Press Release:– A call is going out to Nationals at home and abroad to show their support for the local fashion industry, by wearing something Saint Lucian every Friday, starting in November and culminating in February.
“Fashion Fridays” as it is being dubbed, is an initiative of the Saint Lucia Fashion Council (SFC) and is endorsed by the Ministry of Creative Industries as well as the Ministry of Commerce, Manufacturing, Business Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs.
According to the President of the SFC, Ms. Joycie Mederick, this concept was first put forward as part of Saint Lucia’s Independence in February of this year. However, with Covid-19 continuing to impact every sector, including the fashion industry and its creatives, it was deemed necessary to reintroduce Fashion Fridays in November 2021 to give the sector a boost.
“We recognize that our sector is one that has been hit quite hard. When you look at for example Creole Heritage Month, which was a season many creatives looked forward to, a period where they would capitalize and realize an increase in sales; that could not happenbecause of Covid-19 and the existing protocols,” Mederick explains.
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“And so we thought why not re-establish ‘Fashion Fridays’ in November to bring greater awareness to our creatives, to help them market their products and boost sales during this period. We are also cognizant of the fact that the festive season is upon us and by creating a sense of awareness of some of the products from our local creatives in November, Saint Lucians will have the option of buying something local as a gift for their friends and loved ones,” Mederick lamented.
According to the President of the SFC, the idea is not only to promote fashion designers, but also creators of accessories, stylists, neighbourhood seamstresses and tailors, make-up artistes and anyone and anything that contributes to your sense of style and fashion, which she says is an overall lifestyle.
The SFC is making an appeal to Saint Lucians to wear, highlight, or showcase something pertaining to fashion each Friday in November 2021 and post a picture to Facebook, Instagram, or their WhatsApp status.
The Saint Lucia Fashion Council could also be tagged or photos shared to the Facebook page.
Fashion Fridays is expected to run until February 2022 when the SFC hosts its annual celebration of excellence in the fashion industry as part of the island’s independence celebrations.
Fashion Fridays has been welcomed by Honorable Emma Hippolyte, Minister for Commerce, Manufacturing, Business Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs who says that the initiative is in alignment with the Ministry’s push for Saint Lucians to buy and supportlocally manufactured goods.
“Within the Ministry there is the Love Saint Lucia Campaign and so what we intend to do is to give this more ‘legs and momentum’ to benefit the various sectors, including the fashion industry,” says Minister Hippolyte.
“So we are very happy to endorse the Saint Lucia Fashion Council’s, Fashion Fridays” she continued.
The Hon. Minister also noted the lost opportunities for many creatives within the fashion sector during Creole Heritage month.
“However this is a wonderful opportunity for persons within the industry to showcaseand promote themselves and their products and we are encouraging all Saint Lucians to support our local artisans who makeup this industry. We have great talent right here and we need to start promoting and supporting our own and I do believe that something like Fashion Fridays is a step in the right direction,” Hon. Emma Hippolyte says.
The Minister also shared some advice with creatives, saying that the pandemic and recent issues with shipping has made it even more important for various businessesto come together under umbrella bodies.
“That way they can build alliances with suppliers, make connections, order raw materials as a grouping and keep a good brand,” Minister Hippolyte says.
Hon. Emma Hippolyte went on to congratulate Ms. Mederick for keeping the Saint Lucia Fashion Council alive in trying times ad says she has already encouraged her fellow Cabinet colleagues to support Fashion Fridays and by extension the local fashion industry.
The Minister with responsibility for the Creative Industries, Hon. Dr. Ernest Hilaire, has also pledged his support for “Fashion Fridays,” as well as continued assistance to the Saint Lucia Fashion Council and the sector as a whole.
Fashion Fridays will also be promoted by internationally renowned Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds, who has over twenty-year’s experience as a multidimensional storyteller, content strategist and global educator with comprehensive experience in fashion, higher education and HR at some of the world’s top luxury brands and top tier universities.
Dr. Hammonds is the Global Brand Ambassador of the Saint Lucia Fashion Council.
“Fashion Fridays was first conceptualized in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic and the whole reason for this innovative idea was to search for promise in these perilous times. So I think this is an opportunity to really navigate fashion’s rocky road and show a sense ofrecovery in an innovative way though the various digital platforms using what really binds us, this universal language of fashion,” Dr. Hammonds explains.
The Global Brand Ambassador says he loves the raw talent that he has seen here and his role is to “expand, influence and educate” and bring awareness to the amazing talent here in Saint Lucia.
“I also want to give kudos to Ms. Mederick and the Saint Lucia Fashion Council for being at the forefront of promoting and bringing greater awareness to fashion in Saint Lucia,” Hammonds says.
The Saint Lucia Fashion Council which was founded in 2016, is a non-profit trade group, recognized by the Department of Commerce to promote and facilitate theideals, growth and development of Saint Lucia Fashion designers.
The SFC is expected to unveil a number of other initiatives during the month of November.