INTERVIEW: BARBADOS BORN MODEL CHICO HUGGINS

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR WEST INDIAN CONNECTION.

– I was born in Barbados and I was raised in St. Vincent. My mother was born in London, England but she grew up in Barbados. I think it was Harrison’s College that she attended. My grandmother also grew up in Barbados, but she was born in St. Lucia. My dad is from St. Vincent.

 

HOW DID YOU GET INTO MODELING?

– Some friends of mine back in St. Vincent invited me to a fashion show called the Fashion Caribbean Show and I was just magnetised by the environment. The atmosphere was so alluring. The way the models expressed themselves on the runway. I knew that’s what I wanted to do.

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HOW WERE YOU DISCOVERED? WHO SCOOPED YOU UP FIRST?

– I was initially signed to Image Model Agency in St. Vincent which is where I really got my foundation as a model. On a trip to London I was signed by two agencies on the same day, W Athletic and Fusion Models. I was booked pretty quickly for London Fashion Week where I walked for street wear brand Elevate London.

 

WHAT SAY YOU ON RACISM IN THE MODELING INDUSTRY, IN LIGHT OF THE RECENT RESURFACING OF THE CONTROVERSIAL INTERVIEW FEATURING SUPERMODELS IMAN, NAOMI CAMPBELL AND BETHANN HARDISON ADDRESSING THE ISSUE?

– I have never directly experienced it but I think, as most things do, it stems from the outside. It’s a much larger problem. In 2016, the fact that there is still racism in general, it’ll trickle through everything. Once there is still overall racism, there will be racism anywhere there are racists. Instead of constantly whining and talking about it, we need to just fight harder to push ourselves and each other. Focus on us, not them.

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WHAT DOES FASHION MEAN TO YOU?

– Fashion is a means of expression. What you wear should be an outward extension of who you are or your mood that day. Be confident and comfortable.

 

HOW WOULD YOU THEN DESCRIBE YOUR OWN PERSONAL STYLE?

– Hmm.. Definitely more urban/street wear, but with a preppy twist on occasion. Depending on where I’m going.

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YOU’RE KNOWN FOR YOUR SLIGHTLY RISQUE FITNESS PHOTOS ON INSTAGRAM BUT ALSO FOR YOUR BIG CURLY HAIR. WHY DID YOU CHOP OFF THOSE CURLY LOCKS?!

– Haha.. Well my agency is in charge of the direction of my image and my agent wants to take it in a slightly different direction. So, looking forward to it!

 

WHO WOULD YOU SAY WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE OR MOST RECOGNIZABLE CLIENT?

– I once did a Kit Kat commercial. That was a hell of a lot of fun. Definitely memorable. But also walking for House Of Byfield at NYFW, because as far as fashion runway models go I am only 5’10” which is quite short. So, it was quite an accomplishment in my eyes that I was chosen for that. I was the shortest guy at the casting. Lol

 

I KNOW YOU’RE BASED IN CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA. I FIND A LOT OF BLACK AND CARIBBEAN MODELS GO THERE AND DO QUITE WELL. WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT IS?

– Cape Town is very different to most fashion hubs like Milan or Paris. It’s all about personality. They love vibrant personalities and you know us Caribbean people are full of personality! Haha! Cape Town also provides great fashion and commercial print opportunities. Most people don’t know but a lot of campaigns are shot here, which gives the models here the great opportunity of getting connected with those fashion houses/companies directly.

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DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE DESIGNER?

– Not really. I’m not the type that is exactly hell bent on a particular designer. I would look through many designers on a rack, big brands or not, and if there’s something I like then there’s something I like.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING IN YOUR CLOSET?

– A pair of brown boots from H&M!

FAVOURITE MAGAZINE?

– GQ! Or my second choice would be Men’s Health.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE RISE OF TRANSGENDER MODELS WHO ARE COMPETING SERIOUSLY IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL AND SUCCEEDING?

– Great for them!!! The first that comes to mind is Isis King from America’s Next Top Model. I remember seeing her and thinking, ”Alright!!” Beautiful. Look, I say if you know for sure this is who you are, and this is what you should be.. Kudos! No problem with that at all. We have NO place to judge anyone.

