CFW looks to 10th anniversary in 2010
Caribbean Fashion-week (CFW) celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, between June 8 to 14, at the National Indoor Sports Centre in St Andrew.
Kingsley Cooper, chairman of Pulse which organises CFW, said this year's event would represent a combination of the best elements of CFW over the previous nine years.
"While the objective will naturally be to make the 10th anniversary the best CFW ever, our approach is not to seek to top any particular year, as such," Cooper said. "Rather, it is to present an event that finely balances all the key components of Caribbean Fashionweek - the collections, the entertainment, the supermodels, the production, the parties, the celebrities, networking and, most importantly, the business, so as to achieve a result that optimises the quality of the product overall, as well as the thrill and excitement of being there."
Pulse star Oraine Barrett - Contributed photos
Cooper said apart from showcasing fine designs over the years, CFW has been playing a role in developing the business aspect of modelling in the region.
"We found that, while some of our designers were pretty established and had done well over the years, the great majority were not properly structured as businesses," he said. "They were, therefore, not ready or equipped to really go forward. This is why CAFIF (the Caribbean Fashion Industry Association) was founded. Also, this is why we now have a CFW Business Forum and buyer/designer matchmaking meetings at Fashionweek. The commercial output must match the creative artistry. We will do more, where this is concerned, in 2010."
To promote business development, Pulse brought Brussels-based European fashion expert Madame Marie Martine Israel, a director of Mode Action, to CFW last year. Madame Israel met with various industry members and spoke at the Business Forum on pressing issues within the industry. Phillip Armstrong of forum sponsor Pan Caribbean Bank, discussed funding opportunities and business plans with designers.
Cooper added that there has been increasing interest for CFW's 10th anniversary, particularly among non-Caribbean designers, which means only the best will be selected.
"Our 10th anniversary will reflect the very best of what we have to offer, so the new designers who gain selection, will now have their own night, and only the very best will get the opportunity to show on the other nights," he said. "Based on exit information received after the highly attended 2009 show, we are already over-subscribed for this year's show, and so we'll have to sift carefully in order to arrive at the right mix and number of designers for the shows."