Port of Spain Fashion Week to help micro, small and medium enterprises


Port of Spain Fashion Week PR and Sponsorship Manager Brian Matthew, left, and Project Manager Crystal Cunningham at the POSFW launch at the Hilton, Trinidad, Port of Spain on Wednesday. – Angelo Marcelle

The Port of Spain Fashion (POSFW) launched yesterday at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Center, Lady Young Road, Port of Spain and will run until November 28.

In its third year, its organizers hope that Fashion Week will offer many micro, small and medium-sized businesses that operate in the fashion and craft industries of Trinidad and Tobago a chance to not only share their products, but also to have a significant source of income.

POSFW project manager Crystal Cunningham said the past year and a half has been a “superhuman challenge” for many businesses to stay afloat.

Cunningham said many of the designers and artisans who participate in fashion week are small businesses that employ smaller factions of society.

The fight against the covid19 pandemic has affected the supply chains of these companies not only in terms of human resources but also access to raw materials.

“Creating a fashion week gives them not only the opportunity to earn a living but also to express their creativity …”

A model wears a creation by Sarah Jane Waddell during the Port of Spain Fashion Week launch. – Melissa Doughty

She added that in the absence of the carnival – which many people don’t seem to understand to be one of Trinidad and Tobago’s main forms of export tourism – events like these help develop the export tourism from Trinidad and Tobago.

The organization hopes that Port of Spain Fashion Week becomes Trinidad and Tobago’s official fashion week, Cunningham said.

Fashion week offers capacity building to help small businesses so that the fashion and cottage industries can become viable and further diversify TT’s economy, she added.

Cunningham said it was clear that supporting micro, small and medium enterprises was the direction of TT’s economic diversification.

“POSFW – in our objective to help diversify the economy – supports small businesses and designers and artisans, this is one of our main axes …”

He also hopes to provide opportunities for young women, as the fashion industry is very much supported by young women and girls.

She said that Sunday’s Creator Showcase Bloom event will be a combination of virtual and in-person presentations, limited and that all covid19 protocols will be observed.

As the global fashion industry gallops into the metaverse and there is the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Cunningham said – when asked about his place in local fashion – POSFW has associated with Caribbean Export for a second part of the fashion week project. which he hopes to launch in December.

Isabel Farah wears a Neha Karina design at the Port of Spian fashion launch at the Hilton, Trindad, Port of Spain on Wednesday. – Angelo Marcelle

Usatoday.com says the metaverse is “a combination of several technological elements, including virtual reality, augmented reality, and video where users ‘live’ in a digital universe.”

Cunningham said this project will focus on producing virtual lookbooks for a small business or designers.

She added that the lookbooks will also be interactive where people can click on multiple images or photo links and can interact with the designers.

Even as the world at large moves towards digital fashion and the metaverse, Cunningham said there aren’t many companies in TT that specialize in this kind of technology. She added that it takes special skills to map clothes.

Model Richard King in a Mark Eastman design at the Port of Spain Fashion Week launch. – Angelo Marcelle

She said this is something that is very expensive and deserves a conversation at the government or regional level.

Cunningham said that at the moment the average designer cannot afford it because the technology is very expensive and is carried out by a few companies.

Shea added, however, that the rise of NFTs could pay off economically for TT designers and the region, but it requires the right partners.

One of POSFW’s sponsors, Unit Trust Corporation, said the partnership with the organization was very timely.

Its vice president of sales and services, Dr Karrian Hepburn-Malcolm, said the company was born out of the need to ensure that every citizen has access to wealth, savings and investments.

Model Alysha Wilson wears a Zadd & Eastman design during the Port of Spain Fashion Week launch at the Hilton Trinidad, St Ann’s on Wednesday. – Angelo Marcelle

“So over time we realized that to fulfill this mandate we have to work closely with entrepreneurs and that the creative industry is one of the biggest employers of entrepreneurs …”

Hepburn-Malcolm said this year the company wants to find ways to support, facilitate and create an environment where entrepreneurs can thrive.

Some of the ways it does this are through sponsorships, seminars and workshops, she added.

“We wanted to be a part of Fashion Week because I think the fashion and design industry is one of the industries that really permeates all facets of life.

“Every citizen is affected by the fashion industry or the creative industry in one way or another, and what Fashion Week does is create a platform for designers and for creatives to showcase their talent not only at TT but internationally. “

She said fashion week was a global showcase for the talent that resides in TT and that it would have been remiss of the company not to partner with something that she believes will become very explosive for the company. economy and the region.

Ahead of the fashion week kick off, POSFW organizers also hosted virtual challenges to find some of TT’s latest modeling stars.

The organizers organized a T-shirt challenge; a Playtex Sport challenge, where participants had to create an advertisement using a box of stamps; a go-see challenge (a go-see is where a model goes to a potential customer to book) and the Slim Fast challenge, where they asked to create a commercial ad.

In his T-shirt challenge, participants were asked to show off their personal style and creativity using a simple white T-shirt.

The challenge ran from October 5-8 via Instagram.

The winner of this challenge was Alysha Wilson who automatically qualified for Bloom’s final.

There are going to be 25 models chosen for Bloom.

Bloom will take place on November 28 at MovieTowne, in Port of Spain.

Challenge winners will receive over $ 5,000 in cash and prizes, plus the chance to sign with 28 models.

28 Models is an international model management boutique founded in 2014, its website says.

One of the goals of this year’s Fashion Week is to help streamline the local modeling industry and implement best practices and core standards in line with the international market, he said. .

He added that the challenges simulated international experiences such as castings, photoshoots and commercial advertising.

“There is a huge misconception in the local market regarding the demands, appearance and attitude towards modeling on an international scale and by working with reputable international modeling agencies like 28 Models we are able to ‘Help guide these young models in the right direction and foster the right environment. for them to grow and access international markets, ”POSFW said in email responses to Newsday.

Before its launch, POSFW also organized its pop-up festival (consecutive craft markets) which took place on 5 and 6, 12-13, 19-20 and 26-27 and its showcase of emerging creators on November 20. .

He called the market “super successful” and thanked everyone who supported the local artisans.

It will host two more markets in partnership with Trincity Mall on November 27-28 with locally made items such as body oils, soaps, body butters, jewelry, leather goods, swimwear and bags. by hand.

For more information visit: posfashionweek.com

POSFW 2021 itinerary: –

November 24 – Media launch and fashion show

November 25 – Business development workshop

November 26 – Virtual career day

November 27 – Model workshop

November 28 – Flowering