Spotlight on Caribbean Designers


This week, as part of its annual Jazz & Arts Festival, St. Lucia fêted Caribbean fashion designers with a sizzling “Hot Couture” show at the Sandals Grande Resort. Fourteen new collections hit the catwalk, including vibrant styles from Trinidad, Barbados, St. Vincent and of course, St. Lucia.

Blouin Lifestyle selected three St. Lucian designers, whose styles stood out on the catwalk, to talk about their inspirations. Click on this link to access the original report by Jennifer Parker for a slideshow of various designs.

What is the theme of your collection?

My pieces are very simple. Simplicity is beauty, that’s my motto. But this collection is also fun and flirty!

What sparked your interest in fashion?

I’ve been making clothes since I was 12. My mom is a seamstress. But I wasn’t a huge fan of my mother’s clothing. [She laughs.] I wanted to wear my own ideas, create my own look. My school friends liked it. Soon we were all dressing alike!

How did you launch your business?

My first show was in 2003, at the Cultural Center. After that, things started to pick up. My clients come to me, mostly via word of mouth. I’m a personal designer, so I come up with shapes that work well with the person’s body type. In Castries, plenty of people really appreciate fashion; there’s a lot of talent here – but in terms of the market, we still have a ways to go.

Kimberly Charlery

What is the theme of your collection?

Color is my theme! Too much is never too much. I love geometry, I love shapes, and playing with different fabrics on the body. Typically, I’ll use cottons and linens, fabrics that behave in hot weather.

Is this collection a reflection of you?

It is part of my personality, for sure. I’ve always been very outspoken, so the majority of my designs are statement pieces. This is my creative release. And it’s very eclectic! [laughs.] I just love the freedom of fashion; the freedom to express myself without stereotypes.

How can people find your designs?

Most of my clients contact me through social media. They come to my home in Corinth. Socialites are my clients, usually in their 20s and 30s. It sure is the season for them now, with Jazz Fest going on!

Miriam Belasse

How did you get your start?

I’ve been designing since I was 16 years old. My mom was a seamstress, which is a very common job in the Caribbean. You know, I fell in love with the attention pretty clothes brought.

How do you describe your style? 

I want my clothes to be a reflection of where I came from. This collection, I call ‘Runway Resort’ which plays with a lot of silk blends and linens. It’s flirtatious, and relaxing at the same time. They’re the kind of clothes you want on a Caribbean vacation.

You have a boutique in the USA. How did you make that happen?

I did some fashion shows in the 80s in New York City. I remember my first ‘break’ was after my collection was shown at Sweet Waters, an old cabaret club that happened to be sold out that night. I was so excited! Eventually, I opened a fashion show room on 36th street on a shared lease. It worked out really well, because companies come to you instead of you going to them. But I got burnt out in NYC, so I moved to Atlanta and opened “Belasse Boutique.”

– See more at:

One thought on “Spotlight on Caribbean Designers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s