WITH the creation of unique styles and exclusivity being two of the label's guiding principles, fashion house Diane Carlton has adopted a boutique-type model that limits the production and availability of its design to a maximum of six to ten pieces worldwide; with a select few being produced only once. It’s a lifestyle.
Founder and creative director of the Diane Carlton (DC) fashion label, Stacey Weekes-Benjamin, has operated as an image management consultant for the past 11 years, delivering employee training services to numerous organisations.
Described by Weekes-Benjamin as a "legacy brand", Diane Carlton was named in honour of two major fashion influences in her family: her aunt Diane Stevenson – a former model who lived in New York and her dad, who was well known for his swag, the late calypsonian Carlton "Lord Blakie" Joseph.
After eight years of planning, creating prototypes and exploring feasible business models, in what she describes as a natural step in her image management journey, Weekes-Benjamin finally took the plunge and accepted an invitation to officially launch her label at a runway show in Minneapolis in Minnesota, on June 1, 2018.
Four months later, on October, 11 2018, the label made its European debut at the stately Fruchtalle in Kaiserslautern, Germany. It was at the Kaiserslautern show that Weekes-Benjamin unveiled her collection of high fashion coats, much to the delight and approval of DC customers worldwide.
The brand is swiftly building a solid reputation for its diverse use of textiles and its ultra-chic, well-constructed garments that are timeless, contemporary and eclectic. Weekes-Benjamin style palette is heavily influenced by her travels, her performance reference and her love for all things fashion.
Weekes-Benjamin said, “Since the launch in Minneapolis I have been getting orders from Trinidadian customers.”
She and her team hosted a “soft launch” at their Trinidad base, 8 Carlos Street, Woodbrook, last Friday and experienced a constant flow of customers checking out the designs.
Her design aesthetic is defined by Caribbean charm that teems with global appeal, that were created to transform the women who wear them.
She said, “My designs are unconventional because I am unconventional, I choose different fabrics, I mix and match to come up with the uniqueness of the design.
“People always tell me whenever they put on one of my creations they feel different. There seems to be a transformation which brings out an inner self."