Fashion Festival is stylish success
Organisers have hailed this year’s Fashion Festival as a huge success.
They said that Bermudian designers had been offered international opportunities as a result of the event.
Danilee Trott, executive producer of the festival, was thrilled by the quality and reception of this year’s event.
Ms Trott said: “We had a really broad range of international guests that participated as designers, models and mentors.
“They were reality stars, celebrity stylists, red-carpet designers, supermodels — it was definitely one of the highest-calibre group of guests we have had come and be a part of the festival.”
More than 2,000 people watched the three runway shows, with standing room only at some events.
Local designers also earned their place in the spotlight.
Ms Trott said: “Their collections blew me away and I am just so thrilled for the opportunities that they earned that will help them take their brands to the next level.
“The mentors were so impressed by them that on the spot, as they were judging the winners, they were offering up additional prizes of internships and externships. The decisions were not easy to make.”
Charda Simons, Nicola Lucas and Desiree Riley all won trips to Atlanta, Georgia, to learn about marketing and business from fashion designers Ken Laurence and businesswoman Lisa Nicole Cloud.
Ms Lucas, of Aqua Designs, said: “The Bermuda Fashion Festival was an amazing experience for me, having never really been featured in a runway show or even attended one.
“The local models were amazing and it was such a great highlight to also have an international supermodel walking in one of my designs.
“I am honoured to have been chosen to go to Atlanta for the externship where I’ll get more hands-on experience in brand marketing and building my business.”
Ms Riley, of Dezir Designs, added: “It has definitely offered up many opportunities for me such as shooting my line in New York with famed photographer James Hercule, as well as working with other international designers for their shows.
“Evelyn Lambert spoke to me about opening her show at New York Fashion Week and Lisa Nicole Cloud has already approached me about a few of my looks for a red-carpet event.”
Ms Simons, along with Rochelle Minors, also won the chance to show their collections at the Fashion Gallery New York Fashion Week in September, with free flights offered by JetBlue.
Taijhuan Hollis won an internship in Los Angeles with fashion gurus Adolfo Sanchez and Viktor Luna.
Jessica White, an American supermodel, said she enjoyed being able to walk the catwalk in Bermuda.
She said: “Bermuda is such a majestic place full of beautiful people. I’m honoured I had the opportunity to grace your island.
“I look forward to coming back and special thanks to the Bermuda Fashion Festival team for having me and who worked so very hard on an amazing production.”
Melissa Leach, who served as a mentor at this year’s show, was pleased to see the festival evolve over the past three years.
The Bermuda resident, who has worked with fashion industry heavyweights including Burberry, Jimmy Choo and the British Fashion Council, said the event had become a “solid platform” for Bermudian designers.
Ms Leach said: “I am pleased to have been a part of the programme this year and I look forward to continuing my support of the festival and of the emerging design talent by sharing my knowledge of the business side of fashion, giving our local designers the best possible chance of success.”
Lisa Nicole Cloud, international designer and mentor for the event, said: “The show was a quality fashion production and the hospitality shown to me during my visit was exceptional.”
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