Caribbean Style & Culture is a showcase of Fashion, Music and Art, held annually in the month of June to commemorate and celebrate NATIONAL CARIBBEAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH. The Caribbean Style & Culture Runway Showcase is exciting, dynamic, constantly changing, and full of new styles and color combinations to amaze the world. It brings the newest collections from the hottest Caribbean fashion designers showcasing the very best from the Caribbean and South American Region.
This year we celebrate the achievements of twelve designers and other influential participants from nations across the Caribbean Region including St. Vincent & The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Suriname to name a few.
Meet the participants of the Eight Annual Caribbean Style & Culture Showcase, to be held on Saturday June 17 at the Silver Spring Civic Center in the heart of Downtown Silver Spring, MD.
(Producer & Director)
Chantney Renese is an artist and fashion professional. As Caribbean Style and Culture Fashion Show Director of 2016, this multicultural marvel strives to advocate for creativity and cultural awareness. She has worked internationally and has explored fashion in London, Paris, and the Middle East. Her work has also been displayed at the Green Design Athens in Athens Greece. In addition, she has appeared on the Style Network and FOX.
Chantney owns and operates Chantney Renese LLC, a fashion and lifestyle brand that revolves around multi-dimensional designs, cultural equality and women empowerment. This well versed marvel has created and produced a variety of fashion shows and community events focused on the African, Caribbean and Latin Diaspora. Chantney Renese has been responsible for styling clients for TV Shows, media events and beauty pageants. She has a natural gift of marketing and brand development.
With a positive spirit and gracious attitude, Chantney Renese has been able to achieve much success and touch the minds of others. Readers from all over the world enjoy her inspirational fashion blog.
(Stylist/Production Manager)From an early age, Mystique Boivert was drawn to fashion. The Founder of boutique public relations firm, H. Mystique, accredits the women of her family as her inspiration. “My mother and grandmother, proud Haitian women, we’re very big on manners and etiquette and ‘proper ‘ dressing was definitely part of that”
From shopping trips with her mother, to styling the most fashionable set, Mystique has literally traveled the world for fashion.
In 2000, Mystique was recognized for her outstanding work and was a recipient of the Young, Gifted, and Black Award. In 2004, while working with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, she took a position and relocated to Haiti. The life-changing move exposed her to a vibrate kaleidoscope of culture influences which nurtured her creative side. After a decade dedicated to social change and development work, Mystique left a position with the United Nations to pursue her constant passion – fashion!
Mystique created H. Mystique (H- Haitian je ne sais quoi) in 2011 and launched a fashion takeover. Starting in Haiti, she was part of the executive committee that orchestrate the country’s first ever Fashion Week. Mystique is Fashion Consultant, who has served as Creative Director on several national and international fashion ad campaigns and shows, working with such celebrity clients as Lisa Nicole from ‘Married to Medicine’, and former Miss Universe USA and reality star, Kenya Moore. She loves working with up and coming artist/designers, helping them to develop their brand. H. Mystique client, designer Prajje Jean-Baptiste was just named one of the ’15 Top Haitian Designers who are Breaking Barriers’ by Teen Vogue. Mystique herself was recently named one of the ‘10 Best Dressed Haitian women of 2016’, alongside actress Garcelle Beauvais.
As Mystique continues to take on new challenges, such as a new internet show similar to Bravo’s Fashion Police, we can expect to see much more from this fashion powerhouse.
As a model, host, beauty pageant queen, brand ambassador and creative director in the industry for 10 years, Midori Amae is a moving force towards the future of beauty and fashion. After back-to-back seasons in MBFW, NYFW and Couture Fashion Week, she became DCW50’s America’s Next Top Model Fan Favorite winner and, months later, Creative Director for i-Fashion Magazine, a fashion photography magazine with over 800,000 subscribers. She has worked with Maserati, Margaret Persuad, and Lexus, to name a few. Midori is the face of DiDomenico Design, and has previously been a brand ambassador to Arithmetics Sports TSON, Beauty Bar Hair Unlimited and The Earth Project, a non-profit initiative empowering women through education and philanthropy.
