What is Caribbean Fashion at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)

Earlier this week, the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York hosted a panel discussion on the Caribbean fashion sensibility, "What is Caribbean Fashion?" with stylist and production designer, Richard Young, and reality TV star, designer & FIT graduate, Nikhol Hing, in a discussion moderated by Janice Lawrence-Clarke, President and Creative Director of JLC Productions, in the Katie Murphy Amphitheater.

The audience was filled with notable diplomatic guests such as Ambassador Loreen Bannis-Roberts of Dominica, Ambassador Penelope Beckles of Trinidad and Tobago, and Ambassador Keisha McGuire of Grenada; socialites such as former Miss Trinidad and Tobago, Nicole Dyer-Griffith, Jazz singer, R’kardo Stevon; fashion designers, Romero Bryan, Etu Evans, Kristin Frazer, Glenroy March, and Mell Simon; and members of the dance company Something Positive.

The panel touched on subjects ranging from the Caribbean’s multi-cultural/multi-ethnic makeup, to the stigma of being known as a Caribbean designer, and acknowledging the Caribbean aesthetic.

We caught up with the fabulous Ms. Lawrence-Clarke, the organizer of this event, and she expressed her gratitude to those who supported this open dialogue and showcase. She is beyond excited that the outcomes of this discussion is the proposal of a major fashion presentation of Caribbean designers here in New York, and the need for further education both at the industry and university level. She is already ahead of the curve in steps to support education. Last year, she established the Caribbean American Fashion Exchange™ Scholarship Fund at FIT for Caribbean students who live in the region, to attend FIT.

The discussion was accompanied by two fashion presentations featuring several Caribbean and Caribbean-American fashion designers. Among the noted designers were Drenna Luna, Donna Dove, Marie Francis, Marlon George, Heather Jones, Claudia Pegus, Dominique La Roche, Meiling, Harvey Robertson, and The Cloth.

Sponsors for this event included Flag Fantasy, Leros Point-to-Point Limousine Services, Online Marketing, Inc., and ROW NYC Hotel.

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