A bold step forward
Bermuda could soon be the hub for an International Fashion Week — that’s the vision of US based travel agent AngelaMarie Pacley.
Ms Pacley’s company, Queendom Ink International, will be launching its first ever New York Fashion Cruise next July 5 to 12, boasting fashion shows and workshops with models, make-up artists, bloggers and photographers.
Later this year, the Miami Fashion Cruise will launch with a three-day trip to Nassau, Bahamas on November 7 to 10.
“It’s an industry professional cruise that’s for fashion enthusiasts to come, be inspired, participate in fashion shows and the added bonus is they get to travel to an international show,” Ms Pacley said.
As a travel agent, Ms Pacley started researching the Norwegian Cruise Line’s New York ship, the Breakaway.
When she discovered its destination was Bermuda she decided to learn more about the Island.
Over the past year she has been building a relationship with the City of Hamilton and hopes to link the cruise in with the City’s Fashion Festival.
She said it could help bring greater exposure to local designers and models, as well as a boost to the Island’s tourism industry.
“The vision is to build a Bermuda Fashion Week and move it from being more of a festival featuring just local emerging designers to something that includes more international designers as well,” she said.
“We would really like to make Bermuda known for its own Fashion Week, like New York and London, and want to have the world descending upon the Island.
“It’s such a beautiful place and I think it encapsulates the luxury, as well as travel — and having that fashion component basically seals the deal.”
Ms Pacley was recently on Island for the first time taking in all the sights and sounds of the fashion festival.
She said she loved the experience, found the people and scenery to be beautiful and was impressed with the creativity and talent showcased by local designers and models.
“There is so much beauty that exists here on the Island,” she said. “And I was able to see that on the runway, the creativity was definitely there. There wasn’t a collection that I wasn’t inspired by.”
Ms Pacley said she grew up in the fashion world watching her mother, Ava Brunfield, work for Ebony Fashion Fair.
Her mom wanted her to eventually find a career in the industry, but as a youngster she was more interested in playing in the curtains than with the make-up.
“Once I became a teenager I was more of a tomboy and didn’t like all of the little girlie stuff,” she explained. “But now I wish I had really embraced it at that age.
“It was definitely an experience watching her get dressed up to shoot commercials and as I got older I have learned to love it.”
Ms Pacley said the Fashion on the Sea was a “trendsetter and pioneer of this type of event production”.
“There is no other fashion cruise out there,” she said. “We own the fashion cruise brand, so through Fashion on the Sea the concept is to make it a continent on the sea and make the seas like an epicentre for fashion.
“We will be marketing pretty much globally, in New York, Atlanta, Miami, Bahamas, Paris, London and parts of Africa, so it is a global connection.
“And we will be leaving out of New York, which has people of almost every culture and nation represented.”
One of the biggest perks of the cruise is that people will have a chance to network with industry scouts and television celebrities.
On the Miami cruise, organisers have already been in conversation with Cynthia Bailey, a star from Real Housewives of Atlanta who also owns her own modelling agency; as well as reality star Dwight Eubanks.
They are also planning to invite Lisa Nicole Cloud, from Bravo’s reality show Married to Medicine, to join them for the cruise to Nassau.
But even if celebrity sightings isn’t someone’s thing, they can still look to gain in-depth knowledge on their craft through various workshops, Ms Pacley said.
Although there will be a host of fashion related events on board, Ms Pacley also wants people to take part in the regular cruise shows and offerings.
She said: “What I like about the Breakaway is that Norwegian Cruise Lines took the time to build a ship that has a lot of things that New York is known for.
“You have Cake Boss, Iron Chef and the Rockettes show on the cruise. We are not going to have so many events that you don’t get to enjoy it, but we will make a point to make all that we do on the cruise fashionable.”
For more information on next year’s cruise, visit www.nyfashioncruise.com.