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Alyssa Simone to LEGO exciting LOLA collection at CFW

Published:Wednesday | June 15, 2016 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman

Caribbean Fashionweek 2016, which will be held at various locations across Kingston, kicks off this week and a young Chinese Jamaican, Alyssa Simone, is one of the brilliant designers who will get an opportunity to showcase her collection at the seminal fashion event this year.

With hopes of introducing Jamaicans to a "unique and cutting- edge" LEGO purse line, dubbed 'Live Out Loud Always' (LOLA), the New York-based designer, says the upcoming Caribbean Fashion Week will be about introducing something "exquisitely new".

She describes the purse as "a hit, and truly a conversational piece".

As a fashionable acronym, LOLA is aptly named after her "beloved" grandmother, Lola, still living today. According to the designer, Lola taught her "how to courageously embody what it means to "live out loud".

Simone is the daughter of Yvette Morrell, executive assistant of Miami Heat Basketball Operations, and describes her mother as an inspiration of "how to be a sophisticated yet tenacious woman".

"Everyone is blown away," she says of her LOLA designs. It was founded by Simone and mother Yvette, nearly a decade ago as a hobby of embellishing purses to create a unique accessory and, has now grown into a business.

Her design was expressed in another light on September 12, 2014 which, Simone recalled, transformed her artisan muse, rolled up her sleeves, and created her first LEGO- design clutch bag.

"I always want to bring my LEGO purse company to fruition and not stopping until everyone spreads 'Living Out Loud Always' around the globe. LOLA will take everyone by surprise, get ready for the ride," she told The Gleaner in an recent interview.


Avant garde


"I bring cutting-edge, avant garde collectibles. I have elevated the industry. Jamaica is where my parents are from, and it is where I feel most connected," she said.

The purses are created using actual lego bricks and designs, which she hopes will help to "empower and elevate others," adding, "if you live out loud then you'll appreciate the brand".

The New York-based Jamaican designer, who has worked with big names in the international fashion and entertainment industry like Karrueche, Erykah Badu, Romero and Britto, among others, is hoping to be a household name in all high-end boutiques. She is confident that the sky will be the limit for her after having Anna Wintour and Bergdorf Goodman at her first fashion show.