Wed | Jan 24, 2018

Damaged or distressed: St Thomas youth clothing line makes a hit

Published:Thursday | November 17, 2016 | 12:00 AMShanna Monteith
A model displays one of Anneice Murray’s designs.
Another model displays one of Anneice Murray’s designs.


It was an idea gone wrong that led 23-year-old Anneice Murray to her masterpiece.

A native of Hampton Court in St Thomas, Murray has always had an interest in designing.

"I used to draw on the walls of my house from very early. My mother bought me my first scrapbook at age five so I could stop drawing on her wall.

"I used to draw oddly shaped women in dresses and boots and a few boys in short pants, as how I saw my brother used to dress," she shared.

As she grew older, her love for fashion intensified so she began 'trying her hand' at things.

"My first piece did not turn out well, actually. It was a skirt I made from scratch. Nevertheless, I didn't feel discouraged. I went back to the drawing board and tried again. After a few tries, I got it perfect.

"It was while I was in high school, I saw the skirt in a store but couldn't afford it, so I decided to make it myself," revealed the Morant Bay High School past student.

Fast-forward to today. Murray is two months into owning her first line of clothing, with her introductory pieces being shared over social media.


According to her, it was all born out of an experience gone wrong.

"I was making a dress from a T-shirt. I made the cuts and was ready to wash my dress, but the bleach turned over on it. I decided I was going to wear it anyway because it was different. Surprisingly, people really liked it and I started getting orders."

Murray told Rural Xpress that she began thinking of different ways in which her newly stumbled-upon design could be worn by both sexes.

Her line is now known as Damaged or Distressed and the young woman's clientele has been growing, surpassing her beliefs.

'Custees', as she calls her customers, were first friends, then the orders began coming in from people outside her circle.

"The support has been really good and social media helps a lot in advertising the products," she said.

And though the venture is fairly new, Murray revealed that her pieces are already available in various retail outlets in Morant Bay that buy and resell them.

"My goal is to have retail outlets islandwide with my brand and a few stores of my own in central locations. I plan to just keep moving and expanding like my imagination. Hopefully, I will eventually expand worldwide. I want my brand to be known," she said, adding that she plans to make pieces outside the Distressed line as she doesn't want to bore her customers.

Murray is also currently finishing up a few subjects that will enable her to pursue a future as a public health inspector.