Home Culture & Society Meet the Designers. Caribbean Plus Size fashionistas

Meet the Designers. Caribbean Plus Size fashionistas

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(Monday 22nd October 2012)
In the Caribbean fashion industry, when one speaks about the plus size category one will often get reactions, both positive and negative.

Ann Marie Alexis

Focusing on the positive, Carivog International is pleased to showcase the best of Caribbean plus size designers at the CFPW 2012. Trinidad and Tobago is fortunate to be the home of the most active and plus size-dedicated designers in the Caribbean.

Chinyere Thomas wearing one of her designs

These designers have committed to pioneering in the niche of plus size design and who have made successful strides in this regard. Even better, some of these designers will be showcasing their work at the Caribbean Fashion Plus Week (CFPW) 2012.

Most designers participating will be debuting collections at the fashion week, giving CFPW an exclusive of what can be considered a new ‘season’ of designs for Caribbean plus size shoppers.

Dexter Jennings

From Trinidad and Tobago, designers falling into the more experienced category who are showing collections at CFPW include; Heather Jones designs, Heather Jones’ achievements have not been without accolades over the years: in 2002 Heather received the International Prêt a Porter Style Award, at Fashion Week of the Americas, in 2005 she won the Woman of Great Esteem Award from New York’s Woman of Great Esteem Foundation.

2008 saw Heather win the Best Trinidad & Tobago Designer Award and in 2009 Heather was scooping the National Awards of Trinidad and Tobago Chaconia Gold Medal for her contribution to fashion.

Heather Jones

Other equally innovative local labels catering to the plus size market are Concept Studios by Dexter Jennings, Charter Designs by Orson Charter, The Cloth by Robert Young and In Collection plus size swimwear by Eula Reid.

Representing from the wider Caribbean and the featured designer at the CFPW 2012 is Marishka’s Designs by Sonia Noel from Guyana. Sonia has been a veritable ‘daughter of soil’ whose tireless work in Guyana made her country proud when she was awarded at the 2011 British Virgin Islands Fashion Weekend the accolade of Caribbean Fashion Ambassador.

Jelesha Cunningham

She has also received the GMSA Award for her involvement in youth development and promotion of the local fashion industry.

Over the last 15 years, Sonia Noel has become one of the more recognizable names in the directory of Caribbean designers. Through her label Mariska’s Designs – a unique hybrid of Guyanese craftsmanship, Caribbean ingenuity and universal style – Sonia has participated in many a significant fashion week events throughout the Caribbean including Caribbean Fashion Week, St. Kitts Fashion Week, Fashion Week Trinidad and Tobago, USVI Fashion week, and Antigua Independence Fashion Weekend.

Lesa Gozales

This will be Sonia’s first attempt at designing a fully plus size collection at the Caribbean Fashion Plus Week 2012. As the featured designer, she will be presenting two (2) collections, one at each CFPW runway (“Pan In Style” and “Runway Caribbean”).

Joining Sonia Noel in the representation of Guyana at CFPW is design label Timeless by designer Andrea Brathwaite.

Orson Charter

CFPW will also feature designers new to the challenge of plus size fashion, which comprise both experienced and debut fashion designers. 2012 graduate of the Caribbean Academy of Fashion Design, Anne Marie Alexis will debut her first ever complete plus size fashion line, along with custom wool woven fashions from Designs by LESA G, by Lesa Gonzales.

First time designer and CFPW T&T model Designs by Chinsy, by Chinyere Thomas will also be having her debut both as a designer as well as for a full plus size collection. She will be joined by Jay Jay Designs and Wendy and Cheryl Designs.

Retailers have also come forward to showcase their styling and plus size catalogue selections and they are Dvog, Plus Express and So Esteem.

Sonia Noel

The public is in for a series of spectacular shows, when these ladies hit the runway to proclaim that One Size Does Not Fit All! The Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre must be commended for their support of this event, along with the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism and Sforzata Pan Yard.

The Caribbean Fashion Plus Week 2012 embraces and incubates colour and creativity, and each event to come has a distinct flare for the theatrical. This vibrant energy is one that you will have to experience for yourself!

To book tickets for the two major runways (“Pan In Style” and “Runway Caribbean” please call: (South)Carivog – 764-5473, Wazir Pharmacy | (East) 295-3940 | (Port of Spain) Closet Red- 293-4341, Photo Sunny, opp.

Express House | (St. Joseph) Plan Plus 3 consulting – 662-9805, or email [email protected] and www.caribbeanplussizefashionweek.com.



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