 

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YOU’RE ALSO A PERSONAL TRAINER. THAT MUST COME IN HANDY TO STAY IN SHAPE FOR MODELING. WHAT’S YOUR REGIME LIKE?

– I work out six days a week and I like to mix it up. Sometimes do CrossFit-like exercises, cardio, weights or swimming. In terms of diet; everything in moderation. NO FAST FOODS! Lol. No bread or fried foods either.

 

WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR ASPIRING MODELS, ESPECIALLY THOSE STRUGGLING TO GET OUT OF THE CARIBBEAN?

– It may seem tough, but you HAVE TO PUSH. You can’t sit and wait for something to happen or drop in your lap. The industry is not as glamorous as you may think. That’s the end result. You MUST have thick skin because you will be ridiculed but it is not to be taken personally. Yes, we are all human and you may take some things to heart but this is a business first and foremost. Do research and know what you’re getting into. You have to understand what being a model is really about, what to expect of the industry and what the industry expects of you. Especially for those in the Caribbean, go online and see what it takes to apply to agencies online and just do it! You have nothing to lose anyway. Don’t think about how you are going to get there yet, if they accept you. Just do it and work for what you want!

Coming Up: Exclusive Follow Up Interview & Photo Shoot w/ Annaliese Dayes

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With her bubbly personality and effervescent aura, Annaliese is just a dream to work with. She’s even got roots planted in Barbados, with her mother being born in the land of sun, sea and sand. My homeland!

Stay tuned to DreDecarlo.com for my exclusive follow up interview and photo shoot with the lovely Annaliese Dayes; model, tv & radio presenter, Britain’s Next Top Model alum and America’s Next Top Model British Invasion favourite! It’s been THREE YEARS.

Time to catch up.

Special thanks to Dyelog fashion PR company for the photo shoot wardrobe.

LET’S DO THIS!

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Catching Up With Charu Lochan Dass

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”Love, commitment and strength are optimized by the inspiration behind this collection, where each piece transports the wearer to a place of fantasy, leaving an impression that can only be described as ethereal.” – Charu Lochan Dass on her ANJA Collection.

I proudly post this interview as the first for 2016. I got the chance to follow up with the lovely Charu Lochan Dass. The India born Trinidadian designer who I met at BB Fashion Week a couple years ago, and has become one of fashion’s rising stars. We set up a Skype date. It had been a while since we last got the chance to speak, but as we played catch up, she let me in on the latest.

Charu has become quite the whirlwind success since I met her at her first showing in Barbados. With irony ringing in the air, she even recalled the moment I said, ”You’re fantastic. You are going to go places, for sure.” It is a pleasure to see her rise to her potential and this is just the beginning, the tip of the iceberg.

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– Tell us what you’ve been up to.

-Well, CLD has had showings at St. Martin Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week twice, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam, I’ve got new collections coming and we just did some promo material featuring Barbados’ own Leah Marville.

– What are your newest collections?

– A capsule collection with Trinidadian brand Bikini Cabana and another dubbed the ANJA Collection. The Bikini Cabana collection is a more swimwear/beachwear collection and the ANJA Collection is catered to formal wear.

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– What was the inspiration behind the collections?

– The collections are inspired by the phenomenal woman, and CLD wishes to create a legacy for her as she personifies the CLD look with her style and elegance.  The Anja Collection was specifically inspired by the aura of the woman in love as she glows luminously from the strength of her sacrifices and commitment.

– Have there been any changes to the aesthetic of the brand?

– I wouldn’t say changes but as a designer I think it’s natural to progress and grow. You create from your inspirations.

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MERCEDEZ BENZ FASHION WEEK – AMSTERDAM

– What are your future plans or ideas?

– I really want to do fashion week in London and India, and I’m thinking of doing an Indo-Western theme.

– What would you say was the most memorable or defining moment for you in the last year?

– You know me, I take things one day at a time. Up until now, I cannot say there has been ONE moment. There have been many moments. To me, each show and each moment is as important. It just makes me grow and grow. I’ve never felt like, ”This is the moment. I’m here. I’ve arrived.” Everyday is something new. I don’t see it any other way. I can’t embrace it any other way.

– Any words for aspiring designers?

