My Kingston - Bruce W Baas
Founding Partner, LaMonica Baas Group Former VP, Michael Kors & Bergdorf Goodman
Did Kingston live up to your expectations?
I had an extremely relaxing afternoon and evening in Kingston. We stayed at the Courtleigh Hotel where I chilled out at the pool and lounge area... releasing New York energy. Unfortunately, I did not have time to do more — another reason to come back.
You also got to spend a few nights in Portland at the fabulous Trident. How was that?
The Trident Hotel is amazing, just spectacular. Our villa was modern luxury... WiFi everywhere, gorgeous 1950s-inspired furniture, sleek, cool. Trident has a relaxed, rocker-chic aesthetic...
You had front-row seats to Mission Catwalk's Grand Finale. Give us your honest impressions of the show.
Phenomenal! On par with any major fashion capital. The production was amazing; having the models appear at the Trident Castle front door and the walk down the stairs to the runway was brilliant...extremely dramatic and creative...a fantastic use of the surroundings. As at any fashion show there were many 'fashion' groupies, business types, celebrity seekers and a chic fashion crowd.
And the winning designer, Theodore, tell us about his collections.
Theodore's collection was awesome, truly breathtaking. Chic, sophisticated, versatile, urban and modern. His clothes told a beautiful story. I loved the fact that the collection consisted of pieces..mix and match...one could buy a complete look and then add pieces from other looks, ensuring multiple sales and individuality.
You spoke of his collection having global appeal. Please elaborate.
Theodore's collection could be marketed anywhere in the world...understated luxury. It was well thought out and focused; his DNA ran throughout the show... he did his homework.
If you were given the opportunity to speak to those in the region on: 'From runway to retail', what would your salient points be and why?
Define your company's DNA, stick to your vision. Runway sets the tone of your collection... then it has to be made saleable for success at retail. As an example, in Theodore's collection the full skirts need to be modified to sell in the stores. Success at retail is based on quality for the price, perfect fit and on-time or early delivery.
And your suggestion(s)/ pep talk to Keneea Linton-George, the conceptualiser and executive producer of Mission Catwalk?
Keep going... she has an extraordinary amount of energy and an outstanding passion. In order to build a successful fashion industry in the Caribbean, Keneea should organise a fashion calendar... have all of the fashion shows held during the same week...just as they do in every other fashion capital. Due to current economic constraints, buyers and press cannot afford to travel several times a season to view a few collections; however, they will stay in one city for a longer period if there are multiple events occurring.
And to the show's mentor Kay Davitian?
What can I say? Keep going... bravo! Kay is a dynamo; utilise her vast experience and limitless knowledge. And Kay was a delight to spend time with!
And to Theodore the winner?
Continue to be focused, listen...accept new challenges and constructive criticism.
Finally, what's your fashion credo?
Sell, sell, sell!