CARIBBEAN FASHION LANDSCAPE – #1/14
‘Style in Evolution’ is not only representative of the Caribbean’s resiliently colorful culture, but also a statement that embodies the vision of fashion….
Inspired by the eclectic landscape of the Caribbean, Kaj Designs reflects an appreciation of the indigenous with contemporary boldness and unabashed sensuality. In Kaj clothing and accessories, nature’s simple beauty mixes with a modern attitude of individualism and high personal style. Lines are daring, embellishments are chunky, and raw fabrics are touchable, all in rich vibrant hues. The Kaj concept channels the dynamism of diverse cultures into classy, avant-garde designs that speak of confidence, self-respect and independence.
Launched in 2005 by self-taught designer, Kevin Ayoung-Julien, as a boutique operation producing custom-made one-of-a-kind pieces, Kaj Designs debuted its premiere collection, Chachalaca, another name for Tobago’s native bird, the “Cocrico”. Trademark pieces were featured at the 2005 Caribbean Fashion-week (CFW) in Jamaica and the 2005 Caribbean Fashion Rhythms in Barbados.
Other collections have included Eccensual: Shake Well & Stir and WILD THINGS which debuted at the 2007 CFW and the 2008 Fashion Week Trinidad & Tobago (FWTT) respectively. The label’s couture swimwear featured at the 2007 Miss World pageant as Grenada’s representative, Vivian Burkhardt, sought out Kaj’s work to complete her wardrobe.
As Creative Director of Kaj Designs, Kevin’s steely determination, meticulous nature and commitment to the highest of standards, have allowed him to carve a niche in both the local and regional fashion markets. The designer is driven to create. He exists to do so. It is his passion. He is the man behind the line of clothing and accessories embodying his appreciation for Caribbean culture and its diverse heritage, “I’m inspired by the Caribbean woman’s innate expression of confidence and flair. Such expression lends true beauty to the colorful diversity of our landscape and provides much for inspiration.”
Kaj’s latest collection marries luxury with the appeal of simple designs that jet set from a relaxing resort setting to fast-paced city life. For the discerning woman, Tribu Sauvage juxtaposes bold tribal infusions against a backdrop of wild animal and camouflage prints.
The collection goes from everyday to evening offering easy tank and maxi dresses, finely tailored trousers and Magyar tops. Textiles are comfortable jersey knits and indulgent silk blends that gently hug the contour.
The attention to detail is obvious with unexpected fabric combinations using piping, pocket detailing and clever raglan inserts that pop. To the sophisticated woman who confidently asserts her sense of style, Kaj’s newest creations deliver understated sensuality.
Kaj’s Chief Executive Officer, Liza Miller.
A Life Defined by Style…
‘A Life Defined by Style……. Elegant, yet Sexy>>>>>>>>>Claudia Pegus is considered an iconic designer in the Caribbean. She is renowned for her signature work in various types of silks and hand-done embroidery. The Trinidad & Tobago-based designer’s work has been shown and lauded internationally, regionally and locally at major fashion weeks for over three decades and also works as an Industry Consultant to various regional trade organizations. Her clientele includes local, regional and international dignitaries, models, figures and celebrities including Nadine Willis, (veteran Gucci model), Caribbean Heads of State, British MPs, and life mentor (the late) Nelson Mandela.
Claudia Pegus Designs Limited is an exclusive niche market design/production company. It produces two labels: The Claudia Pegus label carrier featuring the haute couture lines, and the CPFS label which produces the ready to-wear and career apparel lines for retail and wholesale purchases by boutiques, hotels, resorts and corporations.
BRIEONNA LEIGH RUSSELL
Brieonna Leigh Russell: is a Super Model signed with PTG Modeling Agency located in Nassau, Bahamas.
Jourdan Dunn was born on 3 August 1990 in London. (Mother is a Jamaican native) Unlike some models, Dunn didn’t spend her early career modelling. Instead, she wasn’t discovered until 2006 at the age of 16. A scouting agent saw her while the girl was out shopping with a friend in Primark, and shortly thereafter, the future model signed with Storm Management. She is also represented by Women and Nathalie.
Forget the on-cue comparisons to also-British, also-black, also-brash Naomi Campbell. Jourdan Dunn is more like fashion’s Tupac—skullcap on, middle finger up, filter off. She’s ballsy, in addition to being absolutely, undeniably stunning, and a practitioner of the what-did-she-just-say? school of publicity. For example, her tweet after she supposedly proved too, um, big for a Paris runway show: “I’m normally told I’m cancelled because I’m ‘coloured’ so being cancelled because of my boobs is a minor.” Negatives aside, what’s the best thing about modeling? “Getting paid.” Anything else? “People think that I’m against fashion—or that I’m ghetto or a loudmouth. I’m not. But if speaking my opinion makes me that girl, fine. I’ll take that crown.”
Dunn made her runway debut in the New York shows in the fall of 2007, walking in shows for Marc Jacobs and Polo Ralph Lauren, among others. In 2007, she was featured on BritishVogue as a “new star,” and in 2008 Style.com listed her as one of the top 10 newcomers.
In July 2008, Steven Meisel selected Dunn to appear on the cover of the Vogue Italia issue devoted entirely to black models. She has also been featured on the cover of American Vogue,British Vogue and Teen Vogue, as well as covering i-D, Elle, Pop, Russh, Muse, The Sunday Times Style, Ponystep, Antidote and Luella.
In November 2008, Dunn was named “Model of the Year” at the British Fashion Awards. She has garnered attention for her legs and for her walk which she says she practises frequently with very tall heels, walking over 60 shows during the spring 2009 season.
She has modelled for Burberry, Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent, Victoria’s Secret, Tommy Hilfiger, Topshop, Jaeger, Rag & Bone, Gap, Aldo, Shiatzy Chen, Benetton, H&M, Banana Republic, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, and is the face of Rihanna’s collections for River Island.
She has appeared in editorials for American, Italian, French, British, Russian, Spanish, Japanese and Teen Vogue, Elle, i-D, Dazed & Confused, W, Pop, Centrefold and V. In Teen Vogue‘s November 2009 issue on which she appears alongside Chanel Iman, she discusses her and Chanel’s previous competitive relationship in the accompanying article.
During the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, Dunn was one of the British models wearing bespoke fashions created by British designers specifically for the event. The other models were Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, David Gandy, Karen Elson, Lily Cole, Georgia May Jagger and Stella Tennant. She wore a gold and white gown by Jonathan Saunders with feathered headdress by Stephen Jones.
In March 2013, Dunn appeared as the cover story in Net-a-Porter’s “The Edit.” In it she spoke of encountering discrimination telling the magazine that casting agents would say clients “didn’t want any more black girls”. In July, 2013, she received media attention for tweeting that she had been cancelled from a Dior haute couture show, “for her boobs”; rather than her skin colour – which she noted, “usually happens”.