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Fashion Artists of Barbados

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Barbados Fashion

From Beach Baggies to the world’s most exclusive sea island cottons and edgy punk.

I arrived to work in Barbados as a hotel manager in the 60’s. Fashion was a light word then. Art Taylor and Warren, two Australians who had sailed into Barbados and stayed, setup a surfer’s shop at Accra beach and sold hand made surfing boards and hand made baggy pants that surfers wore. Barbados entered the fashion world, exporting these baggies to stores in North America.

The very first boutique on the island was Peg’s boutique, owned and managed by my mother. She brought in big names like Mary Quant and Monsoon. Soon there were many fashion boutiques; Gay’s, Simon’s and others. Like my mother, they experimented with making their own styles. Most were interpretations of European styles but in time a distinctive style of the Caribbean emerged. Simon Peter of Simon’s led the way in creating his own fashions with hand painting and spray coloring on silk, cottons and modern fabrics.

For the most part, early Barbados fashion took the form of fun colours, hand painted sarongs, summer cottons, and flowing loungewear. The most exclusive are made with Barbados grown West Indian Sea Island Cotton (WISC).

Prized for its coolness, durability, and versatility, Barbados WISC is superior to traditional cottons by its suppleness, smoothness and softness. It has been compared in texture and quality to silk and cashmere.

This island cotton is hand-harvested and delicately prepared. It is produced in Barbados exclusively by Exclusive Cottons of the Caribbean. It is the most expensive cotton in the world. The cost of production ($10US a pound), is twice the selling price of traditional cottons made in the Far East.

Handkerchiefs made with the finest weave of this cotton will cost a hundred dollars and are a fashion statement and a great gift for the person who has everything.

Barbados Fashion


Today Barbados has many talented designers including Toni Thorne (above), Antonio Cumberbatch (right), Pat Brathwaite (below), Pauline Bellamy, (Rojoe), Carol Cadogan-Fox, Mark and Ava Daniel, Kay Applewhaite, Rykii De Jude and Nefertari.

The popular local and international brands emanating from Barbados are: Popular labels include Genesis Designs, Fifth Element, Bouik, Shakad, Paju Designs, Shelneil and Third Revolt.

These vibrant Barbados artists and brands cover a variety of fashions and accessories, including haute couture, business wear, beach wear, trendy designs, resort wear, evening wear and the more experimental edgy work of Pat Brathwaite in sophisticated punk and gothic. Their work is displayed in fashion shows in London, Miami and Milan.

Fashion Artists of Barbados
Surname First Name Address Tel# (246) + Fax Email Description
ARMSTRONG Hilary - 435-9900 - - BATIK FABRIC
ASHER Leba - 228-0013 - - TIE-DYE FABRIC
BELLAMY Pauline Sew & Sew, Black Rock , St. Mich. - - - FAS. DESIGNER
GLENKI FASHIONS Glen Brathwaite - 425-3110 - - PAINTED FABRIC
CADOGAN Carol - 427-7191 - - FAS. DESIGNER
CRAIGWELL Patrick - 435-1694 - - BATIK FABRIC
DANIEL Mark - - - - -

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