STYLE FILE: 1ST EDITION: LOURDES SORIANO-ROUCO

L005They say the most beautiful or fascinating things are found in the most unsuspecting places. In this case, they couldn’t be more wrong. 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

I AM FASHION

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