Today Jamaica is one of the most diverse and multicultural nations in the world, through my Fashion and Textiles Label I aim to celebrate the development of Jamaican Identity and Cultural development through our number one market, Tourism. My Luxury resort wear collection will be aimed at High net worth individuals around the world and the visiting tourists that desire to purchase authentic Jamaican, West Indian Luxury Fashion for keep sakes and gifting. I see these designs as the Jamaican people’s tales, and thus are re-birthing them for the world to intercept.
Through travelling to Jamaica and across the West Indie Islands I noticed that even the 5 star resorts, hotel shop offerings were a poor representation of what the island has to offer, ’naff tatt’ that I feel does not represent the islands true multicultural Identities and cultural development. Having spent hours talking to other visiting guests at the resort, I was shocked at how little they knew about Jamaica’s complex history and our impact on the world, but was faced with typical stereotypes of ‘Rum drinking, Weed smoking Rasta’s or Loud crazy- black women’ and despite every single Jamaican hotel worker and myself looking like every person from around the world in, every shade of brown, pink and red under the sun. None of the guests I encountered, never for one second stopped and though how did these people become? As what was before them were people who represent diversity and embrace their multifaceted identity through the food we eat, music we listen pioneered and unique sense of dress to name a few. I realised that wanted desperately to educate these tourists through how they know best; through their pockets. They had little to know desire to explore the island and wished only to reside in the 5-star all-inclusive resorts. I decided, If they wish to not visit the real Jamaica, I wish to bring the real Jamaica to them, in the form of Luxury Fashion, ‘The New Modern Heritage’.
On my stay, I noticed how much swimwear and beach cover ups where being purchased at the hotel shop. I realised these tourists desired luxury, and the kind of the Luxury that clearly expressed to others, ‘I visited one of the most vibrant, colourful islands on planet earth’.- Tracey-Lou; Manchester 2015. They truly desired resort wear that showcased their premium stay, many opted for swimwear that had bob Marley’s face printed on it, national colours and vibrant topical prints, of which came with a very high price tag and a very poor quality finish. I knew from gathering this research I could embody what I saw, and create ‘New Modern Heritage’ goods for this very Premium customer market that desire Luxury, with cultural value and meaning and exploring new innovations within the Global textiles market like Pina Leather, made from Pineapple skin, Banana Yarn, Fish Leather and so on. Embracing the island’s value of being resourceful and resilient whilst being a champion of using green sustainable resources.
For me this collection is about a lasting memory, somewhat of a remembrance but as much about questioning as it is about discovering more about my multicultural identity as it is about show casing and celebrating fine Luxury Jamaican Craftsmanship.