SO 2 - Virtual Fashion Show

SO 2 - Virtual Fashion Show

Observer makes history with world's first-ever, multi-location virtual fashion show

Sunday, August 02, 2020

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The Jamaica Observer created history Tuesday with the staging of the world's first-ever virtual fashion show, featuring designers from six countries.

The show — presented in partnership with Sagicor, The Best Dressed Chicken, and H&L Rapid True Value — was endorsed by global fashion icon Naomi Campbell, who has Jamaican heritage.

“I am so happy that Novia McDonald-Whyte and the Jamaica Observer have brought together designers from the Caribbean, Canada and Nigeria for a virtual celebration of fashion. If the last few months have taught us anything, it is that we have the power to create our own narrative and our own icons. I can't wait to see the fresh, new interpretations of style,” she said.

The global digital event spotlighted 13 designers. From Jamaica: James Black, Mina Robertson, Ashley Rousseau, Keenea Linton George, Bill Edwards and Carlton Brown. From Barbados: Nefertari Caddle and Candi Nicholls. From the Commonwealth of The Bahamas: Theodore Eylett. From Trinidad and Tobago: Meiling Esau and Robert Young. From Canada: Jamaican-born Kirk Pickersgill and Greta Constantine; and from Nigeria, Mai Atafo.

“The last few months have forced us to engage our creative muscles in ways we have never before. The live experiences that defined our content simply evaporated, and so we were challenged to rethink everything,” said McDonald-Whyte, the Observer's senior associate editor, lifestyle & social content.

“Working through a crisis to bring new ideas to the fore meant that we had to strengthen existing relationships and forge new connections across the world,” she said.

Alysia Moulton-White, assistant vice-president, Sagicor Group Marketing, described the Observer's webinar series as an example of innovation at its best.

“The tremendous knowledge shared by the various guests over several weeks was nothing short of extraordinary. We are happy to be part of something that has brought light and life to many entrepreneurs, SMEs, businesses and individuals alike,” she said.

“The historic virtual fashion show is an amazing triumph for our designers — local and abroad. All will be able to attend this fierce runway show no matter where they are. This is how you pivot! Congratulations, O team,” said Moulton-White.

Andrew Ellis, brand manager, H&L Rapid True Value, said his company was equally excited to support this new digital platform for lifestyle content.

“The last few months have been about business unusual, and like the Jamaica Observer, we know the importance of winning through digital innovation,” said Ellis.

Avadaugn Sinclair, regional marketing manager, The Best Dressed Chicken, was also effusive in her praise.

“This is a challenging time for everyone, but we believe that if we are going to grow strong we need to be even more creative and connected to our purpose. The lifestyle content produced by Novia McDonald-Whyte and Observer, celebrating design, art and thinking, is an example that we are all working for better days.”

The fashion show was the latest in a series of virtual events hosted by the newspaper featuring experts and new voices in everything from retail to self-care. The historic event received rave reviews from those who checked in from: Zambia, Mexico, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Finland, wIreland, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, West Africa, Kenya, Switzerland, France, Chile, The United Kingdom, Argentina, United Arab Emirates and the USA.

From the Caribbean: Jamaica, Antigua & Barbuda, Guyana, Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, Saint Maarten, Grenada, St Lucia, Barbados, Dominica, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, Haiti and The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

Additional endorsements came from Milan-based fashion influencer Tamu McPherson and New York-based fashion blogger Opal Stewart. Twenty thousand people joined in.

On the big day, Observer webinar host Novia McDonald-Whyte sat front row with four guests in a comfy space created by Shikima Hinds of Shikima Hinds events/concierge at the Phase Three studio. The virtual fashion show also attracted a series of watch parties across the island. One such was held at the Manor Park pied a terre of attorney-at-law Ashley-Ann Foster. Foster along with Angelie Spencer Home (ASH) principal Angelie Martin-Spencer gathered a group of stylish friends — dressed in the labels of the presenting designers, of course — for an intimate viewing.

If you missed out on the live broadcast check out

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




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