The OECS Competitive Business Unit (CBU) through its Creative Industries Sector Programme, has helped to facilitate the formation of national fashion associations in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica.
The groups were formed as a means of stimulating the growth and development of the fashion and design sector in the region.
The associations aim to become viable entities operating in the fashion industry’s regional and global marketplace.
Following the registration of the Fashion Association of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (FASVG), the newly elected president, Peta Odini Sutherland, said:
“The idea of a Fashion Association was something which grew … as we started seeing the various opportunities available that could become more accessible via the creation of an association.”
She further said:
“Funding agencies and other partners were more prepared to deal with a grouping than with individuals and have shifted their resources to supporting cluster type projects. An association, therefore, was the obvious next step that we would have to take in order to make the industry in St. Vincent more viable.”
Sutherland and her colleagues envision that the association will serve as a means to bring the collective talent and skills of local designers together to solve the myriad of issues and challenges which impact the industry in SVG and the rest of the OECS.
“Many of our designers are self-taught, one-man/one-woman entities that I strongly believe, with the right access to resources, could develop into amazing brands to drive the industry forward,” Sutherland said.
The FASVG president affirmed her belief in collaboration and in building stronger partnerships, stating:
“It is my hope for the association to become a facilitator, through the development of stronger partnerships with agencies such as Invest SVG, the OECS CBU, Caribbean Export, and others to provide well-curated training and developmental programmes and projects which would ultimately help us build strong sustainable brands able to compete in the international marketplace.”
The full executive of the FASVG is as follows: Peta Odini Sutherland – president;
Rhondel Dickson — vice president; Christal Oliver – treasurer; Kimya Glasgow — secretary; and directors Rachel Bailey, Kimon Baptiste, Ikesha Delplesche and
The CBU plans to work with business support organisations in both countries to assist the two associations with the creation of strategic plans and to begin focusing on areas of collaboration that would help enhance the competitiveness of the fashion industry in these two countries, while it pursues work on building other national associations in the remaining member states in the coming months.