Twenty-eight enterprising locals within the fashion, retail and manufacturing industries, gathered at Jamaica Observer HQ to kick off Jamaica Observer Takes Style Out 2018 , taking place on Thursday, October 4. Seated around the mahogany table of the executive boardroom, guests nibbled on delectable breakfast pastries and croissants courtesy of Jing Shi, for Future Bakery; sipped fresh coconut water, orange juice and Blue Mountain coffee, while catching up with each other. Mumm mimosas flowed freely.
The working fashion brunch did double duty, as it also honoured London-based Jamaican fashion entrepreneur Alessandra Bell. Bell defied impossibility and landed her brand CocoNautical in London's Topshop. With poise and gravitas, she delivered a stellar presentation discussing how she penetrated the beast that is Topshop and lay out a map whereby others could do the same.
Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards 2018 Outstanding Caterer, Celeste Gordon created a meal that was definitely on-brand. Guests were treated to a bacon potato pancake topped with callaloo, poached egg and a Scotch bonnet hollandaise. Freshly baked bread from Jing Shi for Future Bakery paired with “best butter”, orange marmalade and guava jam rounded out the meal.
Speaking with Thursday Food, Gordon said that she wanted to do a variation of a benedict befitting the event's theme. Cognisant of the delicious breads and pastries accompanying her meal, she opted for a rosti-type base to support the well-seasoned callaloo and poached egg. The Scotch bonnet was nuanced in the hollandaise and was accentuated by the piquant flavours of the callaloo.
The three-hour event witnessed a spirited conversation that ranged from the difficulties within the local fashion-manufacturing industry to the pricing of goods for local and foreign markets. Winston Stona, co-founder of Busha Browne's, spoke about the close relationship that food and fashion share. As a closing rally cry, award-winning celebrity hairstylist and designer Lisa McIntosh of House of Neahlis told the group not to leave the momentum and inspiration of the event on the table — “Let's walk out and make it happen!” she charged.
Working brunches such as these happen quite frequently in the fashion industry. This meeting of like-minded Jamaicans is just one small step on the journey to creating an indispensable network of local fashion business women and men so that the fashion industry can compete on the world stage.
Talk about a power brunch!