Latoya Daniel’s personal style has been described by some as “too” – too extra, too daring, too risqué.
At first, this would bother the young fashionista; but not enough to weaken her into change her style. Instead, she was motivated to embrace it more.
In due course, this young woman would actually love being “too” everything – like the time she started wearing boots and “outrageous” outfits, long before others began doing the same in Barbados, Daniel told Bajan Vibes laughingly. Then, she began going to her “fairy godmother” Lucy Lu, with her last-minute and “crazy requests”.
“Driven by a need to be unique, every show I attended, I needed to design an outfit for. It was an absolute no-no to attend an event wearing the same outfit as another person. Stitching was never an interest; but the creation was my passion: the choosing of the colours, the fabric, and seeing ideas come to life,” the very attractive Latoya said.
Soon thereafter, what seemed an issue for some quickly turned to admiration, as Latoya Daniel’s outfits proved to be a favourite, and demands for duplication were soon coming from people in all circles.
“Friends and social media contacts were requesting to have access to the swimwear designed and worn personally by me,” the 29-year-old recalled with a smile.
So last year when Daniel was going through a rough time, the idea of creating her very own swimsuit line was born.
“While escaping to another country to leave the chaos behind, it was while flying and staring at the clouds that I started to think of a name for the brand that best described me – the girl who never fits in, but stands out, and is unapologetic for her style and attitude.
“I wrote on a napkin on the plane, and the name was formed, and I fell in love . . . . Daresqué – Dare To Be Risqué. The name of the company stems from my nature of being daring, resilient and risqué, and the mission is
to create the customer satisfaction that clients feel proud to represent the brand,” the University of the West Indies graduate said.
Daniel said she had qualms about starting her own business. However, last weekend as Daresqué was launched at The Boatyard in The City before a very large and appreciative audience, all fears she had had disappeared.
“Fear is the killer of success, for you can never succeed if you fear to begin. As with all new business ventures, there are nerves and fear; and there will be critics. But I just had to be confident in my decisions and understand if I never start I would never know how far it can go.
“I believe my past modelling experience adds value to my insight into proceeding with my own swimsuit line. I had the vision for the walks at the launch, every single concept for the photo shoots, right back down to the songs I wanted to go with the feelings I wanted portrayed.
“At the launch I had not even planned to [sing], but I just jumped onstage while the amazing Matt Cruz was performing and gave my own impromptu performance,” she said as she exclaimed her excitement about what lay ahead for her brand.
Ironically, the swimsuit store at The Boatyard was the first place she ever bought a bathing suit from as a child.
And what is in the future for Daresqué? The very proud designer revealed to Bajan Vibes so many things!
One of them is to make some of her swim pieces available at the same store; to have an online shopping website, which is expected to be launched next month; and to have her very own, plans for which are on stream.
“I am so very excited to be on this new journey of my life,” Daniel declared, “and I’m ready to face all challenges that I know will be coming my way.”
And the market she seeks is not only local, but across the Caribbean and global.
“Hence,” Daniel explained, “even my logo people have already commented on the international look. I selected the perfect graphic artist: Graham Russell. He totally gets my vision. The goal is to provide quality and unique swimwear, as I found personally the average swimsuit bought in a store is overpriced and ordinary.
“The business is committed to improving the customer experience through convenience, accuracy of orders, and timely delivery. An avenue of showing customer appreciation is often lacking, and Daresqué strives to fill this void, and have a special surprise upon the launch of the website,” Daniel promised.