– Aspiring designers? Let me tell you! If this is really your passion, really your goal, really your dream… then GO FOR IT! It is not all glitz and glamour. It is far from that. It is a lot of hard work. The glamour is only at the end, when all the hard work is done. It’s like 5mins of glitz and glamour, and months of hard work.

– Do you have any specific goals that you would like to accomplish as a designer?

– Oh yeah. I’ve always said that the day I make it on VOGUE, that would be the pinnacle of my career. Anyone that’s in the fashion industry, I think, wants that.

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Growth, Release and New Beginnings

11148735_10154099491610995_161363787827619010_nThere have been so many changes since coming to London; the environment, weather, people and culture. The nonchalant atmosphere of London is a result of the vast culmination of minds, cultures and lifestyles that have descended upon the city within the past few decades. All of whom are steely focused on their own paths and responsibilities. It would be no mistake to say that London has also become a rich and bustling hub of fashion and luxury.

However, what I admire most is the street style culture. Using London’s street style culture as a prime example, no matter their aesthetic, they are our generation’s representation of freedom of identity and expression. To be who you are, all of who you are, and love it so implicitly is one of the most beautiful and impactful powers we can possess. But only if we seize it. Well, I’m seizing it.

I have long struggled with my outward expression of identity. Mainly, I believe, because I come from a country where anything ‘out of the norm’ is highly frowned upon; Barbados. A Caribbean paradise, a luxury vacation hub for the royal and the celebs, duty free shopping, lush white sandy beaches with cascading palm trees and warmth all year round that attracts all to my sun-kissed homeland. But beneath all the beauty, is an ugliness of conservatism which resides within the culture of the island. To be blunt, Barbadians despise change on a much broader scale.

My point? This is how we are raised. This is what grows to become an indelible part of us. This one attribute leaks into the rest of our lives and thereon molds it. This extreme conservatism ends up being our detriment, unless you are privileged enough to be among the few who travel or rebel against this mentality. I have been one of the few to rebel, but from my generation onward that number has been growing tremendously.

The youth have come to realize that, for lack of better words, Barbados is a bubble. What happens in Barbados, is usually only applicable in Barbados. We need to accept and understand that individuality is essential for the growth of any and every soul. Not the stifling of personalities and ideas. We get lost in the noise of who has a ”good job”/”a big house”, or whose child ”passed for a good school”, who ” dis go church every Sunday”. What people think of us, what we do and vise versa, should have no real merit on our thoughts, ideas, actions or future. Unless from a genuinely concerned loved one, it doesn’t matter.

What matters is to know who you truly are. All of you. To understand and love yourself. It is only then you can truly love/understand anyone else, specifically those who are distinctly different to you. We may have collective differences, but we are all individually different as well. Not many get to have this realization and therefore may disagree or dismiss. But remember, get to know your uniqueness. Nurture it and cherish it. That is your true power.

I gladly and openly await what is next.

Rhaj Paul x Barbados Cancer Society: #LIVEPINK

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In collaboration with the Barbados Cancer Society, renowned Barbadian urban wear designer Rhaj Paul and head of the Ministry Of Style Creative Alliance, who some might say his brand EVOLVE has single-handedly boosted the rising skater/street culture of Barbados, will be raising funds for breast cancer through his latest #LivePink T-shirt design.

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Rhaj is no stranger to being a patron for charities. We urge you to support the cause. 30% of each purchase goes to the Barbados Cancer Society. Cancer is an epidemic that plagues many, and we never know who it may inflict next.

Style Shoot: Collaboration with Abigail Galatia Photography & Vanna Vee (BTS)

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I was introduced to a lovely girl by the name Vanna Vee, a Trinidadian singer/songwriter and commercial model. We hit it off right away and with the urge to organize my first photoshoot in London, I thought it would be perfect to collaborate with her and photographer/former model Abigail Galatia (whom I’ve known through my close friend Jalicia Nightengale).

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I rattled my brain to think of where would be perfect to shoot. Camden seemed like the ideal location, and it certainly became the perfect backdrop for the aesthetic I was going for. I won’t talk too much about it as yet because this is just a teaser.

Here is behind the scenes:

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Bajan Model Jalicia Nightengale Walks For Ethologie By Jasper Garvida (London Fashion Week)

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CLICK PHOTO FOR FULL SIZE

My dear friend and model Jalicia, whose journey I began to document on my blog, has been climbing her way on the modeling ladder in London as an independent model.

