By Orita Bailey
Judith Rawlins’ Brown Sugar clothing line needs no introduction to those in the know on the Caribbean fashion scene. Recently back from the USA, where she featured with other Caribbean designers at one of Atlanta’s hottest annual events, Judith spoke to Kittivisian Life.
KL: What was this trip to Atlanta all about?
JR: It was an invitation from a group of ex-pat Jamaican fashion lovers, who’ve formed an organisation that raises funds to support vulnerable groups in Jamaica. They hold regular fund-raisers, and this one has become their foremost annual event. They invite designers from the Caribbean and around the world.
KL: Was this your first show outside of the Caribbean?
JR: Yes, it was an opportunity to explore the American market. It was useful that there were a lot of Caribbean people there, as my clothes reflects our ‘Caribbeanness’; colours, textures, rhythms.
KL: Explain what you mean by ‘Caribbeanness’.
JR: I believe we, as a people, very much reflect our environment; the weather, the colours reflective of summer ripening, the casualness of our lifestyle all lend a certain something, a ‘Caribbeanness’, that I tap into and reflect in the designs, the lines, shapes, textures and fabrics that I use.
KL: What was the response to Brown Sugar?
JR: Very good, better than I expected. After-show sales were very encouraging, and the order book looks healthy.
KL: Does this mean that you’ll be considering making the Brown Sugar line available in the USA?
JR: I have been considering having a US outlet, and the response in Atlanta certainly makes it worth investigating further.
KL: So, we’ll be seeing some of the recent designs in the local market soon?
JR: Certainly, it’s a continuous process.
KL: Judith, thank you for taking the time to speak to us at Kittivisian Life.