What is Caribbean Fashion?
“Gone are the days where Caribbean style is a Hawaiian shirt, Panama hat, and Bermuda shorts. That was somebody else’s version of who we are. It’s no longer the look of the Caribbean that we might have had before, where there was this flea-market type of expression of who we are. There is a lot more finish.” – Richard Young
(Style & Vibes) New York City is one of the four big fashion capitals of the world, and with its enigmatic blend of cultural diversity the conversation surrounding Caribbean fashion, its aesthetic, and its place on the international stage is inevitable.
The FIT Museum in collaboration with Janice Lawrence-Clarke, a FIT alum, recently set the stage for open dialogue surrounding the progress and position of Caribbean fashion in the international marketplace. The panel discussion featured reality TV star, FIT alum, and fashion designer Nikhol Hing best known as Chinese Nicky on Love and Hip Hop Miami and owner of fashion boutique Klothh; and production designer and stylist, Richard Young.
Before the evening was over, Guyanese born Hing readily offered to leverage her own success to aid in the development of a unified Caribbean Fashion Week to help Caribbean designers get the recognition needed.
Lawrence-Clarke, who is also the president and creative director of Caribbean American Fashion Exchange (CAFE), has been championing Caribbean fashion on an international stage for many years and is adamant that this genre is represented.
“This is a discussion that has now begun, it’s necessary,” she said after the event. “Having a platform such as FIT just brought everything into the wide open. Global. So now we have to continue.”
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