Port of Spain Fashion Week (PoSFW) is set to return to the capital city in November.
The three-day event takes place from November 8-10, said Crystal Cunningham, media promotions manager and public relations consultant for PoSFW, at the media launch yesterday at Hilton Trinidad. It is being staged in collaboration with Hilton Trinidad and Intuit Concepts of Jamaica.
Cunningham described Intuit Concepts as excellent management co-ordinators.
She said nine years ago, when the last fashion week was held in TT, there had been a fledgling industry, with several fashion shows taking place across the country but none "sticking."
She said: “Our aim, just like all the iconic fashion weeks around the world named after their iconic cities – New York, Milan, Paris, London – is to make PoSFW as iconic and dear to TT in PoS as well.”
The logo for the event bears pictures of the PoS skyline and key buildings in the city, including the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and the National Academy for the Performing Arts.
On November 8, there will be an invitation-only event for the media, influencers, sponsorship partners and specially invited guests and clients of Hilton.
Carded for the following night is a resort wear showcase that will be held poolside, followed by an afterparty with surprise guest performers. On the Sunday, the event will close with a fashion market and brunch, followed by a high fashion showcase.
This brunch, said Cunningham, is a precursor to fashion lunches to be held at the Hilton once a month for 12 months after Fashion Week, in keeping with the sustainable drive of the fashion industry.
She said: “The fashion industry has been lacking in real opportunities to create a sustainable type of living for all the people who are involved, so we want to give designers, models – even all the players in the fashion industry like make-up artists and stylists – opportunities to be able to generate a source of income throughout the year.”
Olivier Manmaire, general manager of Hilton Trinidad, said two years ago the Hilton was on a mission to pay tribute to TT’s cultural legacy.
“This hotel has always been a part of TT and I think it is very important for us to continue to promote that and to embrace our community here in Trinidad.”
Given that the hotel guests are mostly foreign business people, Manmaire said he wanted their visitors to embrace the culture of TT via its presence in the hotel.
Since then the hotel has produced Art at the Hilton, an exhibition for local artists to highlight their work; it has begun preparing food with local flavours, opened a chocolate shop for local entrepreneurs in the cocoa and chocolate business, and now it has embarked on a fashion lunch programme.
Manmaire said; “Our real aim with PoSFW is to continue over time, to provide local designers with an outlet at the Hilton to promote themselves, in keeping with our mission to embrace the community and promote sustainability for the island.”
Some of the designers already signed on to participating in PoSFW are Peter Elias, Charu Lochan Dass, Claudia Pegus, Dow Creations and Rhion Romany. Other designers expressing interest are Zadd and Eastman and Dayle Angus (Tobago), but Cunningham said more will be added once confirmed, including Jamaican designer Carlton Brown.
Maybelline and Garnier is the official makeup and hair sponsors for PoSFW. Its local brand manager, Desiree John, said her company was very excited at being part of the initiative.
Model casting will be done over the next two weeks and as well as some experienced players, Cunningham said she is hoping to get new young faces on board to help promote and develop the industry.
City mayor Joel Martinez expressed his pleasure that the event is taking place in PoS.
He said: “We are a resilient and a very creative people, and I know there is enough creative power in the planning committee to totally revive the fashion industry. And I am happy that this is another outlet for our locals to showcase their talent.”
He added that PoS is a city that has a certain level of dynamism, “a construct that, when you look at it, you can see a city that is rebuilding to some extent, through the fact that we have taken our iconic buildings, and we are refurbishing."
Noting the restoration of Stollmeyer’s Castle and Whitehall and the impending completion of the Red House, President’s House, the public library and Mille Fleurs, as well as parks and squares in the city, he said: “PoS is set to excite you at some stage. Fashion on the whole is about displaying beauty and, in a proper way, ensuring that it brings a confidence in people, and we want our city to also be fashionable.”
He applauded, congratulated, encouraged and offered inspiration to PoSFW stakeholders to continue to add value to that industry and also to use the city of PoS as their backdrop, and to develop PoS as a city of fashion.