A year in fashion not too early - Cooper explains Resort Fashion Week business strategy
On the surface, having the media launch of CFW Resort Fashion Week 2019 last Friday seemed premature. However, "a year is not early", Kingsley Cooper, chairman of Pulse, which stages Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW), pointed out to The Gleaner. "It is a lot of work if you are going to do something new and different and special - to plan it and to bring the partners on board. You need lots of partners to make something like this work," he said.
"Pulse has always been about business development, designer development from the point of view of how they can build their line, their brand and grow business, and so this is a perfect way to do it."
Resort Fashion Week is derived from the juxtaposition of two concepts - the Caribbean as a tourist destination and designers driving fashion. "The Caribbean is the perfect place for Resort Fashion Week. Designers can export to the 12 million tourists who come to the Caribbean every year. Without leaving the Caribbean, they can get their designs sold through the hotel stores, in the boutiques and reach a vast market. So it is great for designer development, business development and, of course, it is also attractive to international designers to come in to the region and show their work. There clearly are strong positives in a number of ways." Cooper explained.
The best regional designers will be on show at Resort Fashion Week 2019, but other interested stylists may reach out to Pulse, who will do an assessment to determine readiness for the market. Cooper said Pulse has always reached out to hotels "because you want to ensure that designers who are ready to sell have buyers". He has done the grand tour of the hotel sector in Jamaica and outside of Jamaica and knows that the resorts are ready, once the designers have the required quality. consistency and reliability to offer a product that they can sell to their guests.
The first Resort Fashion Week will take place in Kingston, Jamaica, but it will also be executed in other Caribbean countries and major cities around the world, starting with a companion event planned for London in 2019.