Words by Nneka Samuel
Last year, we profiled Haitian-Italian designer Stella Jean in a telling interview, discovering what makes the rising star tick. In addition to Jean, some of the latest fashions in womenswear, jewelry and accessories come from the minds of artistic talent hailing from the jewel of the Caribbean – Haiti.
Jewelry designer Jean Gardy from Port-au-Prince uses the art of macramé, a cultural tradition in Haiti, to “create work that is unique to my country, but with a perspective that is not typical to the traditional art form.” The artist’s Etsy page continues to state he is armed with a mission to show the world that “fashion and style exists in Haiti.” Simplistic and elegant in nature, Gardy’s handmade designs are for women not afraid to make a statement with their jewelry. His pieces have been available at Redeem.
Fabienne Descadres, jewelry and accessory designer and owner of Olé Bijoux, creates bold and colorful pieces out of everything from organic bone to coconut shells. The company was born out of requests stemmed from the custom embellished sunglasses and sandals that Descadres’ daughter wore to a school performance. Her designs now include pieces for women, men and children.
Designer Phelicia Dell launched Vèvè Collections in 2006 with a line of beaded cocktail dresses. Three short years later, designer Diane von Furstenberg, in a global competition sponsored by Vital Voices, named Dell an emerging handbag designer. Dell’s website exclusively features hand-sewn purses – some made from denim, others with sequins – oversized or cocktail-ready.
First Lady Michelle Obama and singers Solange Knowles and Lady Gaga are a few of the celebrities that have worn Azede Jean-Pierre’s clothing. The womenswear designer celebrates femininity and seeks to push the boundaries of innovation and functionality. She debuted her first winter/fall collection in 2012 and since then, Jean-Pierre has been named “the next big thing” by Style.com and was listed by Glamour magazine as one of the women changing the future of fashion.