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Former Versace Executive Takes Helm of Producing Events for Islands of the World Fashion Week

1/31/2008 12:00:00 AM
www.notesfromhollywood.com

The premiere launch of “Islands of the World Fashion Week” (IWFW) has been announced by President Owen Bethel in Nassau, The Bahamas. This 4-day event scheduled for November 5-8, 2008 will host well-known and new designers from islands around the world to promote cultural diversity and creativity. The designer show events will be held at the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau with the Opening and Closing receptions at the Atlantis Ocean Club, Paradise Island, The Bahamas.

“We are extremely pleased to announce this year’s event and give each designer an opportunity to showcase their fashions and accessories influenced by their rich island perspectives. With representatives from the various islands of the world, the event promises to be one of global proportions,” stated President Owen Bethel.

Designers will be required to produce a minimum of 20 garments or a line of clothing consisting of a minimum of 50 garments with at least one garment reflecting the island that the designer represents and at least one additional garment must make a statement of the designer’s awareness to the environment.

Produced by Former Versace Executive

Tomas Frenes, who served as Deputy Director for the Americas of the vast Versace fashion empire up to the time of the famed designer's tragic death, has become the Executive Producer of the Islands of the World Fashion Week, and has assumed the role of Executive Vice President of the corporate entity producing the event, Mode lIes, Ltd.

Mr. Frenes, who himself is a native of Cuba, but now resides in Miami, Florida, where he operates his own furniture design studio, stated that he was "particularly pleased to be associated with this unique and innovative event as one who has roots in the islands, but more so that the event was conceived to not only showcase the creativity and style generated within the islands of the world but to also project sensitivity for the environment and incorporate elements of culture. Never in my experience have these been combined into a single catwalk presentation as a part of a fashion week. It is an exciting concept and I am looking forward to creating an inspiring experience for both the designers and industry executives."

The historic British Colonial Hilton Hotel on Nassau, Bahamas will be the venue for the various catwalk presentations, featuring the work of designers of both fashion and accessories, while the world-renowned Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island will host the opening and closing receptions. Mr. Frenes noted that other events such as a cultural display, a fireworks display, a designer seasonal trends presentation, and themed luncheons and cocktail receptions will take place at various venues around the island of New Providence. "This event will certainly leave its footprint on the sands of the international fashion calendar." he continued.

Mr. Owen Bethel, President of Mode lIes, Ltd., conceived of the idea for the Fashion Week while on his tour of duty as the Representative for The Bahamas on the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris. He indicated that "UNESCO for me represented a convergence of different cultures and the promotion of those skills, techniques, and lifestyles which are unique to those cultures. The creativity implicit in this is captured in fashion as evidenced by major international designers drawing on various aspects of 'exotic cultures' as influences on their designs. I saw this as an opportunity for those local designers to showcase their own creativity and, being from a developing island, I wished to start with this group initially."

UNESCO gave its support to the concept and event. According to Ms. Francoise Riviere, Assistant Director-General for Culture at UNESCO, "We are convinced that this event will contribute to the promotion of creativity and highlight the social role of designers in sustainable development." Mr. Bethel continues "The event will be a visual and vibrant expression of creativity, cultural diversity and dialogue. This will prove to be a culturally enriching event of global proportions.”

While emphasizing that the event is primarily a trade show, certain events will be open to the public. Mr. Bethel also stresses that "while it is not a competition, awards of recognition will be given to the designers who best present expressions of culture and the global environmental issues within their designs. A special award will also be given to a novice designer who shows exceptional promise in the international market." 

NotesfromHollywood IWFW Article HERE

www.islandsfashionweek.com
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