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Local models needed for AC event

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Returning to her roots: Catherine Quin (Photograph by Alex Aristei)

A Bermudian designer is calling for local models to join a community cultural event in June.

In four years, Catherine Quin’s eponymous label has gained a cult following for its singular palette and “seasonless” styles.

Stocked in boutiques in Canada, New York, Los Angeles, London and Seoul, Korea, Ms Quin has been featured in Elle, Vogue, Grazia, The Times, Harper’s Bazaar, The Financial Times and on the cover of The Telegraph’s Stella Magazine.

The former lawyer said she hoped to use her success to bring awareness to Bermuda.

“We were always trying to find the synergy between art, fashion and sailing,” said Ms Quin, who has created cultural initiative Paradise 32 after seeing opportunities in the America’s Cup.

The weeklong event will include art installations, a fashion presentation, shopping opportunities and a gala, held at venues across the island.

Ms Quin’s fashion presentation will take place on June 12 at the Hamilton Princess and will not follow the traditional model of a runway show.

The wheels started turning when she teamed up with the BTA for an art dinner earlier last year, which she hailed “a big success”.

“I went away to think of what I could do that would be interesting, not just prosaic,” said Ms Quin, who hosted 36 “tastemakers” at legendary Hollywood hotel, the Chateau Marmont last May.

X-Men’s James Marsden, Langley Hemingway and musician Lykke Li, who performed on the island in 2009, were welcomed alongside Los Angeles gallerists Max Farago and Silvia Chivaratanoud, art curator and wife of Philippe Vergne, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles.

The idea is “to make art much more inclusive and accessible”, said the 33-year-old, who has been inspired by the Green family’s transformation of the Hamilton Princess.

“It’s a great space. Spending time around that art inspired me to really showcase how there is this interest in Bermuda.

“There aren’t many hotels in the world that have Jeff Koons and an Ai Wei Wei and a Kusama.

“Hopefully this whole event [the America’s Cup] is going to attract a new visitor and to show what really sets Bermuda apart from other Caribbean islands.

“There’s a lot beyond the beach and the water and the golf.

“It’s a great time to showcase all the other facets of the island besides the sailing.

“The idea is to leave visitors with a unique experience that will leave a lasting legacy for Bermuda as a cultural centre.”

Ms Quin hopes to collaborate with local artists and artisans to create a line of merchandise, from jewellery to ceramics.

But the island wasn’t always a source of inspiration.

The London resident returned to the island for a year after her mother Jan Quin, tennis pro and Royal Gazette columnist passed away in 2011.

“I’ve always found those reminders a bit difficult but now I’m in a place where I really value them,” she said.

“It was nice to reconnect with those childhood memories of my mother because she lived here for 40 years.”

She said the project had also allowed her to spend more time with her father, lawyer Max Quin.

“I wanted to come back to my roots, but because I was always focused on production, the opportune time never came. The America’s Cup gave me the opportunity to put down roots and reconnect.

“I realised that a lot of my identity was formed here. I’m trying to get back to that.

“Whenever I tell people I’m from Bermuda, they always say, I’ve never met anyone from Bermuda. What’s really nice is we’ve all had a similar shared experience of living on an island.”

Having always shown in Paris, the designer is excited to unveil her newest collection in Bermuda.

She will also employ a new selling model, which she described as “see now buy in the moment”. Everything will be available to take home from the show.

The former lawyer said she wasn’t prepared for the success, but now she wants to scale the business and capitalise on its popularity

Model submissions should be sent to info@catherinequin.com