Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 23rd 2015 Contents JULY 23 • 2015 www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG7
With a three-year strategic
plan in their arsenal, the
team at FashionTT plans
to bring not just T&T s,
but the Caribbean s fash-
ion designers to the inter-
Last week the Business Guardian spoke to Lisa
Marie Daniel, general manager of FashionTT, a state
agency that is charged with helping industrialise
the country s fashion industry.
"I believe that right now we have a very talented,
innovative designer base in T&T. We don t have,
by any means, a shortage of good and talented
designers. What we really need to do is put the
business in fashion and launch it off in terms of
commercialisation," Daniel said.
FashionTT s aim is to take T&T s designers to
local, regional and international stores, by empow-
ering them at all levels with business skills.
"We are ensuring that designers can move their
businesses off to be run efficiently, so they could
be able to generate substantial market growth locally,
regionally and internationally.
"The way we plan to do this is a strategic plan
that was completed in March 2015. That plan draws
the outline of how the industry should go within
the next three years which should push the com-
Daniel has had almost ten years of experience
in managing a wide range of agencies including
those in the banking sector, housing and other state
She believes her diverse skill set in business
administration would help to transform the fashion
sector into an industry.
"I ve held management positions in the private
sector and senior management positions in the
public sector. I was the chief financial officer at
NLCB previously, which gave me a lot of experience
from a business and financial point of view."
Daniel says that the core focus of FashionTT is
to generate income for the designers, which can
be achieved by showing them the way to make
their designs profitable.
"What we intend to do is have a series of capac-
ity-building workshops to educate designers. These
designers will learn what is required of them to do
business plans and export plans, so that they could
really understand the requirements of regional and
international buyers in order for them to move for-
ward in a tangible way."
Daniel said before FashionTT came into existence,
there were different entities trying to bring local
designers into T&T stores. FashionTT recently sup-
ported Racked, a pop-up event where designers
got to display their work to local retailers.
"We really want to support these ventures to
ensure that local designers have a platform and
space to effectively buy and show off to the local
market. We are looking into engaging local retail
outlets to gauge their interests so that they could
start showcasing designers, garments and jewelery
in their stores," Daniel said.
FashionTT s strategic plan categorises the fashion
industry at four levels: designers needing future
support, support pertaining to one or more elements
for their business; incubator and global value chain,
which gives support by way of export and part-
Charu Lochan Dass, whose brand is known as
CLD, is one such designer who has been earmarked
by FashionTT as a strong candidate for global value-
chain support. FashionTT is trying to assist in
getting CLD s work recognised internationally. Fash-
ionTT recently supported CLD, who went to Mer-
cedes-Benz Fashion Week, Amsterdam to raise
awareness of her brand.
"We felt as if Charu was at an advanced stage
of her export readiness. At this point Charu has
her own boutique in Woodbrook. She has a local
manufacturer in Trinidad who produces pieces for
her, so she has the capacity for buyers, should there
be request for sale."
FashionTT is also looking to bring Caribbean
fashion design into the local market. In the near
future, FashionTT would like to host a trade fair
to have buyers from different stores meet the design-
ers and negotiate to get their clothes in the stores.
"The buyers are interested in the local designers,
and at this point it is just to get the designers in
the stores. From a local standpoint there is no ques-
tion in the terms of the attractiveness of their
pieces. We just have to make sure that designers
are fully equipped to mass manufacture their prod-
While FashionTT is aiming to bring local designs
into the country s malls, their original mandate
was to make T&T s designers export ready. Because
of this, they created a Fashion Look Book which
will be sent to buyers from around the French-
speaking Caribbean which will be distributed at
the end of July. Fifteen designers---12 garment
designers and three jewelery designers---will be fea-
tured in that look book.
Also, an upcoming Columbia Moda Trade Exhi-
bition from July 28 to July 30 will bring local design-
ers together with garment manufactures to network
and build relationships so that they will have the
ability to mass produce their designs for a larger
"We are planning to attend the Columbia Moda
Trade Exhibition. This would have a wide range of
manufacturers present who we are going to meet
with to determine what is required on their side
in order to build the relationship, so we could start
near shore production in the very short term."
She said their strategic plan highlighted Columbia
as one of the better places in the Latin America
region to partner with for manufacturing.
"A few things highlighted in the strategic plan
is to support the designers so that they could go
to international trade shows for the purpose of
sales, support them to go on trade missions for the
purpose of fostering manufacturing partnerships
and sourcing of affordable textiles."
FashionTT is also planning to host "intimate
business meetings" where selected designers would
be able to meet with these manufacturers and dis-
cuss what is required to move forward in the near
The designers will be chosen based on a prede-
termined criteria including quality production capa-
bilities, volume produced, market experience, and
co-financing capability; which is their ability to
partially finance their projects.
FashionTT has in the past year launched an
extensive survey with 135 fashion stakeholders to
determine the T&T fashion aesthetic.
"The Caribbean aesthetic brand intends to
empower designers to have their own voices and
have their own space. We, as Caribbean people,
have our own voice and have our own aesthetic."
The strategic plan, which will be launched in
August, will enable FashionTT to engage and cat-
egorise its stakeholders and roll out an action plan
that would benefit the specific needs of those at
all levels of the industry.
fashion to the world
Links Archive July 22nd 2015 July 24th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page