Basesterre, St. Kitts – Internationally acclaimed local Designer, Yakima Daniel, CEO of Kiwie Dan Couture has been accepted as part of the first Cohort of Fashion Designers to partake in the OECS Fashion Design Training Programme.
With a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Yakima Daniel uses her knowledge and experience to maximize the opportunity to manage her company while studying the fashionistic trends of clients.
Ms. Daniel said:
I have always aspired to be a Fashion Designer. At a tender age, I admired my Mom’s work while taking pattern from her and learning everything that she was doing. With that knowledge, I then started making clothes for my dolls and for myself. When I was in high school, I had a client base.
It was always a dream of mine to have my own business. Today, that dream is a reality.
How it started:
When I returned from studying Economics at Midwestern University in Texas, I enrolled in the SIDF SEED programme and was a successful candidate through the entire process. Thereafter, the journey began, Kiwie Dan Couture is making a name for itself.
Daniel has participated in annual fashion shows at Cameron University Fashion Week (CUFW) in 2013 and 2014. Her first Summer Collection was sold to Entrada Couture, a boutique in St Petersburg, Florida, owned by Maria McGill, the first fashion designer for Dancing with the Stars. Additionally, she has been recognized by the renowned Essence Magazine for the uniforms she designed for Team St. Kitts and Nevis for the Opening Parade of the Rio Olympics 2016, touted as one of the best alongside designers such as Christian Louboutin and Ralph Lauren.
Photo Caption: Team SKN uniforms featured khaki trousers and white short-sleeved button down shirts adorned with the madras colors of St. Kitts and Nevis and a burlap fedora.
The programme, which was slated to commence yesterday February 11th, 2019, will be delivered by Trinidad and Tobago based company Uppoint Inc.
The training will include:
-access to the Uppoint platform for a seven month period;
-four webinars with groups of five (5) designers;
-a follow-up one-on-one session with each designer; and
-a design competition for the top ten brands – with support towards facilitating the development and sale of one sale-ready sample from each of the ten brands.
It was announced via a press release issued to the media, that “participants in the programme are to be provided with a broad range of support to include target market profile, collection conceptualization, trend forecasting, collection title/inspirational words, mood-board/inspiration board sketches/technical flats, fabrication/sourcing, manufacturing/production and timelines/completion, buyer and brand matching/B2B and sales facilitation.”
This CBU intervention is the latest in a series of events targeting the sub-sector since 2015 under the 10th EDF Regional Integration for Trade of the OECS.
When asked about the opportunity, Ms Daniel stated
From the OECS Programme, I expect to glean more knowledge about the fashion sector while being able to expand on the success of my business.
Her advice for young girls aspiring to be fashion designers:
Young ladies, if you’re aiming to be a fashion designer, start mapping out your career path and go after your dreams. Utilise technology to your advantage, research the market, monitor the trends and start your business plan. Stay positive and always look to pursue opportunities: There are a variety of institutions that can assist you.