Ethologie by Jasper Garvida chose the natural, blue-eyed beauty to walk for their Spring/Summer ready-to-wear collection at this year’s London Fashion Week.

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The show was highlighted by Vogue.com, putting another Bajan beauty in focus.

Cheers to Jalicia’s accomplishment, and to Jasper Garvida’s fabulous collection.

(click photos for full size)

London Fashion Week’s Emerging Designers Showcase

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It was a weekend of lush fashion from London Fashion Week’s picks for the best emerging designers, with the dedicated week long showcase Fashion Scout.

My favorite’s included Angel Chen and Apu Jan. Both creative and wearable collections, with vibrant colours, a hint of femininity and a dose of edge for the stylish Miss who enjoys standing out while embracing her soft side.

Apu Jan was clearly the star of the showcases as his show drew about 400 observers, with still hundreds outside begging to get in. I was fortunate enough to see the show, which was also heavily attended by the Asian fashion elite such as Elle Taiwan and Vogue.

Here are some photos from the shows. CLICK TO ENLARGEN

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Angel Chen audience

Hope you enjoy them as much I loved soakingit it all in at the Freemasons Hall.

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Photos of the Apu Jan show to come ;)

STYLE FILE: 3RD EDITION: RONALD AGARD

Cool, stoic, a thinker…

Just a few words that I would use to describe Ronald. His background has always been artistic and creative. Whether it was singing, acting or visual merchandising, one can be certain that he was made for the Arts.

Ronald has been my best friend for over six years now, and over all the years he has never ceased to inspire me with his words and his style. We always planned on collaborating but never got the chance until now. And what great timing, to include him in my new blog venture, ‘STYLE FILE’.

I shot the looks (yes, I’ve finally taken hold of my desire of dabbling in photography), which we co-styled, using our neighbourhood as a backdrop. Where better to find inspiration than right outside your front door, huh? ;)

Hope you guys love it!!!

 

STYLE FILE: 2ND EDITION: MIA CARPENTER

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in our apartment

 

MIA is not only my roommate, but is Visual Merchandiser at a high-end boutique named ‘BETH & TRACIE’ in Holetown, Barbados.

Our styles are usually on the opposite sides of the style spectrum, as she’s far more minimalist and classic with a flirty, feminine finish, whereas I am kind of eclectic at times. Most of the time, I’d take a classic look and put some rebellious edge to it, but we came together and she was so patient with letting me use her as my muse. I think she just secretly liked being the one getting dolled up for a change.

We transformed our living room space into a temporary, makeshift photo studio space using natural light and … yes.. a Motorola touchscreen camera phone to take the shots.

It was a blast!! I definitely got some great looks out of it. PLUS, i got to promote my friend Junior Sealey’s brand ‘LAB+ID’ by using his VIRUS tee design for one of the shots. It was thrilling to see her in such a different light! She certainly pulled it off.

Hope you like!! MORE TO COME ;)

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Specimen (LAB+ID) by Junior Sealey, VIRUS tee
Specimen (LAB+ID) by Junior Sealey, VIRUS tee

 

Wardrobe: Dre DeCarlo & Mia Carpenter

STYLE FILE: 1ST EDITION: LOURDES SORIANO-ROUCO

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They say the most beautiful or fascinating things are found in the most unsuspecting places. In this case, they couldn’t be more wrong. She was in the right place. Standing at the counter in the island’s only official Ralph Lauren shop (Limegrove Lifestyle Center, Holetown), she was a vision of refined eccentricity. I couldn’t help but to say hello. If it’s one thing that surely grabs my attention is an effortlessly fabulous woman.

She introduced herself as Lourdes. Her heavy native Spanish accent encasing every word. Unique, confident, a former wild child even. Not the type of ‘wild child’ we see today, but more so reminiscent of a Woodstock head-turner. One could tell by looking at her that she is a vessel of constant flowing energy.

Even after her catastrophic car accident back in 1998, which resulted in the surgical removal of many of her organs – including her stomach – she has risen above it all and proven that nothing can hold us back, and life is for the taking. She intrigued me. We immediately started sharing our love for each other’s style, for art, fashion and all it represents. I could talk to this woman for hours!

