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Islands of the World Fashion Week Wins Top Regional Award

Islands of the World Fashion Week Wins Top Regional Award

5/6/2009 12:00:00 AM
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS: - Islands of the World Fashion Week (IWFW) continues to prove its formidability in the region as an emerging fashion powerhouse and the Fashion Week to attend.   
The show won TOP AWARD for the 'Best Fashion Show or Fashion Week attended' category at the 2nd Annual Caribbean Fashion Awards (CFA) held at the Hilton Hotel in Bridgetown Barbados April 11th 2009. IWFW took honours over Trinidad Fashion Week (Trinidad), Caribbean Fashion Week (Jamaica) and ACF Fashion Weekend (Barbados).

Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Mode Îles Ltd, producers of IWFW, Owen Bethel , said the award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff and volunteers of IWFW.
"I am definitely pleased to have been honoured with this award on behalf of everyone who worked to make Islands of the World Fashion Week the memorable event that it was," said Bethel. "I would also like to recognize the support of our sponsors, UNESCO, American Airlines, DHL, Yves Saint Laurent, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation, Mode Îles, and The Montaque Group.

"This recognition by the industry in the region, given that it was our first event, is an indication that we are moving in the right direction and with the proper attention to detail that we can ultimately have a significant impact on the global fashion industry while developing a viable and sustainable local fashion industry here in The Bahamas." 

Bethel said that being placed in league with such as Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad & Tobago's fashion weeks as a candidate for the award is an achievement in itself.
"The award is one step in our goal of placing The Bahamas on the fashion map and calendar alongside New York, London, Paris, and Milan," he said, "but for the specific and larger objective of promoting the creativity of designers from the islands and developing countries."
The fashion week, which debuted in 2008, showcased the work of some 33 designers from 12 island nations including The Bahamas, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Fiji, Haiti, Indonesia, Jamaica, Madagascar, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago. The week also highlighted the work of world-renowned designers Kenneth Cole, Kevan Hall, Peter Ingwersen of NOIR Illuminati II and Nick Verreos.
Endorsed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), IWFW also serves as a promotional tool for four underlying global themes affecting small island states today - cultural diversity, the environment and climate change, poverty alleviation, and the education of youth on HIV/AIDS.
More than 21 Caribbean countries participated in the CFA held at the Hilton Barbados. Other categories up for grabs included Best Male and Female Runway model, Best Male and Female Photo model, Fashion Photographer, Caribbean Hairstylist, Caribbean Make-up Artist, Caribbean Male and Female Fashion Designer Award, Fashion Magazine Cover, Best Fashion TV Programme/ Fashion Show or Fashion Week, Upcoming Designer Award, Country Designer Awards and three special awards for achievement.

Established in 2006, the CFA recognizes the achievements of the fashion industry throughout the Caribbean. Conceptualized in 2006, the awards show came out of a "need of togetherness in the fashion industry," said Rodney Powers, executive director of Unique Productions Worldwide, the producers of Caribbean Fashion Awards in a recent interview.

A firm believer in unifying the industry in the region, Powers continues to build an industry network with hopes of introducing additional company programmes to promote further industry development.

The ultimate goal of Unique Productions Worldwide through its initiatives like CFA include increased exposure for Caribbean fashion via international media, the creation of a web-based Fashion Events Calendar for the Caribbean, the development of a regional database for industry practitioners, creating of online stores for Caribbean apparel and clothing, the acquisition of data manufacturing and low labour cost options for production (export), a setup for manufacturing within the Caribbean as well as creating products indigenous to [individual] countries for export.

These objectives establish the premise for Powers' vision of promotion of the Caribbean as a place to visit and do business.

And for Bethel, "The challenge now is to make this year's event an even better and more productive experience for all participants."

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