SO2 (PART 1A)
The AC Hotel Kingston was the venue Saturday, December 2 for the fifth staging of the Island Child Style (ICS) runway show. The property, the brainchild of branding expert Norma Williams, parenting consultant Michelle Gordon, and financial advisor and runway coach Brandon Ferguson, stands as the first and only Caribbean runway show dedicated exclusively to children’s collections from regional designers. Beyond the glitz and glamour, ICS is a transformative movement aimed at instilling positivity, self-appreciation, confidence, and a profound sense of importance in the young minds that grace the runway.
This year’s staging brought together 127 children who confidently strutted down the 80-foot runway, each one representing the epitome of Caribbean elegance. The event showcased a staggering 21 collections, carefully crafted by designers who infused their unique cultural influences into every stitch and seam. Eschew all thoughts of ennui! The slick production handled with aplomb by Terri-Karelle Reid, complete with complementary music, breathtaking vistas from LED screens, timely intermissions and the most adorable youngsters, kept eyes trained on the runway. The collections featured in this year’s ICS runway show included: Caribbean Airlines, Tiny Hands and Feet, Le Marie, Madison Victoria, Richelle, Roco Byo Designs , Zuri Izabelle, Callaloo x T&T, Endless Designs, Pesche, Mellar Mario, Lee Ann Designz, Simply Majestic, Kadian Nicely, King’s Kreation, We Name True, Cleen Designs, S.A.M.J.S, Tribe Nine Studios, Trendzy By Ackeilia, and New York-based Jamaican fashion designer Samantha Black for Sammy B Designs, whose collection closed the show.
A poignant moment saw the spotlight lingering on ICS model Ashley Dousounmou, who has been an integral part of every ICS show since its inception, and who has received a diagnosis of severe scoliosis that has progressively worsened over the years, causing a significant shift in her spine. Despite her concerns last year about the extent of the shift affecting her chances of being selected, she defied the odds and participated. Not so this year, alas! Well, at least not by walking the runway. Ashley instead issued a challenge to other children facing similar circumstances â€“ urging them to believe in themselves and their potential. In a self-deprecating manner, she referred to herself as a “curvy model”.
In a heartwarming gesture, the ICS team surprised her with a generous donation of $100K, bringing her one step closer to the necessary funds for surgery. Total Travel has committed to providing Ashley with a plane ticket once she accumulates enough funds to cover the surgery, and Caribbean Airlines will provide travel for both Ashley and her mum for the requisite surgery.
Kudos to the ICS team on continuing to raise the bar on the production of a fashion show. Our hope is that the trio will be retained to collectively lift the standard of shows in our beloved country.
SO2 spotlights the future of tomorrow and looks forward to the sixth staging.
Photos: Karl Mclarty
Collection 1 : Caribbean Airlines
Collection 2: Tiny Hands and Feet
Collection 3: Le Marie
Collection 4: Madison Victoria
Collection 5: Richelle
Collection 6: Roco Byo Designs
Collection 7: Zuri Izabelle
Collection 8: Callaloo x T&T
Collection 9: Endless Designs
Collection 10: Pesche
Collection 11: Mellar Mario
Collection 12: Lee Ann Designz
Collection 13: Simply Majestic
Collection 14: Kadian Nicely
Collection 15: King’s Kreation
Collection 16: We Name True
Collection 17: Cleen Designs
Collection 18: S.A.M.J.S
Collection 19: Tribe Nine Studios
Collection 20: Trendzy By Ackeilia
Collection 21: Sammy B Designs