I hope you all will find her just as fascinating, inspiring and thrilling as I have. So, with no further ado, here’s the first edition of a blog segment that I will surely continue. Showcasing interesting persons with interesting style, using their own wardrobe and selected pieces to highlight the subject of my choice. All styling by yours truly.

Special thanks to Mr. Adrian Richards behind the lens!! Thank you so much. And thank you to Limegrove Lifestyle Center.

Hope you like it! :)

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Barbados’ EVOLVE BY RHAJ PAUL On Mid-Morning Mix

Just sending out a flare to all Bajans, in Barbados or abroad, be sure to catch Rhaj on air TOMORROW (Wednesday the 15th) on The Mid-Morning Mix Show, hosted by Teshia Hinds on CBC TV8.

I’ve been a fan of his work for a long time but EVOLVE was the brand, with it’s streetwise edge, that solidified Rhaj as a local household name & a certain fashion favorite amongst all.

So….. SUPPORT YUH OWN!!!

Barbados we come from!

FOR MORE ON EVOLVE OR RHAJ – VISIT https://www.facebook.com/rhajpaulevolve

LOUISE OF LOUD 87

I met this gorgeous whirling wind a few odd years ago, and it was never unclear to me of how hard she works – the innate energy that drives her forward. However, it is only of very recent times that our paths seem to constantly meet. I think some great things are ahead for the both of us, so here’s a little insight into Louise Decourcey-Dawe.

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Louise is a London-born but Barbados-raised presenter, model, CEO of LOUD 87 (which specializes in Entertainment, Music & Talent Brand Management) and is also currently an ambassador for Cîroc!

Louise founded LDD Projects in May 2011 in Barbados and soon after formed LOUD 87 LIMITED in both Barbados and in London, England. She graduated from Brunel University with a BSc (Hons) Degree in Broadcast Media (Design and Technology). The young entrepreneur also attended Bournemouth University where she was awarded a Certificate in Advertising and Marketing Communications and achieved an Associate’s Degree in Mass Communication at The BCC in the West Indies where she covered areas such as Radio and Television Production, News & Documentary Writing, Photography, Research, Public Relations and Communication Law.

Whilst studying at Brunel University, Louise also began working at The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC HQ, White City, London) where she worked on television programs including ‘Child Of Our Time’ and ‘Olympic Dreams’ and was later promoted to Production Team Assistant where she managed all of the edit suites at the London BBC White City Main building along with four other team members in the UK.​ Louise went on to work at Clear Cut Pictures (An audio and video post-production facility) in West London and as an Executive PA at an online marketing agency, Quad London.

Louise has also worked closely on projects with music industry mogul, Eric Nicks, (responsible for stars such as Lil’ Kim, Busta Rhymes and LL Cool J) and Azar Bogan at Alpine Music Group based in New York, New Jersey and LA for artists, songwriters and producers including August Rigo, Jaicko Lawrence, P.J. Johnson, Antmaestro, Spinz Beats, Justine Skye, Kelly Sheehan, J.N.I.C.E, JS, Justa Beast and Ginette Claudette. ​ Louise’s recent projects include the Management, Development and PR of Aaron Fontaine (Actor/Model/Radio Host), Amelia (singer-songwriter), Varren Wade (singer-songwriter), Anke Griffith (fitness model), Alyson Holder (Photographer) and Mandy Cummins (make-up artist). Some of her model experience includes Five (5) Cable and Wireless Advertisement Campaigns, Eve Food Products, Circuit Magazine, Caribbean Motorsports, Banks, Heineken, B-mobile, Red Bull, Diamonds International & Colgate.

To sum it all up….

Louise is easily more than your average ‘triple threat’! She’s an entity.

So, keep on the lookout for more from Louise Decourcey-Dawe. ;)

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An Exclusive Sit-Down With The Belle Behind SUBELLA!

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From being an heiress to one of the world’s silicon carbide manufacturing giants (Dongxin) to the creator & designer of her own collection of handmade luxury Italian leather handbags (SUBELLA), Susen is a force to be reckoned with! She cites the inspiration for her drive to the culture shock she received when she left China to attend the London College of Fashion, and entering into a world of style mavens & fashion daredevils. With her humble spirit & soft voice, it is easy to not foretell the surge of tenacity that dwells not just within her, but within all artists. Her charismatic & humble team of professionals from Fashionable Photography, Chris Browne & Creative Director/Photographer Anna Nicholas, seem to be the perfectly well-rounded talents and minds helping her to spearhead her venture.