Midori currently works in the Greater Washington, D.C. area producing fashion shows and events and developing aspiring models. Midori was trained in dance for 12 years, has Studio Art and Spanish Literature and Language degrees from Virginia Tech and has been featured on Fox News, ABC News, Belle New York, Alpha and i-Fashion Magazines. Midori is the co-host for DMV Podcast and To Go Fox (prod 2017). Midori’s love for fashion and entertainment is only matched by her love of the arts and design. As award-winning Head of Design and co-founder at Repost Productions, Midori leads the design team and oversees marketing and advertisement for all clients.
In September 2016, Midori Amae was crowned Miss Black Virginia USA 2017. Midori is passionate about helping young girls with self-esteem issues from verbal and emotional abuse as well as sharing knowledge about service learning and art education. Midori Amae hopes to bring home the title of Miss Black USA 2017 when she competes in the scholarship pageant in August.
(Caribbean Style & Culture 2017 Hostess)
NATASHA A. HARPER
CARIBBEAN MODEL OF THE YEAR 2017 – (Designers Choice – Runway)
NATASHA A. HARPER has graced countless international and regional runways, representing Guyana as an emerging force within the fashion industry. On local shores, she is highly sought after by renowned fashion designers, because her look, her poise and her stance combine to create a head turning aesthetic that exudes style.
Though born to Guyanese parents in England, on April 2, 1993, it is Guyana where she was raised and which she still calls home today. Natasha was always tall for her age, and at 14 years old, her height and unique look caught the attention of Michelle Cole and Trevor Rose of Cole Facts. After hitting the runway for the first time, Natasha was soon being called to walk for other local designers, the likes of Keisha Edwards, Sonia Noel, Ryan Berkley, Randy Madray and Mwanza Glenn.
In 2013, Natasha was approached by Oronde George and Junior Kennedy, Co-owners of Traits Model Management (Guyana) and it is this that she admits was a game changer for her career. Under Kennedy’s guidance, Natahsa was able to sharpen her technique in no time. In the years since then, she has become well known regionally and has walked in shows such as the Caribbean’s premier fashion and lifestyle event, Summer Sizzle in the British Virgin Islands in 2014 and 2016. In 2014, she was also granted the unique opportunity of attending the Mercedes Benz Fashion week in New York where she walked for Cesar Galindo, Mauricio Alpizar, Kortomomolu and Edwin D’angelo. Natasha returned to the New York Fashion Week catwalk in 2015 and 2016 and walked for Guyana’s own Roger Gary as well as Laquan Smith who is known designing for the Kardashians, Rihanna and Beyoncé and several other A Class celebrities.
Natasha believes that modelling is an extremely competitive field that requires discipline in order to perfect one’s technique in strutting the runway.
Her exposure in the fashion industry has also led to her developing her creative skills in clothing design and interior decorating. She hopes to one day establish her clothing line while still being known as one of Guyana’s premier models who is recognized worldwide. This goal, she says, will go hand in hand with her aspiration to be an advocate for women empowerment as she works to ensure that women receive full encouragement in achieving their goals. (Jasmaine Payne)
MAURICIA De PEZA
2017 CARIBBEAN STYLE & CULTURE MODEL OF THE YEAR
(RUNWAY & PRINT)
Mauricia DePeza is a 26-year-old ambitious fashion model from Belmont, on the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago who has been modelling professionally for the past eleven years. She was trained at the age of fifteen by the House of Jacqui. Her long legs, signature strut, facial features and personality are few of her assets that allowed her to excel in the modeling industry. Over the years she has become a mainstay on the local runway, commercial and print modelling industry. She has been collaborating with clients, photographers and designers to execute local print campaigns.
