Words by Risa Cox
“Caribbean fashion is rhythm, the way that people move,” said fashion designer, Kimya Glasgow.
Kimya Glasgow was born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but grew up in Trinidad and Tobago. Her mother was a physical education teacher and her father was a lawyer. Unlike her parents, fashion was her destiny and she pursued her dreams by attending Barbados Community College to achieve her Associate Degree in Fashion Design.
In 2009, she won the Country Designer Award for St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the Caribbean Fashion Awards.
When it comes to Caribbean style, Glasgow believes that it’s not just one concept or idea. “Caribbean designers as a whole need to show how to dress for our weather and not just copy American culture and style,” she said.
Her designs are inspired by periods of history and indigenous cultures (of the Africans, Indians and Chinese). Her work is a mix of modern and old, influential; structural with splashes of paint.
POTENT sat down with the effervescent Glasgow, to ask her about life as a fashion designer.
POTENT: Who or what motivated you to become a fashion designer?
KIMYA GLASGOW: “I come from a long history of educators. My great grandparents were teachers in Barbados and Bequia. But I had an aunt who was an artist, painter and jewelry maker who studied in Jamaica. She always encouraged me to draw and my parents also helped pull out my creative spirit.”
POTENT: What are some of the skills you learned working with your mentor, Claudia Pegus?
KIMYA GLASGOW: “I was full of energy to create when I began my mentorship with Claudia Pegus. The first thing she taught me was business. I learned about the cost of doing business, about packaging, and how to establish the right environment of a store. The second thing I learned was finance, third was brand building and fourth was finishing. Claudia showed me how to add unique elements and touches to what you do. I also learned the value of color, the importance of socializing within in the community, and the significance of street fashion.”
POTENT: What advice do you have for individuals who are pursuing careers as fashion designers?
KIMYA GLASGOW: “My advice to them is to study hard, hone their craft, and take their mentorship seriously. These steps will help to shape their career. And always remember on the way up the ladder, stay decent to people because you might come down.”
Glasgow’s views on Caribbean fashion and where it’s headed takes a political stance. In order for fashion to be developed, she believes it needs the proper support and appropriate financial structure.
Her goals are to show her collections in every territory around the Caribbean. Martinique, Guadeloupe and Haiti are just a few countries that she mentioned.