Daniel Clarke, 24, founder of fashion brand Fluorescent Black hosted the first Tobago showing of his collections – Apathy and Podium – on Sunday evening at the carpark of the Gulf City Mall, Lowlands. Clarke, originally from Mt St George, is a graduate from the University of Trinidad and Tobago and attended Bishops High School. He also copped the UTT student of the year award in 2018 with his Apathy collection.
Since then he premiered the Podium collection which was first shown at the Caribbean style and Culture fashion show in Washington DC. Clarke was also honoured with the emerging designer award at the fashion show.
Clarke told Newsday the name Fluorescent Black is an oxymoron that emphasises the exuberance of black skin. The brand also has an emphasis on urban street wear within the Caribbean market. Clarke said this is his niche as opposed to the typical floral print aesthetic which is synonymous with the Caribbean.
"I want to be able to create a piece of work that allows people to have fun and be happy," Clarke said.
He said the inspiration for the Apathy collection was taken from "America and the juxtaposition of the street lights and people. As well as the impact of empowering black lives and black people whilst introducing brilliant pop's of colours.
"The Apathy collection was all about shades of red, blue and yellow and placing them on a backdrop of black and white."
On the other hand, "The Podium Collection...showcases trends and modern concepts in fashion. I wanted to display popularity and what's cool. It's basically about a lifestyle that's happening right now and I wanted it to look glamorous and flashy and I think that latex and pleather and those type of materials, as well as cloth with an iridescent finish, will show that pop of contrast."
Despite it being the first showing in Tobago for both collections, Clarke said it would also be the last showing of the designs.
Drawing inspiration from major fashion players such as the deceased Alexander Mc Queen, Clarke said he enjoys playing with textures and colours and showcasing the feminine side of a woman. He said his goal is to build his brand to the point that he can comfortably service clients across Trinidad and Tobago.
Some of his prominent local clients include soca artistes such as Nailah Blackman and Adanna Roberts.
As for 2020 plans, Clarke said, "Next year I plan to work on new items and put forward new collections, which I hope to put forward on a few international platforms." His direction for the new concept is set to also be streetwear with a more tailored, defined finish.
Daniel also premiered two Carnival Monday wear pieces for 2020 at the fashion show.
"The thoughts behind the pieces were to showcase my skill set and artwork. I really just wanted the two looks to exude femininity coupled with a bad ass sassy energy." The prices for the Monday wear pieces range from $900 to $1,000. Clarke can be contacted on various social media platforms as well as on his website.