Sneak preview of André Rowe's Resort 2015 collection
To break into the interna-tional area of haute couture is no easy task, but upcoming High Street Designer André Rowe is not daunted.
He's a man on a mission, possessed with the skills and talents to go all the way. Rowe recently joined forces with top Jamaican fashion photographer Wade Rhoden and stylist Michael Atkinson to present a sneak preview of his Resort 2015 collection. A final year food and beverage student at the University of Technology, Rowe draws inspiration for his latest men's collection from what he describes as looks from the streets of Paris.
Rowe tells Flair, "The colours for this collection was inspired by the Soldanza Plantain Chips wrapper which motivated me to create a voice, one that speaks to high fashion, quality and luxury. This collection targets fashion-conscious men who want to make a fashion statement through a sporty look and wish to complement their female counterpart."
He revealed that when he conceptualised his Resort collection, he wanted to make a bold statement and to ensure Jamaica takes its place on the global fashion stage. For this collection, Rowe worked with Puma (Jamaica), Kyu Melange and Kar and Chach (United States) to accessorise his collection while creating an appealing look for today's professional and modern man.
According to the young designer, working with Soldanza and Puma for this collection has presented him with an opportunity to showcase his talents to a local audience, but he now has his sights set on tapping the international market, particularly the principal fashion capitals of London, Milan, New York and Paris.
Rowe says this collection demonstrates how he plans to position his name in mens' wear by creating a Jamaican fashion label focused on 'sportism and youth minimalism'. He has sought to keep abreast of developments in the global fashion industry by creating looks that pair with the international sports brand Puma while inspired by a regional brand such as Soldanza.
His latest avant-garde look for the 2014 season, titled 'Viva 180', was inspired by The Gleaner's 180th anniversary. Rowe defines his Viva 180 look as Live 180, meaning the red and white hand-cut paper petals represent the life that The Gleaner has brought to the local media landscape for 180 years. The blue, which represents the newspaper's colour, and the glass on the bodice of the dress, is a reflection into the future for The Gleaner and Rowe as a designer.
After dressing The Gleaner's Managing Director Christopher Barnes for the launch of Restaurant Week and Jamaica Public Service President and CEO Kelly Tomblin, Rowe is of the view that designers need to become more assertive and take greater care in understanding the business of fashion, in order to be taken seriously in the global market.
Rowe is beaming even more with confidence after receiving some positive feedback from Usain Bolt from the launch of his Resort 2015 collection during Collection Moda 2014. He said the world's fastest man commented on his line and stated that there are items in the collection he could definitely see himself wearing.
Rowe revealed to Flair that his singular focus after school is fashion. He believes that as he continues to perfect his craft, creating pieces that are edgy, comfortable and vibrant, he'll rise to the top of his class.