Sun | Apr 23, 2017

A strong Signature 78

Published:Sunday | March 8, 2015 | 3:00 AM

Caribbean fashion designers at home and in the diaspora now have a new online platform to showcase their amazing designs to the world thanks to Syntyche 'Syn' Clarke and business partner Tiffani James, who recently launched their online store, Signature 78.

With an ear for music, eye for fashion and bold personal style, Clarke said she saw a unique opportunity to promote music and fashion with her innovative event, Irie Fashion Rave, which was a staple on the New York fashion calendar for a number of years. Signature 78 was born out of the success of Irie Fashion Rave.

Conceptualised in early 2013, Clarke and James, business partners and long-time friends, have spent countless hours travelling, meeting and hand picking indie designers to create what is now the quintessential style-icon online retail store.

"Working together on Irie Fashion Rave, we quickly realised our energy and creativity jelled and that we had an equal love for fashion and music. We felt it was only right we kept our juices flowing with Signature 78," said Clarke.

The 'fashion curators', through Signature 78, are now offering an alternative platform for designers to showcase their designs.

"There are so many amazing designers, not just from Jamaica, but from the Caribbean, who we are looking at, but for now, our eyes are tuned in to Drenna Luna, P** P** Socks, Vain Glory Swim, Kurt Campbell and Lubar Handbags," said Clarke.

The orders have been varied with clients requesting curvy sizes, shoes and accessories. Next year, the team will be looking to add full figure sizes to their collection as "that's an audience they can't wait to reach out to".

"It has been a lot of hard work, and at times, we had doubts about aesthetics, and even budgetary restraints as a start-up company, but the initial response has encouraged us to take things further," said Clarke.

Clarke, the current VP of New York-based Irie Jam radio, where she doubles as producer, programme director, promoter and all-around Jane of all trades, started her career as the executive assistant to the CEO of Big Yard Music, Robert Livingston. Climbing the ladder at Big Yard Music, she worked with Grammy Award-winning artistes Shabba Ranks, Shaggy, Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley and Babyface.

Tiffani James, who is of Jamaican descent, has worked in the fashion business for over 10 years. Now specialising in men's fashion, she has worked for publications such as WWD, GQ Asia, People, and The Fashionisto. Her client list includes Amazon, Free People, Hugo Boss, Brooks Brothers, Ann Taylor, Catherine Malandrino and Macys.