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Jul 5, 2011

The First Belize Design Week

The Institute of Creative Arts is holding the first ever Belize Design Week. The initiative is geared toward stimulating the interests of designers to continue producing local artistry for the local and international markets. Caribbean designer, Robert Young, whose line “The Cloth” is featured across the world, is a participant in the event. He says that Belize has unique features that it can integrate in its design market.

Robert Young, Owner, The Cloth (T&T)

“This has a possibility for export and I see home grow it, home use it before it goes anywhere. So people have to start to like what the designers do here.”

Andrea Polanco

Robert Young

“You’ve had a chance to interact with numerous designers. What do you think of the market here in Belize so far?”

Robert Young

“I was just looking at a young man’s work; he does bags and hats. I heard about the Mayan bags as a significant project that’s selling. There is a Mayan man that does interesting artwork. There is a group of people, the Garifuna, they have interesting colors that could be used for work. So there is a really beautiful crafted melting pot, but a lot of contradictions in the influences that exist all over the land that could be used to create some significant new work that we haven’t seen in the region.”

Andrea Polanco

“Maureen, I know that you have on one of your pieces. Tell us a little bit more about this beautiful top that you’re wearing?”

Maureen Navarette

Maureen Navarette: Owner, His Glory

“Well I basically wanted to make a top that will look cultural mixing with tribal and wanted to put on a little bit of vintage so I add a little black lace at the bottom. And most of these kinds of prints will be showing at the fashion show, at the run way show.”

Andrea Polanco

“So have you thought about maybe going international, having your clothes featured in an international fashion show?”

Maureen Navarette

“I’m waiting for Caribbean Fashion week 2012. I am excited hoping to be a part of that one.”

Jackie Castillo, ICA

Jackie Castillo

“At the forum, we’re focusing on the business side of the creativity because a lot of people think that when you create something, you can’t make money off of it. So people think that you have to be a starving artist but this is not so. What we have done is we have brought in BELTRAIDE and we are partnering with BEST and we are also partnering with the Bureau of Standards to look at quality assurance—the standard of the products that you produce. How is it that you market your product? How do you know how to price your product? How to promote it and where to put it so that your products get sold? So even though you might be creating something that you yourself love it, how can you tailor what you are creating so that everybody loves it? And it can be a source of economic income for you as an artist—whether you create jewelry, you create your own clothing line or you create furniture.”

As a part of the week’s events, for the next two days the “Belize Market Place” will be staged at the Belize Biltmore Plaza and a runway show will be held on Thursday night.

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