#CaribbeanGirlsRunIt is the anthem put forward by superstars Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. The Caribbean is Hot (pun intended) right now. From music lyric cameos to inspiring the Fashion Show aesthetics of huge names like Paul Smith and Tommy Hilfiger, Caribbean flavour is what is in.
Authentic Trinbagonian Caribbean Fashion, however, has been relatively inaccessible for a long time, with many designers finding it difficult to set up efficient selling platforms.
In 2016 Simply Runway; a boutique dedicated to providing the shopping experience of “Purchasing with Purpose”, established a mentoring program for young Caribbean-based designers. In 2017, they hope to grow the initiative, welcoming more and more local and regional labels to their designer lineup. They are exposing the inner workings of their own business model to these entrepreneurs while preparing them for their future endeavors. This year, they awarded Jody Akal with a $5000 starter contract at CAFD’s senior these show, for “Most retail-able collection”.
Trinidad and Tobago is bubbling with fresh fashion design talent. With the fairly recent opening of The Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design in Port of Spain, a slew of new creatives have been given the opportunity to hone their skills, and be trained under reputable names in the industry worldwide. Simply Runway is not only engaging designers, but employing other stakeholders such as fashion management students, stylists, models, writers and members of the beauty fraternity.
So How Are they Doing This?
Simply Runway establishes unique wholesale agreements with small-business designers, mainly new up-and-coming names, granting them the opportunity to access retail exposure within an established space at the high-traffic Grand Bazaar mall location and SimplyRunway.com; a scenario usually reserved for labels with a certain level of experience under their belts.
The store works with the designer to create or select from their portfolio, suitable pieces that fit the store’s aesthetic, customer preferences and budgets. The design becomes exclusive to the boutique. The arrangement is purely wholesale, and not consignment-based, as many start-up designers have grown accustomed to when they venture into retail deals.
Simply Runway hopes to become completely or almost completely stocked with regional design labels, from handbags to jewellery to clothing and even shoes.
With the success of the Purchase with Purpose initiative so far, they are encouraged to welcome more new designers to apply in 2017.
How Can You get in on the action?
Contact them directly by phone at (868) 493 5027
Email [email protected]
Follow @simplyrunway on Instagram
Drop in personally At Simply Runway, Grand Bazaar
Have your samples and a lookbook ready for review to get the ball rolling!