Anya Ayoung-Chee will be the envy of Bacchanal Jamaica Road March
Over the past few years, there has been a strong resurgence and increase in interest in soca among party-goers in Jamaica, positioning Bacchanal Jamaica Road March this Sunday, April 12 as a must-do event on the social calendar.
One of the most highly anticipated features of this year's road march this year is the participation of Appleton Special Dream Weekend as a section band. Two Thousand and eight Miss Trinidad and Tobago Anya Ayoung-Chee will be its host.
The Trinidadian fashion designer is also the first Caribbean winner of 'Project Runway' (Season 9 in 2011).
Anya currently owns and operates cANYAval, (the merging of her first name, Anya, and the essence of Trinidad Carnival). The cANYAval shop is an online retail store that markets and sells carnival-inspired clothing and accessories designed by a collection of Caribbean designers selected by Ayoung-Chee. cANYAval also produces an annual fÍte every Carnival Saturday in Trinidad and Tobago, that contributes to her chosen charity - The Tallman Foundation.
Her costume, Envy, designed by Keisha Als with direction from Ayoung-Chee, sold out at the recent Appleton Special Dream Weekend. Als described the costume design as "dream-inspired, with white and iridescent components intended to inspire an ethereal experience for the masquerade on road march day".
Ayoung-Chee is already having a fantastic Carnival year, thanks to Trinidad's world-renowned festival in February, in which she is a a seasoned participant. She has also experienced road marches in Barbados, New York and Los Angeles. This will be her first time in Jamaica for carnival, a prospect she is very excited about.
"Carnival is a spiritual experience, a combination of creative expression and genuine euphoria. Carnival also provides an opportunity to unify the Caribbean region as we celebrate the festival in each island, together. The growth of Carnival globally gives us an avenue to expand the Caribbean brand beyond our shores."
Ayoung-Chee also shared a few tips as a part of Appleton Special's Rum Rules campaign: "There are no rules to playing mas ... free up! Learn the soca tracks ahead of time, as this makes the experience of the road so much more enjoyable, and find a fab pair of sunglasses to keep the sun out of your eyes, and always get great photos."
After chipping down the road with Appleton Special Dream Weekend, she will return home to Trinidad to work on her new initiative called HOME, which provides a space for creative companies to work and collaborate, and houses a retail outlet, a cafe, event space and co-working space.
Additionally, she intends to continue to grow the cANYAval brand by collaborating with other major Caribbean brands and finding innovative methods of introducing carnival to new markets, and developing the Anya Ayoung-Chee Foundation that supports entrepreneurship in fashion in the Caribbean. The foundation aims to increase the number of successful fashion brands and companies emerging from the Caribbean.