What brought these amazing people to Barbados? Besides the sun, sand, sea and …oh yeah… the rum! But it was our bustling West Coast culture of luxury, style & Polo that truly allowed them to set their sights on Barbados. That’s right! Susen may have already launched her brand in the UK (you can purchase from across the globe at http://www.subellalondon.co.uk) but is looking to bring her brand to our lovely shores, using our thriving Polo scene as a launching pad. So far, she’s been a hit and is looking to local high end stores to carry the brand. And may possibly be opening a franchise?

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Well, I met with the Subella team at The Limegrove Lifestyle Center’s ‘Lime Bar’ to have a little chat to learn more about Susen, the brand and its future.

 

– When did you realize that fashion was your calling?

When I was a little girl, I always liked to dress up and when I came to the UK to study at London College of Fashion, I spent a year doing a London–based fashion and design course, which helped to shape my future calling, but I always had a strong leaning towards bags and accessories design.

 

– How did it come about that you would produce a line specializing in high end handbags?

As I said in the last question, I was always drawn towards bags and accessories but I also wanted to produce high quality goods. When I looked at the high-end fashion houses, they produce beautiful bags, but they are so expensive! So my dream was to find top quality manufacturers who would make bags to my designs, but at a reasonable price. I travelled extensively throughout Italy, to find small hand-crafted manufacturers who can deliver to my high expectations

 

– Who is the ideal woman you would like to see carrying your handbags?

Any woman who has glamour, style and is prepared to love and treasure her bags and accessories. She would probably buy for quality, knowing that true quality and style is timeless.

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– What’s the reason behind the name Subella?

Well, my name is Susen and my lovely four year old daughter is named Isabella – hence, Subella!

Also, ‘bella’ is Italian for beautiful – so it’s a great double meaning for my beautiful hand-made Italian bags!!

 

– Any examples of the inspirations behind the stellar designs you’ve come up with so far?

I know what I like and I always want to produce designs that are both functional and aesthetically beautiful, and stylish. I also pay attention to the metalwork, which is so important to give a high quality look and finish to a well designed bag. I never want to make a bag that lasts for just the current season, it’s much better that my bags and accessories are timeless and can be mixed with many different looks.

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– What is your design process like?

Whilst I am the driving force and visionary for each design, I give a general idea to my design team, who then turn the initial brief into reality. I am always looking for unique combinations of the finest Calf and Kid leathers which are all organically and ethically sourced in Italy, where I (and most of the world!) believe that Italian leather craft is the very best.

 

– Give us an insight into the journey of Subella.

Back in 2012, I sourced some Italian bags and took them back to China, to test the market. I found that although China is the main manufacturer to the world in clothing and accessories, what Chinese people really value are high quality, hand produced goods by artisans in Europe. Italy is known for its fine leatherwork and most of the world’s top fashion houses still produce bags and accessories in Italy. The next step was to find talented young designers in London, and internationally. I then travelled extensively throughout Italy to find small factories with Italian artisans, who have an immense pride in their work. I then set up an e-commerce website – www.subellalondon.co.uk to showcase my bags and allow me to sell both in the UK and across the world. I am now in the process of looking at retail opportunities within major London stores (Selfridges, Fenwick’s, Harvey Nichols, Liberty etc.) as well as outside the UK.

 

– What challenges would you say you have encountered during the setting up of your business?

China is known for being a big manufacturer of clothing & jewelry, and I’m doing it the other way around. I’m having things made in Italy. And setting up a business in the UK, especially the type of business I am doing, it’s certainly not easy coming from my background.

 

-Where are the key places around the world that one can find Subella handbags?

Everywhere!!! My e-commerce website allows me to sell my bags and accessories across the world. I am also setting up retail outlets in China and London and I am currently talking to retailers here in Barbados. Watch this space!!!!

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– What made you decide to bring your brand to Barbados?