Her long list of advertising and commercials include Bmobile, Digicel, Fruta, Micles, Wonderful World, Caribbean Airlines, CPL T20, MasterCard, Sacha Cosmetics, National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago, Rizzoni’s Italian Restaurant, 212 Location, Bang Bang, Rethink and Courts Optical to name a few.
She has been featured in many publications including the cover of Caribbean Belle Weddings, Trinidad Express Woman’s Magazine, Trinidad Guardian’s WOW Magazine, Newsday WMN Magazine, ET&T Magazine, Island Me Magazine, Metro Magazine and OMG Magazine.
In 2012 Mauricia was the first runner up in the Trinidad and Tobago Miss Universe pageant. She is currently employed as a part time fashion model/demonstrator at the University of Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design (CAFD). Her goal, with respect to modelling, is to gain international experience and develop herself in the ever growing, challenging world of fashion. Although Mauricia is thriving in the modeling industry, her career goal is to be a Psychologist and successful entrepreneur.
Mauricia will be attending the Caribbean Style and Culture Awards & Fashion Showcase on Saturday, June 17, 2017 where she will be awarded with the Caribbean Style and Culture- “Award of Excellence, Runway and Print Modeling.” This award exemplifies the contribution and dedication made to impact the Caribbean Fashion Industry.
UURTJE VANNA is a Surinamese model who is known in the Dutch speaking nation having graced the catwalks of several fashion events over the past four years. Born in Suriname on December 14, 1991, Uurtje began modeling at the age of 21. Now 25, she has since walked in shows for Carifesta, modelling for Haiti (2013), Suriname Fashion Week and has also done ad campaigns and other photo-shoots. Uurtje graduated from the University of Applied Sciences with her LLB and is currently working to begin her Master’s program. But even with her professional aspirations, modelling still plays a big role on her list of things she likes to do in her spare time, along with, sports and reading. She admits that she started her modelling career later than she should have due to insecurities she suffered as a young girl. This led to Uurtje turning down several offers to model before finally developing that confidence.
(2017 Award Nominee)
Abigail Petit-Frere is young Florida native who has been styling since the summer of 2010. Tapping into her roots, Abs reached out to Haitian music producer and artist, JBeatz in Miami, to style his music video “It’s getting late.” Soon after, she began to work with a network of photographers in the Central Florida area, also booking repeated projects within the Haitian Music industry.
Her career bloomed as she was caste for various positions on African TV Network, Afrotainment TV. This included being a TV host as music VJ, fashion personality and key wardrobe stylist for their sitcom, “Gals”. Her background includes graduating from the Fashion Technology program at Orlando Tech. This Ultimately lead her to create custom pieces as well as launching a sample collection at the prestigious country club of Bella Collina.
Abs’ claim to fame sparked in the fall of 2014 when she landed a position as one of the contestants on E! TV’s, “House of DVF”. Chosen as 1 out of 10, she introduced her eclectic style to millions watching, as well as her unique design aesthetic to CEO, Diane Von Furstenberg. Since this time, she has moved to Miami lending her talents to fashion photographers, clothing brands and top modeling agencies.
Excerpts from a recent interview with ABS Peti by Awaken Magazine. “The biggest thing I’ve learned while styling is the trick of optical illusions. Fashion is art, it needs to look appealing to the primary sense of sight. Too much can be tragic. I’ve learned that if a woman is top-heavy with little to no bottom, you wouldn’t want to give her a loud top with obnoxious prints. You’d either want to darken or solidify her bust and torso, and draw attention to her bottom, with an eye-catching print to give her a nice proportioned look.
I am inspired by people and culture. Culture gives texture, and texture gives a rich feel to any look. I am far from a minimalist, but if i do choose to go minimal, its intercepted by chunky neckwear or bracelet. Due to my Haitian culture, I’ve learned to appreciate African undertones in designer labels as well as the rich bold colors that come with it.”
