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Designers want to see fashion industry soar

Marlon Madden

Designers want  to see fashion industry soar

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 THE FASHION INDUSTRY in Barbados and the rest of the region is not as outstanding as it should be, according to some young local fashion designers.
“It is not as lively  and vibrant as I . . . or anyone in the industry would like it to be.  I just wish it was more prominent,” said Orlando Williams, 19, a student  at Barbados Community College (BCC).
Williams has been in the industry for the past year with jewellery and accessories, but launched a clothing line in November last year.
The BCC?fashion design student got his inspiration from Europe, he told BARBADOS?BUSINESS?AUTHORITY.
“I find in Barbados, because we are a culture that generally sticks  to the brands that we know, it is kind of difficult to get in there – but  once you do, you are in.
“One of the challenges is finding avenues to show items and finding shows that benefit us as designers,” he said, adding that sourcing funding  was another challenge.
Antonio Cumberbatch has been a designer for close to five years. He  said the local and regional fashion industry was  not as developed as he would like despite some effort over the years.
“We need to be a little more refined and pay closer attention to details. We need to evolve.
“I personally don’t think it comes down to how many fashion shows we have but maybe the quality of the production,” he said, “and even so,  we have to remember  that fashion shows are definitely a money-making industry and when you  see people at fashion shows in Europe or [Britain], there are retailers, buyers and people who are there  to make money.
“We don’t usually  have that here in the Caribbean. That is something we are going  to definitely have to start looking into seriously,” said Cumberbatch, the man behind the Posh Punk line of clothing.
The fashion industry  in the Caribbean was not large, Cumberbatch said, so it was hard for Caribbean designers to make progress or become successful in the industry because a lot of them had no idea what to do to grow their business or where  to go for assistance.
“In that regard, we definitely need more workshops [and] training to help guide us, but  it will eventually come down to each individual designer to make a mark for [him- or] herself and see where it will take them,” he said.
“The industry is now trying to develop. It is good for designers to have the exposure but if you really want to take it where it needs to be, then it needs a lot of help . . . .
“It is going to come down to networking and finding investors . . . it is going to take a lot of work on everybody’s part.
“Eventually we are going to have to all sit down and work through the process of what we  can do for the industry,” he added. (MM)