Hold on fashion

Minister Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo and fashion designer Rykii dé Jude.
Minister Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo and fashion designer Rykii dé Jude.

Barbados’ fashion industry is not progressing because it is still plagued by the same old challenges of more than a decade ago.

And in fact, the designers are not willing to step out of the box, says one local entrepreneur who recently launched his website.

Rykii d√ Jude, a designer who specialises in the use of sea island cotton for his creations, said too many businesses were just happy to create a product, but did not continue the innovation process to move it to the next level.

The designer was speaking at the launch his website which he noted that in addition to showcasing his products, facilitated online shopping, something not many companies here were moving to do.

“In the last 20 years, the very industry that I represent right now is suffering the same problems that it was over 20 years ago. Designers that have come, passed and gone into other fields, have said to me, the very same problems that you seem to be having and others is what we had. So I took up the challenge.

“The reason why we are having challenges is that we are not stepping out of the box… We don’t innovate, we do not create and we do not dominate. What we do is that we create, we get to a certain level and we are happy with that. Barbados at the moment still does not have a fashion design industry. Jamaica has one, Trinidad has one, but with the help of the Lord, ours will change around,” he promised.

d√ Jude said not only was the industry going to be changed around, but he believed the industries in all the islands needed to come together to create a force to be reckoned with in the international market.

“The Caribbean needs a wholistic designing industry. It is a multi-billion dollar industry and the Caribbean is more of a consumer than an exporter and that is changing with this website, with this brand and with the help of all of you,” he said. (LB)

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