The success of this promotional and public relations venture hinged on the readiness of Trinidad and Tobago’s fashion professionals to embark on international commerce from a production, marketing and operational standpoint. In order to have maximized the potential for success, a minimum of 6 months lead time should have been employed with clearly communicated criteria for selection that would have afforded all competing designers a fair opportunity for preparation and selection. As one of the fashion brands that has exhibited and shown in international fashion fora, we were approached for consideration two+ weeks prior to the event. I question the criteria used for selection of brands at CreativeTT’s fashion event, Masquerade. While I am a firm believer in and supporter of the boundless talent of our people and while we saw some quality presentations; overall, I felt that what was presented gave the impression that we are not yet ready to trade in the international fashion arena. How can initiatives of this nature be monetized if our designers are not ready for business and if we continue to maintain a narrow view of our fashion sector that focuses primarily on the garment sector to the exclusion of fashion accessories, stitchers, pattern makers, production managers, stylists, models, makeup artists, hairstylists, photographers, creative directors, and business and marketing professionals?
The talent and creativity of our people are undeniable. It is time we pay close attention to the construction of our garments, the quality of raw materials used and the business and marketing of fashion. We must also develop a sound understanding of public relations and effective communication so that our business interactions are guided by mutual respect, professionalism and proper protocol. Without a focus on these things, we will continue to “spin top in mud” and Masquerade was a prime example of this. This cannot make for a sound first impression and venture for CreativeTT in its objectives regarding development of a viable, sustainable and unified fashion industry.
– Liza Miller, business strategist and marketing consultant for the creative industries, Managing Director at estuary PR, CEO at Kaj Designs and former member of the Fashion Industry Development Committee (FIDC).