Move to drive Caribbean fashion forward

Kevin Howell, founder of Go Caribbean!
Photo by Lin-Jay Harry Voglezon

The situation is dire when it is in the red.

When it comes to any business, financials dipping into the red zone can signify possible closure due to poor money management, marketing etc.

In effort to help specifically fashion businesses in the Caribbean and African diaspora, Go Caribbean! is spearheading “Fashion in the Black” – an international entrepreneur discovery and development competition.

Kevin Howell, founder of Go Caribbean!, saw a need to provide some form of movement to help Caribbean and African designers reach the next level. “A lot of Caribbean designers and a lot of African designers never get to the next level,” Howell said. “They’re always thinking about the craft and not the business.”

A cross between “Shark Tank” and “America’s Next Top Model,” “Fashion in the Black” will operate as a competition based show starting with a top 25 in effort to find the hungriest designers.

“It’s really about putting the business on the fashion. Linking fashion designers to financiers, giving the structure to do to the type of negotiations, to own their brand, elements on how to maintain the brand and build the company and the product,” Howell said.

In association with Anchor Strategy Group, GCH and Caribbean American Fashion Exchange (CAFE), “Fashion in the Black” aims to provide Caribbean and African designers with the tools needed to break out and find success across the Caribbean and in the United States.

Running until October first, the online platform is open for designers to upload information about their brands, sketches and a video with information about themselves. The competition will wrap with a winner voted to receive mentorship from top industry professionals.

“The winner will be mentored along with the other top 10,” Howell said. “Those that are hungry and ready for the next level will receive the support they are looking for.”

After hosting a soft launch with representatives of the “Fashion in the Black” team at The Holland House in Manhattan, June 11, the plan is to continue hosting events to ramp up promotion in an effort to attract more designers and supporters.

Currently, Howell is excited to be working with fostering relationships at BET, Ebony Magazine and other outlets. Also, he is looking forward to landing Vanessa Williams as a potential host along with former Ms. World Lisa Hanna, KeKe Miele and Edwin D’Angelo as potential judges.

“We’re excited about it because we’re incorporating all of our relationships to drive commerce and better management of our Caribbean and Africa diaspora businesses that are in the fashion space,” Howell said.

Find out more information about “Fashion in the Black” by on their website fashionintheblack.com.

Reach reporter Alley Olivier at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at aoliv[email protected]nglocal.com. Follow Alley on Twitter @All3Y_B.

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