Back with a Mission to entertain

BY RORY DALEY Observer writer

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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FASHIONISTAS and reality-TV junkies will be in for a treat as Mission Catwalk returns for its fourth season on September 20 on TVJ at 8:30 pm. The announcement was made at the Dominca Drive office of J Wray and Nephew, which played host to the show's media launch on Monday evening.

"This year will be like no other, as the show will bring out the drama behind the designs," Keneea Linton-George, executive producer, told the Jamaica Observer.

Viewers can look forward to the formula that has made the show a consistent top-five favourite with 12 designers from across five Caribbean islands putting their design skills to the test in each of the nine episodes. The show will also see the return of the judging trio, Linton-George; Novia McDonald-Whyte, senior associate editor at the Jamaica Observer; and Carlton Brown, menswear designer.

However, there have been other major changes due to the injection of new sponsorship and a partnership with The University of Technology (UTech). Season four was shot on campus at UTech's new Fashion Design facility, giving the designing dozen access to top-quality production equipment and guidance from Jill Becker, head of UTech's fashion programme.

Billed The High Fashion Edition, the show ramps up the stakes as first-time sponsor Campari has put up the ultimate fashion prize, the opportunity for the winner to show their collection at the Milan Fashion Week in Italy. Guests for the invite-only launch were given a live taste of several designs from the show's Campari-themed second episode, along with a six-minute preview trailer.

"It was an easy decision for Campari to come onboard," Gary Dixon of Campari explained.

Also joining the list of first-time sponsors was Audi.

"The brand has had a connection with both local and international fashion, making our participation a no-brainer," Hugh Okoye of ATL Automotive Ltd explained.

Other prizes at stake are $500,000 from NCB-SME to fund the winner's clothing line; $200,000 worth of sewing equipment from Singer Jamaica; a fashion editorial in Jamaque magazine, a UTECH fashion programme scholarship, and an internship with a regional design house.

"We're going all out to top season three's finale at Trident," Linton-George explained.




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