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Caribbean Fashion Rocks Delivers with Style and Flare

Jamaica, NY – Caribbean Fashion Rocks; a first of its kind affair of hair, fashion and style, delivered the best and brightest of up and coming talent in Caribbean designers and stylists to showcase at the Mangoville nightclub in Jamaica, NY Sunday, April 27. It was truly an impressive showing, as styles from Jamaica, Trinidad, St. Kitts and Grenada wowed the capacity crowd at Mangoville.

The event bore a tone of relevance similar to the Ebony Fashion Fair, which was originally conceived in response to the lack of opportunities and outlets afforded to designers and models of color. “There’s so much creativity in the Caribbean world, but they just don’t have the outlet to express it, so this is their outlet,” said event organizer and co-promoter Syn Dawkins of Social Eyes Entertainment. “My show is to give them an outlet to showcase the best of what they do.”

Some 15 designers took part in the showcase, presenting daring styles very much in tune with the signature flavor of the Caribbean. “We actually turned back designers, so there are about 20 designers just as fabulous as the ones showcased tonight,” said Irie Jams Media CEO and event co-promoter Robert “Bobby” Clarke.

Designs from veteran Michael Gillings, Anthony Eastwick and VP Records’ Riddim Driven Clothing stood out as audience favorites.
Yet, while fashion and style reigned supreme, the evening also provided a welcome retreat from the tensions surrounding the Sean Bell verdict, where the officers responsible for killing the unarmed Bell were fully acquitted of all criminal charges. Host DJ Roy took a moment to address the issue, reminding all in attendance to remember the Bell family as well as that of Amadou Diallo, the West African immigrant whose case is eerily similar to that of Sean Bell, in that he was unarmed and also killed in a hail of 41 bullets by four NYPD officers who were ultimately fully acquitted.

At the evening’s end, organizers and participants agreed that the presence of Caribbean Fashion Rocks’ presence in the community was the icing on a well-decorated cake. “Our mission at Irie Jam is to ensure that the world sees great Caribbean talent wherever it is from music, culture fashion and food. It feels great for us to see our visions manifested tonight,” said Clarke.

With 15 years of event planning behind them, Irie Jam Media has made successful strides in the community with such events as the Reebok Grand Prix, which in association with Reebok, gives up to 15,000 locals the opportunity to watch track and field talent from around the world compete at Randall Island. Other events include ‘Yam Jam’, an international food festival and ‘Irie Jamboree’, a marquee reggae music event entering its sixth year, which attracts some 30,000 patrons each year.

The success of Caribbean Fashion Rocks showcase already has Irie Jam Media organizers considering the possibility launching similar events in other cities with strong Caribbean markets. Clarke expressed his delight with the turnout of event’s and the potential to expand, adding, “We’re looking to build and expose real Caribbean talent from the ground up into mainstream American, European and Asian markets. This was our first test project, and we’re happy with the results.”

Victor “VI” Kakulu
freelance journalist/photographer
617-412-7508 (mobile)
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