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Anya’s new fashion show rocks the avenue

Thursday, January 31 2013

TWO seasons after winning the US reality show Project Runway (PR) Anya AyoungChee is back home to stage what she calls one of her biggest fashion shows. Fashion Rocks the Avenue, the b-Mobile Blackberry part sponsored event which comes off tonight at Adam Smith Square, will see the young designer marrying fashion with Carnival for a resort line titled Carnival of Colour that is unapologetically Caribbean.

“This line is for people who travel and who have unlimited access to the beach”, she said. “It is a free event for the public that makes a statement that fashion is for everyone. It will be a celebration of creativity.” AyoungChee first got the idea to do Fashion Rocks long before her PR win. As she recalled, she was in a panyard soaking up the vibes and environment and the idea just came together. “That’s why I feel such a joy to finally see it come to fruition.”

The former Miss TT Universe, Ayoung Chee’s line has evolved somewhat since PR while remaining true to its “Caribbeanness”. That’s why when people go to the show they would find the presentation reminiscent of her final PR presentation. “I just didn’t want to jump too far ahead of myself.”

The line was made in TT which Ayoung Chee said she would continue to use as her base for production when she takes “Anya” across the world. The local fashion designer has been plane-hopping since her win to places like Shanghai, South Africa, Amsterdam and most of the USA. The syndicated version of PR has garnered her new fans and fresh interest in her clothing line across the world.

In the year following her win, Ayoung Chee’s team concentrated on the celebrity endorsements and the marketing of her line. Designing for celebrities is a road that the designer is approaching gingerly. “I am really cautious about putting the cart before the horse. Heidi Klum, (host of PR) has worn Anya’s clothing and there was been lots of interest.”

Compared to TT, the fashion industry in the US is a different beast, AyoungChee has found. “It’s more complicated than I imagined and so competitive.” The fame that comes with being a Project Runway winner has been giddying for 31-year-old Ayoung Chee. She recalled a recent experience of being backstage at the Emmy Awards and being approached by celebrities she watched on television as a girl, about how much they love her work. “It was so surprising to me. It blew my mind” she gushed.

Ayoung Chee said the show, which will also feature live performances, will be streamed live.

For the second year Ayoung Chee will design a section for Tribe. Acara Acraea will feature 300 revelers. It is interesting that “Ayoung Chee” never wanted to design mas. Now she calls it “Fantastic, this is what Carnival is all about.”

She will also host her charity event, Anya the fete, proceeds of which will go to the Tallman Foundation for underprivileged. “Ayoung Chee” returns to the New York where she will prepare for fashion shows throughout the Caribbean. She is also expected to return to South Africa to discuss the interest in her line there.

The young designer, who stood out on PR not just for her local accent but for admitting that she was just learning to sew, remains grateful for members of Team Anya for their loyalty and commitment.

“They provide a lot of advice and support.” It is her intention to build her team to allow her more time to design rather than getting involved in every aspect of the business. “I have private clients that I design for and a small collection in a boutique.

I can’t wait to see the line finally hit stores.”



Bmobile Blackberry is proud to support Fashion Rocks the Avenue.

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