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US-based J'can designer a finalist in Lifetime television contest

Published:Monday | May 11, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Hope Wade beside one of her Hope Wade Designs pieces.

United States (US)-based Jamaican designer Hope Wade recently received the wonderful news that she is one of three finalists selected to move forward in the A&E Lifetime Television Network's fashion contest series Project Runway A Critique with Tim.

The Network's congratulatory note to Wade stated: "We loved your submission and felt inspired by the risks you are willing to take to pursue your fashion goals, and your work showcases unique talent and a fine-honed point of view." The finals which will be announced in a few weeks, carries a cash prize of US$10,000.

The popular Network series features American fashion consultant Tim Gunn, well-known in fashion circles as an on-air mentor to designers on the television reality programme Project Runway. The reality series led to two spin-off shows - Tim Gunn's Guide to Style and Under The Gunn.

"I am ecstatic at being given this extraordinary opportunity for emerging designers like myself, to showcase our talents and abilities," says Wade.

In her quest to excel in the competitive world of fashion, Wade has presented her eclectic mix of designs at London Fashion Week in 2013 where she was among elite fashion designers representing the US in the Emerging Trends Fashion Challenge.

Known for her use of rich fabrics, such as silk, linen and lace, her opulent designs has not only garnered her a dedicated clientele, but they have received rave reviews during Pulse's annual prestigious Caribbean Fashion Week in 2011, 2012 and 2014 in Jamaica. Her designs have also been showcased at other popular fashion shows across the US, such as Fashion Fusion, Irie Fashion Rave, World Resort Casino, Harlem Fashion Week, Black Expo and John Blassingame Designer Fashion Show.




In December 2014, Academy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of famer Darlene Love wore Hope Wade Designs during a Christmas performance on the David Letterman Show. The Hope Wade Designs piece was a red trumpet-skirted ball gown that was the finale piece showcased during her 2014 Caribbean Fashion Week Collection.

When asked how she got started in the fashion business, Hope used the old adage 'Necessity is the mother of invention'. She revealed that while out of work she needed a special dress for a New Year's Eve event, and using the limited knowledge that she gained while watching her mother sew, she crafted her own design for the event. "Everyone asked me where I bought the dress when I arrived at the party; this encouraged me to start my own business" she said.

In 1991, Hope Wade Designs was born as a custom-design fashion house for sophisticated women looking for outstanding couture designs.

Also an accomplished actress, in 2012 Hope played the lead role in the Off Broadway stage play All My Struggles and was nominated as the Most Outstanding Performer for the ACOR Awards. (Arts Council 0f Rockland). Among her other accolades was the Designer Best Dress Award for Miss Jamaica Nation in August 2014.