Nassau, Bahamas. 23rd October, 2008: Mode Îles, Ltd., organizers of the Islands of the World Fashion Week, have announced that a special focus will be given at this premiere event to a unique regional product and fabric, originating within the islands, known as the West Indian Sea Island Cotton. Owen Bethel, President of Mode Îles, Ltd. and creator of Islands of the World Fashion Week, stated “According to sources West Indian Sea Island Cotton is the world’s highest quality cotton and is grown in only a few islands within the region. It is known for its silk-like feel and texture, and because its fibers are longer than most other types of cotton it is ideal for high-end quality garments.” Mr. Bethel continued that “In keeping with the endorsement of the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) of the event, and UNESCO’s interest in encouraging the preservation of indigenous industries alongside the development of the creative arts, adding value to the local manufacturing process, and because it is a product unique to the islands and which is impacted by both trade and competitive synthetic patterns, there was no hesitation in obtaining support for the request of Claudia Pegus, working in collaboration with Exclusive Cottons of the Caribbean Inc., the major producer of the cotton in the region, to showcase a line of clothing made from 100% pure West Indian Sea Island Cotton. This is a classic example of encouraging the value-added growth of the fashion industry from the raw product in the ground to the processing and creation of a high-end consumer product”
Claudia Pegus, a veteran designer in the Caribbean fashion industry, is a native of Trinidad & Tobago. She has received many accolades for her work and initiative, the latest being the recipient of the Masters Award and Designer of the Year Award at the Caribbean Fashion Week 2008. She was also a previous recipient of her country’s top business award, “Female Entrepreneur of the Year”. Ms. Pegus will launch her new collection of resort wear, under the label “Breeze” Resort Wear Couture, on Thursday, 6th November, 2008 at the historic British Colonial Hilton, Nassau, Bahamas. For this collection she joined forces with New York-based menswear designer, Francis Hendy, and Jamaica-born milliner, Marcellas James, both of whom she has worked with on previous collections. This all white new collection, “Breeze”, includes heavily embellished, richly beaded caftans, sarongs, men’s shirts, hats and bags. Ms. Pegus notes “I am thrilled to be working alongside these two very talented designers on this project. This is a micro-step in my ambition to further develop and maximize the potential of the Caribbean fashion industry using our indigenous fabric that is in such great demand worldwide.” In respect of the industry she adds “There is a lot of potential within the region so while I enjoy the creativity involved in producing fashion, I am also consumed by the business of fashion, that is, how to get governments and even designers themselves to take note that the fashion industry has the ability to generate great revenue, contribute significantly to GDP and employ thousands of people in the Caribbean.”
Islands of the World Fashion Week will take place 5th – 8th November, 2008 at the world renowned Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island and the historic British Colonial Hilton, Nassau, Bahamas. The event, endorsed by UNESCO, will showcase 39 designers from 13 island nations around the world. While promoting cultural diversity and cross-cultural dialogue the event will also draw attention to the themes of the environment and climate change, the education of youth on HIV/AIDS, and poverty alleviation. International guest designers include Peter Ingwersen of NOIR Illuminati II of Denmark, Nick Verreos of Nikolaki, Kevan Hall of Kevan Hall Collections, and Kenneth Cole, who will also be receiving the Humanitarian Designer Award.
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