in Islands of the World Fashion Week with full sponsorship.

With fashion icons of the like of Kenneth Cole, Heather Jones, and Nikolaki (Nick Verreos) in the line-up, the Vincentian designers stood the test against their counterparts representing Fiji, Trinidad, Indonesia, Jamaica, Barbados, Cuba, British Virgin Islands, St Lucia, Bahamas, Haiti and the USA.

Each of them impressed buyers and patrons with their unique, colourful and stylish collections, but it was Tamiko Browne of Tami B Designs who won the Culture & Fashion Award with her piece entitled “St. Vincent Garifuna Goddess”. Browne was also winner of the NextGen Award, which was given to the designer with less than three years experience working in a Fashion House.

“After my line debuted, I was approached by Nick Verros of Project Runway & he told me how impressed he and the judges were of my swimwear and that they were very marketable. Not only that, I was approached to possibly provide swimwear for Miss Bahamas World & Miss Bahamas Tourism. So with all that, I think my collection was well received,” says an elated Tamiko.

Browne went on to note that “While at IWFW, I did a lot of networking and learned a lot about the fashion design business, which will help to improve my marketability. It opened my eyes to the broad world of possibilities.

I do have a chance at a wonderful and profitable life in the fashion industry. We as Caribbean designers are making head waves – look out world, here we come!

Organisers of the event acknowledged that several other countries did not participate because of the global economic constraints which helped to make it an exceptionally proud moment for the Vincentians.

Owen Bethel, President of Mode Îles, Ltd.,organizers of the event, says Islands of the World Fashion Week was endorsed by UNESCO to draw attention to several global issues, including the Environment and Environmental Change, the Education of Youth on HIV/AIDS, and Poverty Alleviation, which affect island states. Bethel says the event will now be an annual affair that the Caribbean and wider world can look forward to.

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