KAREN De FREITAS – “Made by SOKA”
(2017 Award Nominee)
SOKA is an emerging Womenswear brand that embraces femininity while romanticizing contemporary designs. She is the Modern day Dorothy Dandridge meets Madonna in the SEX Book. Designer of the Brand, Karen De Freitas started designing while living on the island Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Shortly there after, She moved New York City to attend Parson School of Design. While a student she apprenticed with brands such Alice + Olivia, Zac Posen, Bibhu Mohapatra and Yigal Azrouel.
Through these internships, SOKA developed an elevated taste in contemporary designs, while remaining true to her island roots. She then launched her first contemporary collection under the name SOKA in Spring Summer 2015, establishing the brand aesthetic strongly rooted in marrying colors and reinvigorating classic silhouettes. SOKA experiments with current trends and represent them in upcoming collections in a tasteful and timeless interpretation. In 2016 she started the Menswear counterpart to SOKA; Charles & Olive , named after her parents.
She has so far been featured in Nov 2015’s Harpers Bazaar Serbia Magazine, seen on Vogue.com , Fashion Bomb Daily, worn by stylist to Solange and Beyonce; Shiona Turni and has gotten the cover of February 2016 Bassculture Islands Magazine . She was named one of the top Ten Caribbean Designers in 2016 by Largeup.com.
SHE Caribbean Magazine (November 2008) Posh Caribbean Magazine(2008) SHE Caribbean Magazine(2009)
Caribbean Styling Magazine(2009) Panache JA Magazine-PJAM (2009) Relapse Magazine 2013
(2017 Award Nominee)
Jeilyné Santana is a young, thriving, Puerto Rican designer with just over 3 years of experience in the fashion industry. Her work has been highlighted for the audacity in her designs, with her collections focusing on Prêt-à-Porter and unconventional bridal designs.
Jeilyné’s designs are defined by their sophisticated style. All of her pieces possess an exquisite and unique personality. Patterns, illustrations, embroidery, and lace are key elements of her collections. Her unique style and talent brought about a wonderful opportunity in February 2016, when she became the first Puerto Rican designer to present a showcase in the DC Fashion Week.
In February 2017 she presented her first bridal collection in the New York Fashion Week.
Jeilyné has a unique way of envisioning fashion, resulting in a continuous evolution of her style. As she shares her styles and designs with the world, she strives to give the gift of inspiration to her clients, encouraging them to never stop embroidering their dreams. Jeilyné Santana proudly creates each pattern and design with care and meticulous detail in her studio, offering only the best quality products to her clients.
RYAN S. BERKELEY
(2017 Award Nominee)
Ryan Samuel Berkley, a native Guyanese, grew up always hearing the sound of the sewing machine at work in his home. When he was nine years old he took on art as a form of expression, always drawing and coloring at school where he would usually outshine the other students at sewing and designing.
In 2010 he was given his debut in the local fashion industry as a contestant on a local television show where he captured audiences far and wide with his unique sense of style, and ability which always radiated. With one year’s experience, he was given the task of creating his own line. He went on to complete runway shows including the prestigious fashion event Designer/Stylist Portfolio, where he shared the stage with other prominent local designers.
As a fashion creator and trendsetter, resourceful in finding contemporary ways of incorporating everyday life necessities and resourceful elements into his designs, he intends to broaden the mindset of Guyanese, so that fashion may become a lifestyle in Guyana.
In 2012 Ryan participated in Mission Catwalk is a fashion reality series created by Jamaican fashion designer Keneea Linton-George aimed at discovering and developing new talent. The Kingston-based show tests the creativity and skill of each contestant through various challenges.
(2017 Award Nominee)
Born and raised in the multi-island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Peta Odini Sutherland is a fashion designer and marketing professional currently living in St. Vincent. After working as a Marketing Executive at a local telecommunications company, Odini moved to London to pursue studies in fashion. She completed the Fashion Foundation course at the London College of Fashion and then moved on to Ravensbourne in 2009.
