Barbadian fashion designer wins regional competition in Cuba

Barbadian fashion designer Rhea Cummins-Jordan. (GP)

Barbadian fashion designer Rhea Cummins-Jordan has won a regional fashion design competition in Havana, Cuba.

Cummins-Jordan was among 16 Caribbean designers who made it through to the Havana event, after a rigorous selection process conducted by an international jury, which comprised some outstanding fashion industry players. Her designer collection was adjudged the best entry in the fashion design category.

On Tuesday, May 7, designers participated in the ‘Fashion in da´ House’ catwalk show at the premises of the Cuban National Fine Arts Museum.

It was part of the week-long programme of activities organised under the theme Transcultura: Integrating Cuba, the Caribbean and the European Union through Culture and Creativity. It was funded by the European Union and implemented by the UNESCO Regional Office in Havana, in a joint effort with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Cuba.

The objectives of the programme are to provide young talented Caribbean designers with the opportunity to boost the international exposure of their portfolios, through leveraging a tailor-made showcasing, capacity-building and professional networking programme of activities in Havana.

It also aims to expand the outreach and enhance the sustainability of fashion-driven start-ups in the Caribbean, through transferring business management competencies, artistic skills, specialised/expert guidance and advice, and meaningful connections with key stakeholders of the European and the Caribbean fashion industry.

Another objective is to reinforce the sustainability of the fashion industry sector in the Caribbean by establishing a network of young fashion designers and professionals from the region and facilitating their initial and continued exchange of ideas, initiatives, best practices and know-how.

Cummins-Jordan’s award will consist of development opportunities for her creative initiatives, which may include, but are not limited to, entrepreneur mentoring, product development, branding, and business coaching. Her prize includes a two-month mentorship opportunity at the prestigious Center Rog in Ljubljana, Slovenia, starting in June.

The Barbadian designer who owns the Blac Flamingo Apparel label says of her win: “It’s surreal. This is validation for me. It didn’t feel like a competition, all the contestants worked well together. I hope that it will inspire other young Barbadian fashion designers.”

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