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PM: Fashion earns $25M a year

By Miranda La Rose Tuesday, January 28 2014

click on pic to zoom in
Elias elegance: A model sashays down the runway in a flowing Peter Elias dress at 'Vogue Italia Gala Event Under the Trees' at Hotel Normandie, St Ann...
Elias elegance: A model sashays down the runway in a flowing Peter Elias dress at 'Vogue Italia Gala Event Under the Trees' at Hotel Normandie, St Ann...

The local fashion industry employs more than 11,000 persons either directly or indirectly and generates more than $25 million annually, according to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

Officially opening the signature “Vogue Italia Gala Event Under the Trees” at which ten local designers put their lines of clothing on stage at Hotel Normandie, St Ann’s on Sunday evening, Persad-Bissessar said, “Port-of-Spain is being positioned as a fashion district and the fashion capital of the Caribbean.”

She described the locations between Frederick and Charlotte streets as the only cloth district in the Caribbean and listed the names of local designers synonymous with the highest quality of fashion, including more recently Anya Ayoung Chee, winner of Season 9 of the Project Runway Lifetime TV programme.

The event, organised by the Trinidad and Tobago Creative Industries (CreativeTT) and held under the theme “Masquerade,” was done in partnership with the Italian version of the internationally renowned fashion magazine Vogue.

CreativeTT’s partnership with Vogue Italia, Persad-Bissessar said, makes the point that the fashion sector still has tremendous potential to be explored.

TT’s fashion talent being featured in the Spring/Summer issue of Vogue Italia in May 2014 will present an excellent platform for that potential, she said.

Among those presenting their line of clothing, which ranged from fashionable tantalising bikinis, light and colourful casual wear to flowing evening gowns were Adrian Forester, Christian Boucaud, Claudia Pegus, CLD, Health Jones, James Hackett of the University of Trinidad and Tobago, J Madison, Meiling, Noor, Peter Elias, and Rhion Romany.

The event, which started at 8.15 pm, an hour and a fifteen minutes late due to the late arrival of Persad-Bissessar, flowed without a hitch once it got started.

Earlier, Persad-Bissessar attended the start of the Week of Prayer at the National Academy for the Performing Arts. No one appeared to be fazed by the late start as cocktails and drinks were in abundance.

Scintillating pieces from the mas bands D’Crewe, Fantasy, Island People, K2K Alliance, Passion Carnival, Tribe and Yuma were also captivating. The event, Persad-Bissessar said, was one where talent, Government policy, and a tradition of creative and innovative genius converge.

She noted that the industry was tapping into the creative wealth of people as a means of diversifying the economy away from oil and gas. While Creative TT was at the forefront of the drive to stimulate and facilitate the business and export activities to generate wealth, she said UTT is offering a first degree in fashion.

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