The Collection MoDa 2014
When fashion mogul Kerry-Ann Clarke first decided to host a world-class fashion showcase in Kingston, her vision was to make Jamaica the fashion hub of the Caribbean.
Now she is getting ready for the third installation of her acclaimed fashion event - The Collection MoDa (TCM) - coming closer to realising her vision.
TCM has grown since its first runway show dazzled guests and a host of celebrity designers from Project Runway and the likes, as well as some fashion bigwigs three years ago.
This year's celebrity roster includes America's Next Top Model Cycle 14 winner Krista White, supermodel Sesilee Lopez, and celebrity stylist/consultant Arnold Milfort, who has worked with the likes of Phillip Lim and Oscar De La Renta.
no lack of talent
A lot has changed over the three years, but Clarke's vision remains the same. "There is no lack of creative talent here in Jamaica, and certainly not where fashion is concerned." Jamaican designers have proven their worth in the industry, but support for these designers has been diminutive; even more so for emerging designers. This uninspiring level of support for the Jamaican fashion industry on a whole is why Clarke has decided to promote the business aspect of the fashion industry under the TCM umbrella.
This year, in addition to The Business of Fashion Seminar which will be held on Thursday, November 20, a tradeshow and buyers' market will be held showcasing the work of artisans and designers from the region. Eventually, the vision is to create a platform for the exhibitors to sell their work to wholesale buyers as well as end users.
The seminar has been a part of the showcase since inception, and has attracted many eager-to-learn fashion fledglings as well as mavens looking to become moguls. A panel of industry experts is placed at their disposal, and at the end of each seminar, attendants are left enriched with invaluable insider knowledge about the workings of the fashion industry and how to strategically start/run a successful fashion business.
Like many of the more creative genres, fashion, and more specifically high fashion, is usually passed over as an indulgent luxury commodity. However, the fashion industry is a multibillion-dollar global industry with an impressive employment statistic. In fact, the fashion industry has long been one of the largest employers in the United States.
The endless possibilities and boundless potential of the fashion industry, not only in the realm of creativity and cultural evolution and development, but also from an economic standpoint, is one reason why Clarke is dedicated to promoting high fashion in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean.
Clarke has also used TCM as a platform for talented local designers, including emerging designers, to showcase their collections. TCM also teamed up with First Global Bank to offer the $250,000 Moda Grant for aspiring local designers.
As TCM gets ready for its third staging, she is hoping to see more support for local and regional designers.
"TCM's vision is rooted in the belief that Jamaica does possess the infrastructure, skill and creative genius that is required to make our fashion industry a success. But to do this we must become innovators in the industry instead of playing catch-up. We must support our emerging talents in all areas and embrace the avant-garde instead of forcing them into prescribed molds; we must invest wisely and grow." Clarke explained.