Through a major fashion photo-shoot in Barbados last year at Apes Hill Polo Club by ‘Fashionable Photography’ (Anna Nicholas, a London based fashion photographer), my bags were featured and showcased in ‘Very Very’, a London based high-end lifestyle magazine owned by Russian Oligarchs and ‘POLO Magazine’, the main editorial for the UK Polo enthusiast and player. Due to the success of the “Fashion Meets Polo” photo-shoot last year, I wanted to explore opportunities here in Barbados and through the kind help of Wendy Kidd, I have brought my bags here for the world famous ‘Holders Season’ where I was the sponsor for their Gala Night.

 

– Many wealthy visitors set up home or simply vacation here in Barbados, but what say you to the somewhat average woman with a flair for fashion? Does Subella cater to them?

Because my bags are hand made by Italian artisans who have an immense pride and dedication to their craft, combined with the finest Italian Calf and Kid leathers, I would like to think that my bags will appeal to any woman who has a sense of style and glamour. My customers would buy for quality as well as style. When I started Subella London, part of my ethos was to produce beautiful bags, but also at a reasonable price.

 

– How do you plan to solidify a relationship with Barbados?

Over the last ten days that we have been in Barbados, I have met so many kind and generous people, such as the Kidd and Williams families and others, who have given me great encouragement and want to work further with me on my future projects, especially my equestrian range of bags. I am loving my time here in Barbados and want to forge strong business links with your beautiful island and people.

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– Where do you see Subella London in 5 years? In Barbados and across the world.

I want to have my own flagship stores in China, Europe and the UK, with franchise stores in Polo clubs and top equestrian centres, including Barbados, for my equestrian range. The range of costume jewellery and accessories and belts for men and women should also be an established part of the business. However I will not lose sight of my original plan to source the best materials and have them hand-made by true artisans, whilst keeping a reasonable price level.

 

– Do you plan on expanding into other high end products at any point? (eg. shoes, belts, or any unique accessory pieces)

Yes, I am in discussion with high level people in the Polo and Equestrian fields to develop a range of bags for men and women based around the equestrian lifestyle, that are both functional and beautiful high end products. I will also bring out a range of costume jewellery, belts and accessories for men and women.

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– Do you see Subella London collaborating with any other high end brands, specifically clothing brands? For any special design/showcasing purposes?

Anything can happen in the fashion industry. As a creative businesswoman, I am always open to fresh ideas and collaborations and as long as the Subella London brand identity is not compromised, I would always consider working with other like-minded people.

 

– What advice would you have for aspiring fashion talents/professionals?

  • Create a good business plan.
  • BE PREPARED! Always be prepared.
  • Always planning. If you have a talent and a dream, you need to spend enough time investigating what must be done and how you can do it.
  • Everything has a cost. It costs a lot to start up a business. It is a lot of money to start up any kind of fashion business.
  • Never rush into something.

Interview: Model, Photographer, Musician, Songwriter – LUCAS FAILLACE

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Who is Lucas Faillace?

– Good question. Just a 6’1″ sack of AWESOME.  Haha, I’m a guy doing his part, stayin’ alive, loving, and learning as I go.

Tell us about your experience as a model.

– Modeling opened my eyes up to a whole new world. Prior to modeling I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve met some great people thanks to it, and have been exposed to a whole list of experiences I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

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You seem to be more than meets the eye. A multifaceted artist. One could even say, a multi-threat; director, videographer, photographer, model & writer. What was your first love?

– Interestingly enough, prior to modeling and all that it sparked. The only medium of art that I dared to delve into was music. I would write lyrics, and play drums. Everything else came later.

When did you realize that there was so much more to be explored as an artist, and what was the catalyst?

– The more I explored myself as a human being. And what that meant. What the perceived limitations I thought to be true were. Which I’m still doing. It was only upon getting signed to NY as a model that I then took up all the other arts one by one. But my spiritual realization and total growth was, and is, the greatest catalyst to everything I do.

What’s it been like working with recording artiste Sellah? Tell us about some of the projects that you’ve worked on together.

– Sellah is the man. He is the person who opened me up to modeling and has supported me in all my endeavors since. Working with him is not like working with your average recording artist. He brings all forms of creativity to the type from conceptualization to execution. Our first project was a music video we did that went viral, and within the first month had almost 80k views. But then got hacked and deleted. Haha. HATERZZZZ! Haha, since then we’ve done many vlog and promo type videos to keep his fan base up to date.

