BELIZE CITY–Belizean fashion designers, including young aspiring talent, attended a talk shop on fashion at the House of Culture on Friday morning, September 19, with Caribbean Fashion Ambassador, Sonia Noel of Guyana, whose passion, drive and excellence for fashion has won her broad regional and overseas acclaim. Noel also led the production of a fashion show on Friday evening at the same venue, featuring an array of Belizean talent.
At Friday’s talk shop, Noel told Belizean designers that establishing an association is a must, because it can serve as an instrumental vehicle for them to organize the industry, as well as make business ventures more viable.
Noel emphasized the unique culture of the Caribbean and the vibrancy of the colors that are reflected in both the garments people wear and the food they eat. She said that while there is no way that the Caribbean designers can compete against items made in China, what is essential is the realization that, “We are niche market people.”
Noel, whose signature styles are accentuated by lattice artwork, urged designers to be original and they will get noticed eventually, and to aim to convince our people that what Caribbean designers create is the best that they can get.
Noel said the Government of Belize has committed to creating a platform for Belizean designers to grow the industry.
Noel, owner of Mariska’s Designs, is also the founder of the Sonia Noel Foundation for Creative Arts (SNFCA), established to nurture raw talent in dance, drama, visual arts, acting, fashion, photography, and other creative endeavours in the hopes of developing the specific art forms.
The Belize event resulted from a collaboration between the Institute of Creative Arts in the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and SNFCA.