Avia Collinder, Outlook Writer
Nesta Garrick, who stands six foot seven in socks and possesses the build and refreshingly ethnic look which could easily gain him an international modelling career, is at 24 years old, more interested in starting an international movement, using fashion as the vehicle of information dissemination.
"I consider myself to be a very spiritual person," says Garrick, the artist and entrepreneur who recently launched Carpe D.M. - a clothing and lifestyle concept - at Style Week Jamaica.
According to the 24-year old, he is pushing not just fashion, but a philosophy which has the potential to change how every individual looks at the world.
Rolling out his new concept in island wear to the beat of reggae and rap at the fashion block party in May, the crowd bubbled as designs featuring an eclectic mixture of the hip hop and punk rock culture of the streets, the preppy culture of the Ivy League, the high-end couture of the runways, the reggae and Rastafarian culture of the Caribbean, made their way down the catwalk stationed on Knutsford Boulevard.
It was a triumphant moment for the artist who was prevented from graduating from high school - St. George's College for boys - in what he recalls was a moment of injustice.
Expressing his opinions
Educated at St. Peter and Paul, Jamaica College and St. George's College in Kingston, Nesta, who has never been shy in expressing his opinions, found himself on the wrong side of the school authorities at George's when he told a teacher his mind in the loudest terms possible.
Making an undignified exit from high school, he departed for California and Pearce and Mission colleges where information technology held his interest for a while.
Nesta Garrick, however, was always more of an artist than a nerd and soon dropped out of college to follow in the footsteps of his father, Neville Garrick, graphic design and a former art director for reggae superstar Bob Marley.
In Los Angeles, he started helping his father to create and execute album covers for Soulfly, the Marley family and others.
Nesta also created artwork for Damian Marley and Tuesday, a hip hop artist under his management.
It was in 2005 that Garrick decided he wanted to "come up with something meaningful" in which to showcase his artistic talent, but it had to promote "a positive message." Drawing from the influence of the diverse L.A. landscape and his carefree Jamaican upbringing, he founded Carpe D.M. Clothing.
Nesta explains that he lives by the motto made famous by the Roman poet Horace - Carpe Diem, which in English translates to 'Seize the day'. Using this positive message, he has created a wearable philosophy.
Says Garrick, "Carpe diem is a positive, universal concept and we try to get out ideas from a global spectrum."
In May, Nesta Garrick made his international debut in Style Week, a four-day affair showcasing everything from leisure wear to French collections and urban wear.
From Carpe DM Kingstonians had a chance to see a collection, includes Ts, outwear, lounge and athletic wear for men and women in styles as varying as vintage and punk rock to preppy, to a style reminiscent of the Jamaican, reggae-inspired way of life.
The line also featured the rugged Roman-inspired logo on styles like women's track suits, tank tops and short sets, and men's hoods and jackets. Garrick plans to expand the line with high-end denim and couture collections for men and women.
Carpe D.M. Clothing has two core brands: CarpeDM and CarpeJA. The former is designed specifically for the North America market, focusing on their tastes, preferences as well as fashion trends. The CarpeJA line represents the Jamaica/Caribbean line which captures the culture of the people.
Several of the current pieces include the laurel wreath design and 'Seize the Day' detailing. Women's tanks and men's Ts feature graphics like the silhouette of Africa, images of the island of Jamaica in symbolic red, gold and green and Emperor Haile Selassie 1 of Ethiopia - a nod to Garrick's strong Jamaican heritage.
Right standards of quality
Garrick remembers, "The main challenge was how to accomplish what wewanted with the right standards of quality." Expenses were also another mountain to climb.
He admits that he has poured his earnings from artiste management, marketing and graphic design work done in the United States into his new company.
Other entrepreneurial ventures for Garrick include Carpe D.M. Entertainment, managing artist from Jamaica and L.A. and For the People - entertainment management and booking company. Garrick established himself as a talented freelance designer early in his career, and has created designs for Zion Rootswear, Universal music, Bob Marley Foundation and others.
Garrick has used his talents as a graphic designer to create logos for MTV's Wild 'N Out hosted by Nick Cannon, and design apparel for Tuff Gong Clothing, headed by Rohan Marley, a subsidiary of Tuff Gong Music and Catch a fire Clothing.
Nesta has also executed marketing efforts for Damian, Stephen Marley as well as Andrew Tosh, son of Wailer Peter Tosh. He also worked behind the scenes to help execute the Bob Marley Foundation's Africa Unite Concert in Ethiopia. The concert is held each year during Black History Month to commemorate Marley's birthday and to benefit the Ethiopian people.
Garrick still resides in Los Angeles, California, whose urban ethos flavours his work and Caribbean consciousness.
In Kingston his he has taken over the shop once occupied by his mother, the 'Wanderer', who is known locally for her forays into the South American art market to bring back objets d'art for collectors.
Nesta sees the potential for success as limitless, but adds that he is equally interested in pushing the movement - Seize the Day.
His CarpeJA line encourages its wearers to seize Jamaica. The line reflects Rastafari and Nesta says, it isn't the typical tourist product that will be found in stores.
CarpeDM will also be targeting other cultural zones - including Australia and New Zealand, as areas to spread its philosophy and signature clothing.
Nesta Garrick states, "You do not have to sit and do what anybody says. Have a dream. Do it. Live it. To push this philosophy is worth more than money."