Caribbean Fashion Week 2012 exceeded its own expectations, with outstanding entertainment provided by Brian McKnight, Estelle, Baby Cham and Trinidad’s Shurwayne Winchester, enhancing a year which was particularly poignant as the 12th annual CFW came as Jamaica and Trinidad both celebrate fifty years of independence.

2012 saw a record-breaking number of designers on show, whether from the diaspora, such as Gavin Douglas, Shaco, or Tiger Lilly; or from within the region, such as the superb Meiling, Mutamba, or the Mushroom. The caliber of the collections on show was exceptional with UK fashion expert David Jones, credited with having taken Karen Millen from start-up to multi-million pound brand, blown away by the potential for Caribbean fashion on an international stage.

Some of the many highlights included Cedella Marley’s Olympic range for Puma and the Mission Catwalk finalists such as Crystal Powell and Ryan Chan. Brit boy Gavin Douglas (of Jamaican heritage) did Britain proud with his outstanding collection, emanating sophistication, drawing gasps from the audience and closing the show to applause.

The energy amongst the designers and attendees was electric, partly due to the fact that the Caribbean Export Development Agency, one of Caribbean Fashion week’s key sponsors, spent the weekend deciding on which handful of designers would be chosen to fly to London this August to stage a catwalk show at the plush Grosvenor Hotel as part of the African Caribbean Business Expo which aims to capitalize on the global spotlight on the Caribbean as a result of the Olympics, and raise awareness of the Caribbean’s creative industries which are ripe for investment and export opportunities.  For the successful selected designers, it is a fantastic opportunity to launch their brand in an international market with the support of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) supporting and committed to driving regional growth.


Emerging Designers:

Kazz Forbes – Saint George Fashion House from Turks & Caicos

Jhaniel Smith – House of Oshae from UK

Raxann Chin –  Femheka from U.S.A./Jamaica

Raecine Williams – Wild/Free from U.S.A./Jamaica

Tigerlily Hill – Crown Atelier from Cayman Islands (Tigerlilly winner of the CFW Emerging Designer award presented by Gavin Douglas, an established British designer of Jamaican decent)

Dionne Richards – Bondij by Blond Di from Boston U.S.A

Nell Robinson – Bang Swimwear from Jamaica


Arlene L. Martin – drennaLUNA from Jamaica

Meiling Esau – MEILING (Showcased Midday pieces from the 24 Hours- Dawn to Deep night, collection) from Trinidad & Tobego

Janel Jolly – Jae Jolly from Jamaica

Cedella Marley – High Tide Swimwear and PUMA Jamaica Olympic (2012) Track & Field collection, from Jamaica (Bob Marley’s daughter)

Ashley Martin – Attitude from Jamaica

Gavin Douglas – Gavin Douglas Designs from the U.K.

Since its inception in 2001, Caribbean Fashion Week has been the main catalyst for Caribbean fashion industry development. An ambitious project, CFW has brought the world of fashion to the region, as it seeks to focus international attention on what the Caribbean has to offer, while, at the same time, working with stakeholders to build capacity and generate business for Caribbean stylists.

CFW and Pulse Model Management Founder Kingsley Cooper said, “ It’s been a great year and now the works begins for 2013. We are intent on showing the fashion industry that we have design talent to compete in a global arena. The contribution which the islands can make to fashion has gone under the world’s fashion radar for too long. We will continue to develop our industry and position our designers to take their place on the world stage – our time is now.”

Caribbean Export Development Agency, one of Caribbean Fashion week’s key sponsors, spent the weekend deciding on a handful of designers to be chosen to fly to London this August to stage a catwalk show at the prestigious Grosvenor Hotel as part of the African and Caribbean Business Expo.

You can also check out the CFW website and the Tumblr page for further info on some of the designers if needed,

Find out more about the African Caribbean Business Expo

For further info on Caribbean Export Development Agency

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