Kerry-Ann Clarke: MoDa Goddess
Kerry-Ann Clarke is passionate about what she does. The founder of the lifestyle store Kerrymanwomanhome, and managing director of The Collection MoDA, told Flair, "When you have a passion, you just know it. There's no guessing. It's something in your 'gut' that you feel. I've felt it ever since I can remember, and creativity in every shape and form still excites and resonates with me today."
That passion lead her, six years ago, to create what is without a doubt the premier fashion event on the island - The Collection MoDA.
"The Collection MoDA has been a great journey thus far and I am quite pleased with the growth from year to year. The vision for the MoDA platform is for it to become the leading trade-show platform for creative Caribbean talent. We are looking to partner with business professionals to guide MoDA creatives on taking their business to the next level so that they can focus on the design elements of their craft and be able to fulfil wholesale orders from not only stores in the Caribbean, but also be equipped with the knowledge and tools to start exporting to additional markets."
All this is achievable through MoDa Market. "My dream is to welcome international chain store buyers that already are supporting artisanal work to the MoDA series of events, and for them to shop Caribbean talent at MoDA Market. There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done. I think, realistically, we need another five years to get anywhere near what we envision for the series of events."
The Collectiom MoDA is invitation only - a deliberate move that demonstrates Clarke's seriousness about the event.
"Fashion is a multimillion-dollar industry. I want to promote the seriousness of the industry and not have a show for the entertainment value only, but rather invite persons who are genuinely interested in seeing growth for our designers. The looks from the runway are available to the customer after the show and MoDA Market serves the purpose of designer- customer interaction and also wholesale buyer-designer interaction."
It is a serious thing. After all, fashion is not just superficial. "It's a form of expression and I admire people who stand out. It's the first thing that people see before you have a chance to say a single word. It's unspoken language. How can it be superficial?"
And the Mandeville native should know. Having studied at the Parson's School of Design and interned at the renowned Vogue Paris, she knows what she's talking about. She has been on the grind for a long time, made mistakes and learnt from them.
"I think the biggest mistake for me was trying to do everything by myself and not feeling like I could trust someone with a responsibility. Needless to say, I became overwhelmed and stressed, so I have learnt to delegate responsibilities."