Wed | Oct 17, 2018

Making a difference in the business of fashion

Published:Monday | November 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Korto shoot - editorial shoot with reigning Miss Universe Jamaica Kaci Fennell wearing Korto Momolu design.
Ryan Peralto, director, JBDC Incubator and Resource Centre.
Courtney Washington speaking to attendees at BOF 2013.

The boundless potential of the fashion industry in the realm of creativity and cultural development, and its economic impact is one reason The Collection MoDa (TCM) has decided to dedicate its platform to promoting the fashion business in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean.

For superpowers like the United States, the fashion industry has long been one of the biggest employers, and the constant evolution of fashion is not only marked by the different eras of style, but also by the emergence of new and exciting careers.

Stylists, fashion buyers and fashion bloggers, are now staples on the fashion scene but were very few 20 years ago. The technology that gave way to the industrial revolution sent the fashion world spiralling into an economic gale force that is still blowing strong decades later. Today, the behemoth fashion industry contributes billions of dollars into economies all over the world, and modern technology is constantly expanding that reach.

Today, people from all walks of life participate in fashion, so much so, in fact, that the fashion industry has created for itself several niche markets in other industries, such as entertainment and lifestyle, with favourable results. Today, fashion doesn't just happen in Vogue.

Quoting the recently deceased Oscar de la Renta, who is considered one of fashion's most iconic luminaries of all times, "Fashion is about the present and the immediate future. Think in terms of now." Understanding this, TCM event director Kerry-Ann Clarke agrees, is essential to sustaining Jamaica's future in the fashion industry.

The rapid expansion and evolution of the fashion industry and the possibilities that this has signalled for Jamaica and the Caribbean will be discussed by industry experts at TCM's Business of Fashion (BoF) Seminar on November 20.

Representatives from the ExIm Bank, The Richard Branson Centre and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation's (JBDC) business advisory team, along with a host of other partners, will be offering their informed perspective on everything and anything to do with the business aspect of the industry.

Speakers will be tackling topics from trademarks and copyrighting to establishing a visual identity and dynamic social media presence.

"We will be covering a lot in one day. From funding your business to marketing your business. We also want to expose the different aspects of the industry and highlight the various options available for those who have just finished school and are looking for a career in the fashion business," Clarke revealed.

funding options

The seminar is targeting both young entrepreneurs who are looking to launch a fashion start-up, as well as those who are already in the fashion business and want to learn more about the industry and the different gears that keep it turning.

At the JBDC Incubator and Resource Centre located on Marcus Garvey Drive, the seminar will give emerging designers insight on how to protect their brands as well as the available avenues for funding and support.

The Business of Fashion seminar is just one of the steps Clarke is taking to secure the future of Jamaica's fashion industry. By discussing strategies like a financial health check, to any fashion business, Clarke hopes to equip existing and potential business owners in the industry with the insight needed to give their brand a competitive advantage in the aggressive fashion market.

"Emerging designers face challenges all over the world, not just in Jamaica. That's why we've asked Project Runway designer Korto Momolu, who will be showcasing her latest collection in our runway show, to be a guest speaker at the seminar and share her lessons of hardship and offer tips on how to survive the long run," Clarke added.

Momolu found fame on the hit reality television series Project Runway, but has gone on to forge a brand for herself that is now recognised internationally.

NYC stylist Carlton Jones, will also be speaking at the seminar and a copyright lawyer will be on panel to share some insight on some controversial legal issues that can derail unsuspecting business owners.

Clarke is also hoping to expose entrepreneurs to facilities like the JBDC, which, she says, are there to help. "There are many tools available to start-ups and entrepreneurs in Jamaica, but not many persons are aware of them. The JBDC is an indispensable resource in any business endeavour," she stated.

The seminar will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and carries a cover fee of $3,000. Those interested in the fashion business, as well as those who share TCM's vision for growth in the Caribbean through fashion, can register for the seminar at TCM's official website, or call 929-2096.