Style Observer

By Design

Sunday, September 10, 2017

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Back in July, when the industry-influential Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)/Vogue Fashion Fund was announced, our homegrown son and Big Apple-based jewellery and leather accessories designer Matthew 'Mateo' Harris was counted among the 10 shortlisted finalists for the chance to take home US$400,000 plus esteemed mentorship from CFDA members and Vogue editors. Harris's impressive selection had SO thinking of our own design talent here on The Rock, and the inherent possibilities they possess to make a quantum leap to greater heights. We've rounded up a promising crop of 15 designers — diligently honing their craft in footwear, leather goods, resortwear, mens- and womenswear — and who, given a sufficient platform and the right insider guidance, could become the next big things at the international fashion weeks.

Dionne Taylor
Chances are if it's a formal engagement in the capital, the confident lady seated across the table picked up that seriously styling dress off the racks at the of-the-moment New Kingston-located boutique Coochi-Anna's. Retailer Dionne Taylor has tossed her hat in the ring as a designer, and debuted a collection at CFW that rivals her coveted merchandise. Let's see what's next up Taylor's sleeve.

Andre Rowe
Idiosyncratic aesthetics and keen detailing are designer Andre Rowe's hallmarks. His most recent menswear showcases have summoned European sartorial sensibilities with his 2017 resort collecton looking perfectly cast for bods lounging in the sand and surf of St Barts while his Spring/Summer 2014 collection are apropos wardrobe choices for Berlin urbanites making a night of it on the town.

Elemental and rustic, Sabrina Reynolds' leather accessories bring the wearer close to nature with an eye for unfinished edges and patchwork textures. Her statement-making pieces revel in both practicality and celebrating fashion for art's sake.

If it's one designer who understands cohesion, it's Zaid Smith who moonlights as a runway model, and embraces both ends of the gender spectrum through strong variations on a theme, whether through his men's or women's pieces. For his 2017 work, embodied with his commendable womenswear ZS presentation seen early this summer at Caribbean Fashion Week, Smith continues to refine his vision.

As a former model, designer Kadian Nicely understands how to enhance the female form in flattering attire, and is challenged to meet her self-anointed label as a creator of 'high fashion and ready to wear' for the beautiful young ones.

Her devotees are musicians, artists and those with a penchant for Rastafari culture
with African waxprints, column silhouettes and maxi hemlines. Count us aboard the
Mamayashi train.




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