So besides all the islandista models that have been on the scene at New York Fashion Week, there are also a few islandista designers!
Former Jamaican top model Lois Samuels has turned her hand to designing and has brought out her first collection, The Vessel.
According to Samuels, her collection is inspired by both menswear and uniforms and the place they held in Jamaican society.
“I grew up in a society where having a uniform was so important. I think it gives calm to the chaos, and in a time like this you want to invest in something that’s multi-seasonal, comfortable, sexy, and not the fad–something that’s going to last.”
You can definitely see the inspiration very directly in the looks -they are very structured and neat.
We especially like the dresses she has done. You can see more photos from the show over at the Fashion Bomb.
Lois is not the only Jamaican designer at New York Fashion Week.
Another designer with yaad roots is Carly Cushnie, one half of the design duo Cushnie et Ochs -who would ever have guessed from that name?
Cushnie (on the right with the blond ‘fro) was born in the UK of Jamaican parents and met Michelle Ochs when both were at the uber-prestigious Parson’s Design School.
The two had ‘star’ emblazoned on them even before they left school – Ochs won Parson’s Designer of the Year award and Cushnie was the runner up and they had both appeared on the cover of Women’s Wear Daily.
They’d interned everywhere from Donna Karan to Oscar de la Renta and Proenza Schouler so, despite their parents’ urging them to start out by working for a more established label, Carly and Michelle decided to go out there and do the damn thing themselves.
And it has worked – even in this recession, they have been successful, with boutiques like Bergdorf Goodman snapping their clothes right up.
Their look is super body con – it is not a look for fluffy chicks! Lots of slashes , cold shoulders and sheer material. Check out a few of their looks below.
Carly brought this same sensibility even when designing for her step-sister (and former Jamaica Observer reporter) Leisha Chen-Young’s wedding in Jamaica earlier this year, creating one-shouldered dresses for herslef and the other bridesmaids.