Terry Donovan, chief executive officer/director of “Summer Sizzle BVI,” is super excited to welcome fashionistas, designers and lifestyle enthusiasts to the 12th annual fashion extravaganza, set for July 21-26, on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.
Donovan, a British Virgin Islands-born fashion aficionado, shared that a record number of visitors, who have never been to the BVI, will descend on the event to rejuvenate their mind, body and soul, during the fashion and lifestyle health and wellness week of events.
According to the British Virgin Islands COVID-19 Travel Update, effective June 15, 2021, travelers who are fully vaccinated are required to obtain a negative test within five days prior to travel and will no longer be required to quarantine.
Persons must provide proof of being fully vaccinated and take a PCR Test. Travelers can receive a BVI Gateway Traveler Authorization Certificate by registering on the online portal bvigateway.bviaa.com which costs $35.
Travelers are also required to wear masks while arriving at port of entry and at indoor business and event spaces.
The New York-based, Donovan told “284 MEDIA” that COVID-19 affected almost everyone in the world, and despite New York being open, people still have to be vigilant and practice safety protocols, noting he was one of the first to be vaccinated, and encouraged friends to do the same.
“I am grateful for life. As we emerge from the pandemic, it is all about rejuvenation, having peace of mind, and enjoying and appreciating life, while highlighting the beauty, style and culture at Summer Sizzle in the BVI,” said Donovan.
Long before the pandemic, Donovan said, his team had conversations about including a wellness retreat event, with hopes to host it at least three times per year, because there is a major focus on mental health and wellness.
“People are happy to talk about the issues they are facing after being impacted by the coronavirus,” said Donovan.
Taraji P. Hanson, award-winning actress and star of TV drama Empire, asked Donovan to be a part of the Boris Hanson Foundation in honor of her father, which was launched in 2018 in Beverly Hills. She noted the foundation was a huge success, thanks in part to Donavan’s expertise.
The program focuses on mental health and wellness, a topic being discussed on the Taraji P. Hanson and Tracy Jade’s Facebook series.
“People feel that wellness retreats can help rejuvenate their mind, body and soul, this is why it is super important as they emerge from this pandemic,” said Donavan.
The promoter was optimistic that the show would return this summer, because of the high number of vaccinations issued to ready vacationers for travel to “Summer Sizzle BVI,” and the BVI, as an amazing destination would be ideal.
“This is a personal invitation to people to visit my home country, the BVI. I wanted to help with the rebuilding of our economy, tourism being a major factor, said Donovan, encouraging visitors to wear a mask, and get tested before going out to events.
“It was challenging planning the event but I am happy to see things are improving,” said Donovan who will launch Summer Sizzle BVI Arts Fund, aimed at providing future scholarships and opportunities to students wishing to pursue careers in fashion, beauty, and art. The event will partner with the 284 Foundation in continuing to shine a spotlight on youth education in the BVI.
A Culture & Style Party at Loose Mongoose, Beef Island, a Flora & Fauna Style Party at Wyndham Lambert Beach Resort, Sailing Excursion & Beach Party, a Global and Glamour Runway Show at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex are part of Summer Sizzle BVI festivities.
Celebrity designer Sergio Hudson, who dressed former First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris, for the Biden Presidential Inauguration, will join A-list couturiers: Uzuri International, Aqua Couture by Roger Gary, Zoey Grey, Yumi Katsura LaQuan Smith, Carlton Jones, Andrew Nowell, Edwing D’Angelo, Gustavo Moscoso, Trefle Designs, Andrew Nowell.
In 2007, Donovan saw an opportunity to encourage travel and attract revenue to the British Virgin Islands during the off-peak season.
At the time he was producing the Miss World BVI Pageant — official Preliminary to the Miss World Pageant — and noted that media and fashion influencers whom he invited to judge the pageant, would fall in love with the islands and want to see and do more during their stay and as a result “Summer Sizzle BVI” was born.
Initially modeled on the concept of New York Fashion Week, Donovan’s vision has since evolved into a four-day event incorporating fashion shows, exclusive parties, after parties, and popular island activities including luxury sailing excursions.
Each year has seen a steady increase in the number of designers, tastemakers, models, press in attendance, while past celebrity guest hosts include actress Taraji P. Henson, fashion photographer Nigel Barker, and TV personality Eva Marcille and Claire Sulmers, founder and editor in chief of www.fashionbombdaily.com.