How do you see your professional relationship evolving? And do feel that this experience has helped you to grow even more as an artist?

– I see us being a part of each other’s careers for years to come. With no end in my opinion. I’ll run things by him, and him by me. As far as specifics or any bounds on what they may be. I have no idea at this point. We both have experience in a number of fields. So the combinations are endless. This experience has definitely helped me grow as an artist.

What does fashion & the arts mean to you?

– Fashion like all the other arts are an opportunity. An opportunity to be alive, to search and uncover. Express yourself. To create. Creativity has endless means of being expressed. Fashion and all the other arts are some of them. Fashion happens to be one of the more practical since we all get dressed everyday.

What was your favorite moment in your professional life OR one of the favorite things you’ve ever worked on?

– Oh that’s tough. My favorite moment would have to be now. As I am in the realm of a new phase in my life. I also, always enjoy when my work gets recognition or gets posted in places that I have no awareness of, and then I find out. Like when the music video I did with Sellah got played on TV. One of the favorite things I’ve worked on was the first music video I did with Sellah. It was a fun time and we had full creative control.

What are you currently working on?

– Currently writing a script to what will be my first film. No projected release date yet. But I am excited.

What do you hope to achieve?

-FAME, CARS, and TAX FRAUD. Haha, to continue to grow and be blessed with opportunities. To ultimately write and direct my own features, act in some films. Write some great music. Use these mediums to help light people’s flames. And just to keep stayin’ alive. Every breath, you know?

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Woman Crush Wednesday (#WCW) – LIVVI FRANC

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Born to an English mother and a Barbadian (aka Bajan) father in North Yorkshire, England, Olivia Waithe always had a love for music. She is no stranger to my blog, as I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Waithe, famously known by her stage name Livvi Franc, on two occasions.

She cites her maternal grandfather, Frank Wilson, as the inspiration behind the name. “He noticed me playing the piano and predicted I was going to be a musician. Sadly he’s no longer here. So, in honour of him, I called myself Livvi Franc; Livvi because it’s my nickname, and Franc because it’s a funkier version of Frank,” she told Flavour Magazine during an interview.

At the age of five, she and her family moved to her father’s native land of Barbados where she would spend her formative and adolescent years. Her love for music became a passion, and soon she penned her first song at the age of eleven and learned the guitar at fifteen. It’s safe to say that grandpa was right. And we’re glad he was.

Livvi attended Queens College (Barbados) where she would perform at various talent shows and pageants at the school. Relentless in her pursuit of becoming a musician. She was quickly taken under the wing of first manager Kerrie Thomas-Armstrong and took up vocal training lessons with locally revered vocal coach and singer Marisa Lindsay. This resulted in demo recordings of Livvi, where she met her next manager. Soon enough, she was meeting labels heads for auditions. After months of negotiating, she signed with the now defunct Jive Records. Known for their pop acts such as Britney Spears & the Backstreet Boys.

Her debut single, ‘Now I’m That Bitch’ featuring Pitbull, was successful. Topping the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart scoring the no. 1 spot and becoming one of the top dance songs of 2009. Also becoming a top 40 hit in New Zealand and the UK. Livvi was featured in countless magazines, including the venerated Interview Magazine, which was founded by the late, great Andy Warhol. Her second single, ‘Automatik’, had moderate success and took the no. 6 spot on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart. But after Jive shelved her debut album, Livvi had enough and left the label in 2010.

She was quickly scooped up by Beluga Heights/Warner Bros., where she was set to finish her debut album. But Franc decided, at least for the moment, to solely focus on songwriting for other artists. As she’s been doing for years. Her extensive writing credits include great names such as Cheryl Cole, Jordin Sparks, Britney Spears, DJ Khaled, Jason Derulo, Cher Lloyd, Delta Goodrem, Leona Lewis, Ciara, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Zendaya, Kelly Clarkson, Shakira and the late Michael Jackson.

Livvi releases music occasionally, on her YouTube channel and SoundCloud. Her song ‘Woyoyo’ gained lots of airplay in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean.

YouTube Channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/livvifranc

SoundCloud:http://m.soundcloud.com/livvifranc-1/

Twitter:https://twitter.com/livvifranc