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Serenaphobia: fear of a strong black woman

Published:Monday | July 20, 2015 | 7:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence
Cee Wee Designs capturing the motherland with her beautiful clutch designs.
Models showcasing two vibrant clutches by Cee Wee Designs.
Can you say ‘heavenly fabulous’? That’s what this design is.
Cee Wee Designs gorgeous clutch rocking the runway.
Model showing off a Cee Wee Designs handbag at Caribbean Fashion week with owner Cherine Warner (right) smiling proudly.
This design plays on your wild side with the seductive zebra print.
This Cee Wee Design handbag is small, seductive, with a little bit of playful with its long straps.
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Dressed to kill in a little black number or a seductive red but you are missing that complement. To bring you right to the edge of the fashion inferno, a Cee Wee Designs handbag is the perfect finishing touch.

Cherie Warner, the artist behind Cee Wee Designs remembers designing from a young age when she created clothes for her dolls. This she admitted was a small introduction to her passion but was short-lived since her mother did not approve of her using her sewing machine at such a young age.

"Once I got to UWI (University of the West Indies), Mona, and joined the dance troupe on Mary Seacole hall, I became costume mistress. Among other things, I was responsible for designing all costumes for the dance troupe. Since then, I guess I've never really stopped designing," she noted.

Warner, who completed her degree in linguistics with a double minor in zoology and Caribbean sign language interpreting, continued with her passion for designing. She continued to do research on design and then in 2013 she showcased her line as Cee Wee Designs.

Why the name Cee Wee Designs?

"As a child, my cousins would call me CeeWee instead of my full name, Cherie Warner. I wanted a name that would identify with me, without using my actual legal name. Second, Cee Wee Designs commands a certain amount of attention, especially since some of our designs are quite bold and colourful," she admitted.

Bold and colourful they were when she showcased them on the first night of Caribbean Fashion Week 2015. There were clutches, totes, and handbags that lit up the runway.

What's next for Cee Wee? "We plan to introduce some new items in the near future. We have had numerous requests from men. So we are working on a line that would cater to them," she noted.

In advising upcoming designers: "Plan. Research. Implement. Reassess. It's a lot of hard work, but if it's your passion, it's not really work."

Here are a few of her designs on and off the runway.