At Ravensbourne she started out as a textile print design student, however after doing a menswear elective, the additional pattern cutting and manufacturing techniques necessary to create the right fit and feel in the construction of men’s clothing soon won over. She transferred to the Menswear group in the last term of her first year and went on to graduate in the summer of 2012 with a BA (Hons) Fashion with a specialism in Menswear.
Following the completion of her BA, Sutherland then went on to Seneca College in Toronto where she attained a Post Graduate Certificate in Brand Management after which she returned to the Caribbean in late 2013 and worked as an Account Executive at an advertising agency in Trinidad.
In 2014, Odini officially launched her brand Peta Odini with the debut of its first full collection titled “Sans Peur”.
Sutherland continues to push the boundaries of fashion in the Caribbean and is utilizing her fashion studies along with her marketing and advertising experience to build Peta Odini into a leading lifestyle brand. The brand is available at stockists in St. Vincent, Trinidad and the USA and its printed apparel online at petaodini.com
Peta Odini has been featured in Acubien Online Magazine, Shabeau Magazine, SHE Caribbean, Zing; Liat’s Inflight Magazine, Caribbean Beat; Caribbean Airline’s Inflight Magazine, The Karibbean Kollective and other regional blogs and media sites. The brand has been worn by top Soca Artistes including Kevin Lyttle, Skinny Fabulous (St. Vincent), 5 Star Akil (Trinidad), Dash (Grenada) and cricketers Darren Sammy and Kesrick Williams. Peta Odini Sutherland was born in the multi island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She holds a BA (Hons) Fashion with a specialization in Menswear from Ravensbourne, London and a Post Graduate Certificate in Brand Management from Seneca, Toronto. Sutherland began her studies in fashion as a Textile design student and this background is a huge influence in the development of her work.
(Peta Odini is available @the Following)
- Kimya Glasgow Boutique – St. Vincent
- Akimbo – Trinidad & Tobago
- AK Couture Boutique – Brooklyn, NY
“Made From LOVE – Wadada Lifestyle” Asha and Ayanna Diaz
(2017 Award Nominee)
Wadada is an Amharic word that means ‘Love’. This movement was created by twin sisters Ayanna & Asha Diaz, in the middle of 2010. Although never formally educated in fashion, both sisters have a great love for expressing who they are through their sense of fashion and style. Born and raised in the Caribbean on the main island of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, these sisters have never conformed to the “what’s hot” in fashion. The look they have created for themselves is a fusion of cultured royalty and bohemian chic, which was influenced by their travels throughout the Caribbean, Europe and Africa.
At a young age, the twins, as they are commonly known; designed a lot of their own outfits, as it was challenging for them to find pieces that matched their style and body structure. Over the years they received many questions and complements about the pieces they wore, and this drove them to establish a brand that would be available to everyone. Together the twins wanted to create a line of female clothing that reflected their personalities and their somewhat “out-of-the-box’ style.
To date Wadada Movement has kept to their mission by producing clothing that accentuates the female confidence while being made from love. The sisters also kept to their mission by remaining humble within the ever-evolving Caribbean Fashion Industry.
(Keisha Edwards 2016 Award Recipient)
Keisha holds a Sociology degree from the University of Guyana but her passion for fashion led her to pursue a Certificate in Dress Making from Carnegie School of Home Economics, and Advance Draping and Fashion Tailoring from the Burrowes School of Art in Georgetown. Keisha also attended the prestigious Parsons the New School for Design in New York City, where she studied fabric selection and design style.
Keisha’s fashion brand, ShaSha Designs, debuted at the 2008 Guyana Fashion Weekend. Her “Infusion” collection received great reviews that led to another participation in the event in 2009. By 2010 ShaSha Designs was equipped and ready to handle their first fashion show titled “Fierce Expressions” which became an annual event in Guyana on May 1st from 2010 -2012. ShaSha Designs’ motto is “Personality Risen to the Surface. Where traditional Rock meets modern wear. Unique is an understatement.”
