Fashion Industry Poised to Become Major Factor in Economy – Minister Williams
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Fayval Williams, says the local fashion industry is poised to become a significant sector in the Jamaican economy.
Speaking at the launch of the 14th staging of Saint International’s ‘Style Week Jamaica’, which will run from May 16 to 20, the Minister said the performance of Jamaica’s fashion models has captured centre stage on many international runways, noting that these strides are being made as a result of the “trendsetting style” of local model management agencies such as Saint International and others.
The launch was held at Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa, 39 Lady Musgrave Road, on May 14.
During the five days of Style Week, a major runway will be opened to the best fashion designers, who will showcase next season’s trends as they unveil their 2019 collections.
“At the same time, Saint International will be featuring several international stars on one runway in a show that promises class and style. This will be one of those opportunities for Jamaicans to witness the stellar performance of Saint stars, including Tami Williams, Naki Depass, Johnny B and others,” Mrs. Williams said.
She pointed out that fashion makes a noteworthy contribution to the economies of countries that are deemed to be international fashion Meccas around the globe.
“Here in Jamaica, as Saint International and others set the trend for international model management, they are becoming significant contributors to the local creative economy,” the Minister said.
She noted that fashion is a US$1.2-trillion global industry that employs people across numerous occupations, such as fashion designers, models, lawyers, accountants, copywriters, social media directors, and project managers.
“Our unemployment figures have been on a downward trend, with the unemployment rate standing at 9.6 per cent. We know that the local fashion industry is a dynamic one, and it is gradually contributing to our country’s improved labour statistics; therefore, it is initiatives such as ‘Style Week’ [that] will assist us to track the trends, and record the contribution that the creative industry generates for our economy,” Mrs. Williams said.
For his part, Chief Executive Officer of Saint International, Deiwght Peters, said that Style Week will provide an opportunity for persons to participate in and engage “the creators, who will unveil on this platform what they deem to be their own interpretation, their creative inspiration for spring and summer 2019”.
He added that Saint International is a leading exporter of black models to the world, and is now “charged with the responsibility to position this Jamaican creative industry, named fashion, as a brand product or industry champion that will not only speak the global fashion language very articulately, but certainly create the kind of economic movement that creates jobs”.
In the meantime, Minister of State in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, said that Saint International has opened opportunities for individuals to expand their horizon, adding that Style Week is an opportunity to showcase brand Jamaica.
The week of activities include Posh in Black, to be held on May 16 at Campari Headquarters, New Kingston; French Elan (Red Carpet), to be held on May 17 at the Mansion at the French Embassy; Careers in International Fashion on May 18; City Style-Part two to be held on May 18 at the Urban Development Corporation’s Southern Car Park, downtown Kingston; Fashion Block on May 19 at Knutsford Boulevard, New Kingston; and International Mecca of Style at the Digicel Headquarters, downtown Kingston on May 20.