Gavin Douglas lives his dream: Fashion designer quickly rises up the ranks in UK fashion industry

Published: Sunday | May 1, 2011 Comments 0
Gavin Douglas, pictured here on the Caribbean Fashionweek runway with Nadine Willis in 2008. - Contributed
Gavin Douglas, pictured here on the Caribbean Fashionweek runway with Nadine Willis in 2008. - Contributed

Garfene Grandison, Gleaner Writer

While attending high school, Gavin Douglas reaised he had a penchant for designing and it was not long after leaving, that he decided he wanted to be a fashion designer. Douglas graduated from university with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in fashion and went on to set up his own fashion label, GavinDouglas. The rest is high-fashion history.

The British-Jamaican is now internationally recognised as an innovative fashion designer. His many accolades include, The Avant-Garde Designer of the Year (2004), The Fashion Fringe Award (2006), Smirnoff Originator Award (2007) and the Caribbean Master Designer Award (2008).

elite label

His fashion label is an elite ladies-wear label that has garnered amazing success within a short period of time. Douglas' bold and ultra chic designs have have been worn by A list celebrities and are regularly featured in some of the world's top fashion-lifestyle publications including Vogue, Tatler and Harper's Bazaar.

March 2008 was a big year for Douglas. That year, he was listed as one of the 50 most influential black role models in the United Kingdom by Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The cutting-edge fashion designer was also included in the book, 100 New Fashion Designers by Hywel Davies, which is an international snapshot of contemporary fashion design and the strongest young designers that create it.

Douglas recently took part in an exhibition called 'WE LOVE BRUM' which was held at House of Fraser in Birmingham. House of Fraser is a British department store group with over 60 stores across the UK and Ireland.

The exhibition, which featured signature archive pieces from Douglas' fashion label, was the first of its kind in Birmingham. Douglas gave a detailed presentation on himself, his career and his experiences in the fashion industry at the event.

Surviving the industry

The fashion mogul also recently delivered a presentation in Jamaica that was aimed at young designers. The workshop, reflecting on Douglas' personal experiences, looked at what it takes to survive the fashion industry. This included the financial reality of selling garments, what it takes to produce a runway show and the importance of knowing your market. Douglas is also currently working with Pulse Investments Ltd on exciting new ways to promote the talent of young Caribbean designers.

Douglas' garments have been described as "luxurious, high-glamour aesthetics fused with feminine shapes and sophistication". Though the contemporary women's-wear designer revealed no immediate plans to venture into men's wear, he did unveil that he has several exciting new projects that will be revealed over the summer. Gavin Douglas will this year be seen on Caribbean Fashionweek.

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