by Belle Holder
A whirlwind of fabric, sketches, supermodel fittings and fabulous designs is how Italian-trained Barbadian designer Antonio Cumberbatch describes his work with American designer Zac Posen.
Posen, who served as a judge on the popular television reality show Project Runway, hired the Barbadian designer on the advice of his company’s vice-president, who got a glimpse of Cumberbatch’s portfolio. The company head instantly recognized the young designer’s natural ability and technical flair.
“Living and working in New York has been a major game-changer. Although I’ve been designing most of my life and working toward fulfilling my dream of one day owning my own fashion house, the Zac Posen experience exposed me to the world of fashion at every level, from design inspiration to seeing celebrities wearing my creations,” Cumberbatch said.
The designer who still has his own label Posh Punk was noted as best designer at Caribbean Fashion Week in 2005 and was the youngest person to do so at age 18. While the earlier Posh Punk woman is rocker chick meets upmarket chic, Cumberbatch divulges that his design aesthetic has evolved to a more sophisticated yet edgy female, who commands the attention of the room.
“My new collections are definitely more prêt-à-porter,” said the enthusiastic self-confessed workaholic.
While on a working vacation in Barbados, he teamed up with the Barbados Investment & Development Corporation (BIDC) to host a ten-week technical fashion design workshop, held at the Barbados Community College (BCC).
It was an opportunity for the Accademia Italiana graduate to give back and share his knowledge with students from BCC and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP).
“It is important to me to make it easier for the next person. This is an opportunity I would have welcomed while I was at BCC.”
Cumberbatch added: “I also tried to impress upon them the importance of personal style. You need to project how you want the world to perceive you.”
As Cumberbatch continues to represent Barbados, the 27-year-old is committed to the hard work necessary to achieve his dreams. He concluded: “There are so many talented people who want your job; its competitive; it can be cut-throat. There’s no time to snooze; you just have to keep giving a degree of hotness.”