Since the 2010 launch of Kaj Designs’ resort line, Tobago’s premier fashion house has worked steadfastly to position itself as a global leader in Caribbean fashion. Led by the dynamic partnership of President/Creative Director, Kevin Ayoung-Julien and CEO/Director, Liza Miller, this year the brand is focused on growing its export potential and generating international sales.
The brand’s objective to capture international markets began with the strategic introduction of its more conservative and lighter feeling Kaj Resort line in June 2010. With a clear objective to establish the Kaj brand in international markets, the label launched its premiere resort collection, Shore Culture, at the 2010 Caribbean Fashionweek (CFW) in Kingston, Jamaica.
In June 2011, Kaj marked a historic milestone with its launch in the French Caribbean with the placement of the Kaj Resort line at Guadeloupe’s exclusive Caribbean boutique, KOD. This move established KOD as the first and sole retailer of the Kaj brand in the region.
In February 2012, Kaj received one of its highest honors as it was selected to represent the Caribbean in an initiative of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) entitled Caribbean Collections. This initiative sought to create opportunities for access to European markets via participation in the inaugural International Fashion Showcase at London Fashion Week (LFW) Autumn/Winter (A/W) 2012. In the label’s LFW debut, Shore Culture was favored as it featured at an exhibition held at The Charing Cross Hotel while select pieces featured at a private showing at the Corinthia Hotel.
The Shore Culture collection made its final appearance on the runway at the Ocean Style FashionShowcase during the 2012 Audi Celebrity Golf Invitational in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The brand closed 2012 with the stellar achievement of copping the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA’s) Business Development Unit’s (BDU’s) Most Promising Entrepreneur award at Tobago’s 2012 Business Awards in October.
The unique synergy between Ayoung-Julien’s ingenious creativity and Miller’s crisp entrepreneurial and marketing proficiency, specifically in the field of the creative industries, has poised Kaj Designs to become the leader in Caribbean fashion internationally. The brand recently gained memberships in the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) while registering with the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) with a view to strengthening export readiness, deepening corporate networks and ensuring impeccable standards in garment construction.
As Kaj Designs looks to the future with the impending launch of the new Kaj Resort 13/14 collection, Tribu Sauvage, the young CEO shared, “I have taken a holistic approach in managing and marketing the Kaj brand, which began with developing a sound business plan. It has taken several years of consistent research and planning to get us to this point. Fashion is not just about creating beautiful clothing. To ensure success, there must be a real strategy that informs all aspects of one’s operations.”