Earlier in the year, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Competitive Business Unit (CBU) announced plans to strengthen the value chain of the fashion sub-sector throughout the islands, via an online training programme to be delivered to twenty designers, from both emerging and export-ready apparel and accessory companies, as part of the CBU’s competitiveness programme for the current fiscal year.
At the time of the announcement, the CBU referenced the size and scope of the global fashion industry, which is responsible for billions of dollars of revenue, employs millions of people, and contributes significantly to global economic output, and drew attention to emerging opportunities and trends in the areas of fashion and design.
The programme has now launched, is being administered by Trinidad and Tobago based training company Uppoint Inc., and includes the following elements:
– Access to the Uppoint platform for a seven-month period
– Four webinars with groups of five designers
– One follow-up session, one-on-one, with each designer
– A design competition for the top ten brands
The programme will facilitate the development and sale of one sale-ready sample from each of these top ten brands.
Additionally, participants will also receive support in terms of target market profiling, collection conceptualization, trend forecasting, collection naming, mood-board and inspiration board sketching, technical drawing, fabrication, sourcing, manufacturing and production, timeline and completion planning, buyer and brand matching, and B2B sales facilitation.
The CBU has been providing support to the fashion sub-sector for a number of years, through the commissioning of an Analytical Study on the OECS Fashion Industry, a one-week training programme in Guadeloupe for designers seeking to build brand collections, grant funding for several OECS fashion companies, participation at the 2017 Specialty Expo in Saint Lucia, and a series of networking events at the local and regional levels.
Designs By Nadia is delighted to have been selected to participate in the programme, which is expected to strengthen the fashion and design value chain in the OECS, and provide us with an avenue for increased exposure of our products, both regionally and beyond.