The glamour of being a clothing designer in the Caribbean region seems to have both its highlights and its trials. Having your collection showcased at a fashion event would seem like a great way to help boost the brand of your clothing label and hopefully launch a successful career.
But alas, what does it cost to show at a major event in the Caribbean region? How many regional designers can afford the cost? In addition, what is the return on investment (ROI) if any at presenting your collection at these events? Caribbean Fashion Week, Islands of the World Fashion Week, Fashion Week Trinidad and Tobago and Absolut Fashion Week are some of the major events.
A check with some of the Fashion Week events in the Caribbean region reveal a cost from free to somewhere near 3000 USD for presenting your collection at some of the premier Caribbean fashion events. Some of the more established designers may be able to cover such a cost, however what about the young designers? Designers are thus forced to weigh their options and choose to present their collections at the event which they feel will give them the most bang for their buck.
However, a ton of questions presented themselves during the contemplation of the issues. Do Caribbean governments see fashion as being a realistic export for Caribbean designers? Are they are helping fund the costs of showcasing designers at such events? How many events does a designer need to attend each year in order for the benefits to be realized? Do regional sponsors think that fashion is exciting enough for their brands. Do they attach their products to events or designers in an effort to promote Caribbean fashion? Designers would need to ask themselves what other methods of promotion can be used in order to highlight their brands. Additionally, as designers, would their Return On Investment be more if I built a website for 3000 USD and maintained it at 40 % of that cost each year with new collections and relevant content and pick one great event to showcase and direct everyone to my website? The connection points of the web should encourage and generate some interest and having an international audience online will generate significant interest, if done correctly. I am personally willing to assist in this cause.