To many people, Caribbean fashion is synonymous with brightly colored ensembles- exotic prints, flowy florals and maybe some chunky hand-made accessories. The vibrance of the Caribbean and its diverse heritage is often reflected in the upbeat designs of many local artisans.
“Subtlety” though, can be equally arousing… Not to mention, refreshing. If you’re looking to add understated sophistication to your tropical wardrobe, then here are a few Caribbean designers whose collections are characterized by clean tailoring, small pops of color and a more minimalistic aesthetic.
(Meiling Resort 2017)
Meiling is one of the most influential designers in the Caribbean and has won numerous awards regionally for her contributions. Having showed collections overseas, she is no stranger to the international fashion stage either and has been recognized internationally for her work.
Read more on her story and achievements here.
La Vie En Noir
This fresh-faced fashion designer emerged from The Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design after earning awards for Most Promising Designer and Graduate Entrepreneur of the Year. He presented at New York Fashion Week in the Fall of 2014 and was chosen to represent Trinidad and Tobago at the International Fashion Showcase at London Fashion Week later that year.
When asked about his Design aesthetic, Adrian mentioned his love for clean lines and thoughtful simplicity. Having an “on-the-go” type of schedule, he draws inspiration from his own lifestyle and tailors his designs to meet the needs of his mostly female clientele. The result is a play of youthful yet focused energy seen in the sleek, versatile details that make his pieces easily recognizable.
Adrian is currently designing and producing a line of signature ready-to-wear pieces while managing his retail space at The Shop at Normandie. He hopes that his business will launch it’s first retail flagship store and is eager to create partnerships with retailers and boutique owners across the Caribbean.
Kaleen, now 24, first gained media attention with the showcase of her 2015 pre-Fall thesis collection, which also earned her the Student of The Year award at The Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design. Within her small collation of street wear, basics, edgy pieces, and her flirtation with accessory design, Kaleen has toyed with various and sometimes difficult to work with fabrics. But her construction detailing is a show of skill.
For Kaleen, the journey has had its ups and downs but she views it all as part of the learning experience. “I think I have grown up a bit and I realized where I’ve been going wrong” she says, “I’m in the process of resetting my business model, figuring out whats best for the brand and really taking my time with the ground work.” While setting up her studio, she is currently working on her third collection and with each new piece, Kaleen grows nearer to refining her brand’s identity. After a sneak peak of her latest sketches, I’m excited to see how her 2017 collection turns out.
For more about Kaleen Sanois:
Meiling: 2017 Resort- Joshua Brizan; Lie Vie En Noir – Plataforma K; Grande Rivere – Infuzioninc.com; Cocoon – Daryll Willoughby; 24 Hours – Laura Ferriera
Adrian Foster: Melvern Isaac
Kalois: Carlos Alexander