Ann-Marie Vaz signs on as patron to young designers
The first Design a Dress initiative was launched in 2015 by award winning destination wedding planner Helen Graham and saw more than 15 young designers, many new to the design market, vie for top spot.
They were given four weeks to design a beach-themed wedding dress, with the winner walking away with a $100,000 cash prize and a photo spread in The Gleaner's Flair Magazine.
This year, the organisers of the event want to do more. According to Paula Pinnock, managing director for FYI Consultancy Group.
"We wanted to create a competition that would encourage brides to have a choice to buy Jamaican, and we also wanted to ensure that the Design a Dress competition provided a truly viable option for our young designers.
Believe in Brand Jamaica
"We wanted to partner with someone that believed in brand Jamaica, that supported the local design industry and gave young designers a voice. there is no one better that we could think of than Ann-Marie Vaz to mentor these young designers".
According to Vaz, who is a philanthropist and staunch supporter of brand Jamaica, "everyone knows that when it comes to fashion that my preference is always to be dressed by a Jamaican designer. To be given the opportunity to provide guidance and support for them is a truly an honour for me. I want to challenge them to see this as a real business opportunity that could potentially change their lives forever".
The Design a Dress competition kicked off on November 14, giving new hopefuls eight weeks this time around to design, sew and submit their dresses for the 2017 competition. This year, designers are challenged to create a tropical-themed wedding dress for a cash prize of $100,000 as well as other prizes, including the mentorship programme.
Having a patron on board allows the organisers to invest in the long-term success of these individuals entering the competition and ensuring that they get the necessary support needed to launch a viable career.
Finalists in the Design a Dress competition will participate in the Helen G Bridal Fashion Show on January 29, at the Spanish Court Hotel Worthington.
Sponsors of the Helen G Bridal Series include FYI Consultancy Group, The Flair Magazine, Jamaica Wedding Photo, White Lotus, Sleek, Jamaica Wedding Photography, The Production Box, Supreme Systems.