Jamaica's Fashion Empire Forgotten?

Jamaica's Fashion Empire Forgotten?

The photo on the left was designed by a Jamaican designer in 1959, and the picture on the right is a piece from Christian Dior 2012 Collection. Jamaicans are trend-setter.

As we celebrate Jamaica's 50th year of independence we as a people have much to be thankful for as a nation. Our culture has captivated the entire world as people from the four corners of the globe attempts to copy our dances,food,and language. We have dominated the world of track and field, and its safe to say that all eyes are on us and many are thinking what else does this island have up thier sleeves; What about our Fashion? Fashion one may say.

It was not too long ago when Jamaica hosted the Fahion Awards which highligted our top local fashion designers in our island. The Jamaica Fashion Guild founded on June 27, 1966 had a dream and according to the Ludington Daily news "The purpose was to promote our island designers of couture and accessories for export" Out thriving export and manufacturing sector had much to laud about through our creative industries as originals by eight Jamaican Houses were able to showcase thier pieces by Bergorf Goodman New York, I.Magnin in California and Eatons in Canada. It's sad to say that many of our fellow Jamaicans are quick to utter Gucci,Marc Jacobs and Valentino from thier lips rather than to look within own island and see the exquisite and fine creations from Norma Soas, Mae Feurtado, Ivy Ralph,Anne Lopez and the late Francis Keane.

In order to celebrate our future we must take a look at our past when a new breed of designers are still fighting the very demons which haunted thier past veteran designers, are we too quick to think we as a people can never hold our own on the international stage where fashion is concerned. I think not it starts with us our mind set as to how we see each other and the respect for what we was as a people can do creatively. The moot has been set, the debates will continue. Will our people become a force to be reckconed with within the fashion industry I guess only time will tell.

Written by Kayon Vaz

Carone Messado Carone Messado is executive producer of Du’ Look Jamaica, the Caribbean and Jamaica\\\'s first fashion Fashion Catalogue. The catalogue represents bold, cutting edge and innovative fashion collections from our top local designers.