Kerisha received Karib Nation, Inc’s. ‘Award of Excellence – Fashion Innovation’ at the 2016 Caribbean Style and Culture Awards held last June at the University of Maryland Samuel Riggs Alumni Center in College Park, Maryland. The award is in recognition for the impact she has made in the Caribbean Fashion Industry.
(2013 Award Recipient)
Andrew Harris New York a luxury cruise casual menswear brand which embodies a variety of outstanding characteristics such as quality, comfort and a sense of timelessness. The glamour of the ready-to-wear line steams from innovative designs of classic shapes resulting in looks with a decisively contemporary twist. Top quality materials are selected, traditional techniques are used and an infinite attention is given to details offering a celebrated interpretation of stylishness. MISSION : We are a new generation brand with a mission clear as we are empowered to continue the evolution of men’s fashion. Our company prides itself in producing clothing that fits well, attention is paid to the smallest detail; and comfort is second nature with a relaxed feel and luxe sustainability. Truly, our goal has always been to exceed the expectations and meet the lifestyle needs of our diverse customer base.
Andrew Harris’s Spring collection is Influenced by a unique blend of Caribbean and pop culture. Andrew creates inventive casual wear with a distinct sporty edge, focusing on structure and classic silhouette.
(Kristin Frazer 2014 Award Recipient)
ESTHER JOSEPH (Queen Esther)
KUUMBA DESIGNS – (2017 Award Nominee)
Queen Esther Joseph has been sewing for nearly four decades. From the ages of nine to fourteen her mentor was Regina Edwards, a St Lucian designer, and after getting her first sewing machine in her early teens Esther started her own business. At the age of seventeen , determined to excel in fashion, she left St Lucia for New York, and got a job in a sweat shop producing piece work, then gained experience in working with leather, suede and furs. Still in New York aged nineteen, she studied with her Trinidadian mentor Rosemary Donald who held a degree in fashion design.
Queen Esther specialized in tailoring before branching out on her own at age twenty, creating customized clothing for a wide range of clients including models, Reggae artistes and stylish professionals, as well as bridal wear and gowns for beauty pageants. She now resides in St Lucia and still maintains her standards and reputation in the international market.
Kuumba Designs specializes in eco-friendly couture and Esther’s commitment to sustainability is solid! The label was created to conceptualize the essence of life and her philosophy describes fashion as a concept of visual art forms. Kuumba Designs’ ranges are exclusive, functional and fabricated in a variety of materials such as hand crafted crochet, cotton, linen, hemp, bamboo, silk satin, chamois, taffeta, chiffon, organza , Chantilly lace, Sisal straw and recyclable materials.
Queen Esther draws inspiration from her extensive travels and interaction with people, art, fruits and flowers, blending ethnic and historical influences with contemporary creativity. Self-confidence and passion for design is paramount. When working on a collection she uses her personal and professional experience as inspiration. She continually experiments with new techniques, always seeking to be different with her approach to fashion.
SHE Caribbean has featured Queen Esther’s Kuumba Designs in many issues, and are proud to be associated with this top St Lucian designer, whose unique fashion point of view was showcased at the St Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival HOT COUTURE Fashion Show.
(2013 Award Recipient)
A true Caribbean native, Kimya Glasgow was born in St Vincent and the Grenadines, grew up in Trinidad and Tobago, and lived in both the British Virgin Islands and Barbados.
She holds an Associate Degree in Fashion Design from the Barbados Community College.
Kimya has shown collections in Miami Fashion Week, Caribbean Fashion Week in Jamaica, Fashion Week Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados Fashion Week, and St Kitts Fashion Weekend to name a few; and is a 2013 Caribbean Fashion Awards winner with awards for achievement in Design from KaribNation Inc of Maryland/Washington DC and Shabeau Magazine.
The Kimya Glasgow aesthetic celebrates the rhythm of the human form in motion, influenced by the Caribbean aesthetic through its culture and art, which she combines with her love of history and world cultures in her designs, weaving a sense of world travel and wanderlust into every design.
