Mon | Dec 17, 2018

JBDC introduces Irie Magic at Style Week 2018

Published:Thursday | May 17, 2018 | 12:06 AMKimberley Small/Gleaner Writer
Saint International model Christina Knight in a piece from Canadian womenswear label Greta Constantine will debut their latest collection exclusively on the runways of Saint International's Style Week this weekend.

On Monday, the media launch of Saint International's Style Week came with hefty support from government officials and affiliates.

Out in a show of support was deputy chief executive officer of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Harold Davis. In his remarks, Davis said the JBDC wholeheartedly supported the cultural and creative industries. "We believe it's our currency to move our economy into sustained prosperity. The challenge that we have is converting this innate talent of creativity into viable and sustainable business. The JBDC has several gift and craft programmes, and will now add fashion to their developmental efforts."

For Style week, which runs from May 17 to 20, JBDC has partnered with Saint International to showcase the work of 10 emerging fashion designers who have gone through their new development programme Irie Magic.

"Through this, we're gonna take talented designers and work with them, give them

the necessary technical and business coaching, mentoring, networking, production capacity ... to create fashion entrepreneurs who are able to stand alongside international brands," he added.

The programme is intended to revolutionise the landscape of the local industry. The designers' work will be on display today at French Elan at French Embassy, stylised as 'The Mansion'.

"The road to monetise that innate talent and creativity is often not travelled. So we hear things like we're a country of samples," Davis said.

Alando Terrelonge, state minister in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, said, "I believe the philosophy of Saint International has something to do with creating opportunities, expanding horizons. The truth is, that is exactly what Deiwght Peters and the Saint brand have done for more than 14 years. We are presently concluding a document called 'The Cultural and Creative Industries Policy' and in that policy, fashion is also infused," Terrelonge added.

Also out to show their support were: French Ambassador to Jamaica, Jean-Michel Despax and his wife; Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance Fayval Williams; and General Manager of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) Dr Damian Graham.

Some of Saint's international stars to grace the runway include: Tami Williams; Naki Depass and Tevin Steele. Steele was a highlight model last year, after being discovered in Portland selling coconuts, and in short order signed in an exclusive contract to walk in Saint Laurent's fall 2017 runway show. Williams is the only Caribbean model to appear twice on the cover of French Elle Magazine and appeared in multiple global advertising campaigns for Valentino, Gucci, and Top Shop.

Williams' runway resume include top brands like Versace, Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, Valentino, Balmain, Chanel, Pucci, Gucci, Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen and Maison Martin Margiela.