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Stitching with style!

by Kimberley Cummins

alexiscampbell2013In fashion, one day you’re in, the next you’re out.

That quote is now synonymous with Heidi Klum from Project Runway and while it has held strong for many fashion designers, with continued commitment and passion, hopefully it won’t be the case for Alexis Campbell.

This young woman is the lone representative from Barbados competing in season three of Mission Catwalk in Jamaica. In an interview with Barbados TODAY she was tight lipped about her success in the competition thus far but did reveal it was a great mind opening experience. Having began stitching at the young age of seven, she has now been in the business for close to a decade.

“How does one begin to stitch so early?” you may ask.

The former student of The St. Michael School explained that it was through the encouragement of her father, Richard Campbell.

The senior Campbell had been a tailor for many years and his daughter would often sit in his workshop, which was attached to their 10 th Avenue New Orleans, St. Michael home, and gushed over every stitch he would precisely place in whatever type of material with which he worked.

Working on the same sewing machine this morning that her dad did when she was a child, she told this newspaper that it was because of him that she was able to pursue her passion in fashion design. Now, daily she can be found, often from three in the morning at the same address operating her very own shop for 12 or upwards to 22 hours a day and sometimes her dad can be found next to her on one of the other sewing machines.

alexiscampbellwithherdesignWith a smile planted on her face, she said that stitching and reading, were her only interests as a child. Often unknown to her father, she would steal away on his machine “making little dolly clothes”. When she reached third form her talent had grown significantly and she would often make her own clothes to wear to a fair or any outing she and friends would attend.

Moving to Harrison College to pursue her sixth form education, the 24 year old said she was still keen on her designing and sewing skills. However, at that time it was more of a hobby and she was uncertain of what career path she should really pursue.

“When I left Harrison College I really didn’t know what to do because I wanted to do architecture but I was just stressing all over the place and I said, ‘Alexis, clear your mind and just take a little break’.

“When my mind was cleared I went to [the Barbados Community College] and did the fashion design course because of my love of art and architecture and I thought they would come into play best through the structure of my designs.

“From the time I did the course at BCC, I loved it even more.†I got exposed to the whole†fashion and design experience from here and around the world, the different sewing techniques, how to get from point A to point B, the whole transformation from [cloth] to the garment — it was very intriguing for me.

“I enjoyed it and I always said to myself that I want to work in a field that I thoroughly enjoy so that it wouldn’t seem like a job — just me having fun,” said Campbell.

Upon graduation from BCC in 2009, she went on to showcase her work at fashion shows like BMEX, Bridgetown Barbados Fashion Week, Bridgetown Alive and Island of the World Fashion Week in the Bahamas.

Additionally, she has been designing for shows, pageants, modelling shows, theatre, work … almost everything, but disclosed†that she really loves to design men’s wear and plans to continue her education with a Bachelor’s in Men’s Fashion.

Campbell admitted she came far but said she believed there was much more for her to learn, especially in business and marketing.†Right now, her main focus is on learning that aspect of the business — then anything else thereafter.

She told Barbados TODAY she sees working in the European market in her future and with everything going according to plan so far she is in no doubt that she will achieve her goals. †

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