ARTHLENE LEGAIR LAWRENCE
Arthlene Legair Lawrence is a prodigious, self – motivating successful woman who, from a youthful age, forged her way through challenging periods to become a leading award-winning International Celebrity Fashion Designer, proud mother of three, Motivational Speaker, Instructor, Mentor, Published Author, and Philanthropist. She was born on the beautiful Caribbean Island of Dominica. Legair is the CEO of LeGair Brand Company, founder of (L.I.F.E) “Laudat Institute of Fashion & Education” and President of the Restore to Empower Charity Organization (501c3). She gives honor to God who has refined her with challenges and trials creating a masterpiece, superseding the approval of men, to share her gifts and experiences with the world. She earned an Associate degree in Business Entrepreneurship at Columbus State College, she has been featured in many local, national and international publications and media outlets to name a few! The Atlanta |Modern Luxury, Brides magazine, Bravo TV’s Married to Medicine, CBS Atlanta Morning show, Channel 10 News, The Stan Watson TV show, World Liberty TV New York , Dominica Vibes News; Capital style magazine, Caribbean Fashion Spot, Paris fashion week, London Fashion week, NY couture Fashion week, Col Oh fashion week, The Women’s Empowerment Network with Lisa Nicole Bravo TV star, National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc, Miss Black Ohio; MIT University; African Vibes magazine and many more.
Arthlene is an active participant in the lives and welfare of many women, teens, and young adults. She was a Judge at Miss Georgia Latina and Miss Teen Georgia Latina Pageant. Professional Career Speaker at the Blendon Middle School in Ohio, Speech Judge for the Georgia Academic Decathlon. Guest panelist at Clark Atlanta University Fashion Segment, The Thriving Children Foundation Gala at the Fox Theater, Speaker at the Agnes Scott College, The Still Standing Foundation Domestic Violence Awareness and the Women’s retreat in Ohio. She sponsored and hosted sewing workshop in Los Angeles and volunteered to teach students how to make toy storage bags, which will be distributed to the Children at hospitals. Ongoing project: The healing headband project for children with cancer, the uniform project providing free uniforms for needy children in the Islands. Annual toy drive for her village in Dominica and other yearly projects for needy children. Arthlene was honored and received, The “Humanitarian Of The Year Award” at Atlanta City Hall by Atlanta Latino Fashion Week, The Black Women In Jazz & The Arts Awards-2016 Youth Empowerment Award”, The Increase CDC Micro Entrepreneur Community Choice Award, The Increase CDC Micro Entrepreneur Retail Award, Top Designer Title for Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids, “I Am Fashion-Top designer” at Ohio State University.
Mamayashi creates original designs, which allow for culturally aware, regally confident people to wear their declarations of freedom and sovereignty every day. She creates clothing because she believes that one of the ways we contribute energies to the society and the universe is through the way we dress.
Creating and designing clothing have always intrigued Mamayashi. She grew up in Jamaica under the protective care of a strong and determined mother, while watching her father work as an impeccable and well-respected tailor. Her journey evolved from crafting dolls’ clothing at her father’s shop to making revamping her adolescent clothing. Even without a sewing machine to put them together, she’d use ties, glue, tape, even staples! The acquisition of a vintage sewing machine during her college years in the U.S. was the first key that opened doors for her to use her clothing design skills for campus events, parties and cultural celebrations. It was only as she nurtured her first born and watched him crawl towards his own independence, was she then ready to turn her passion into her profession. Inspired by the encouragement and support of like-minded sistrens, she began to share her textile expressions with the world.
Her designs are heavily influenced by her love for Africa and the Rastafari journey. They reflect her values for natural creativity and growth, they also give honor to the African-minded leaders who have inspired her. Mamayashi’s daily mantra is one of humility and gratuity. She uses her work to bridge our ancestral history to our modern life.
Mamayashi has been honored to clothe local and international celebrities in her designs. Her creations have been featured at major events and in popular media publications. However, nothing delights her more than sending her handmade garments all over the world, to Queens and Kings like you.