Belize Fashion Week Opens New Doors
The first annual Belize Fashion Week took place this past week in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize with a spectacular two-day runway fashion show that highlighted the event. Gathering local talent from designers, models and businesses within the country and mixing it up with international designers and models, Belize Fashion Week has officially opened the doors to the fashion industry in Belize.
Enrique De Leon, one of the organizers of Belize Fashion Week, commented that the goal behind the event was to give Belizean fashion designers the opportunity to showcase their talent, learn new skills and become professional entrepreneurs in order to launch their careers. Fashion week was not only about the glitz and the glamour on the runway shows; what many did not see were the workshops and seminars that were prepared for the designers.
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), in collaboration with The National Institute of Culture and History through the Institute of Creative Arts (ICA) and the Belize Tourism Board, were involved in workshops that were provided to the designers.
The Small Business Development Center (SBDCBelize), a branch of BELTRAIDE, assisted in seminars that were designed in the strengthening and capacity-building of Belizean designers by providing training in Entrepreneurship, corresponding to Business plan development, Marketing and Sales workshops.
During the runway fashion shows that were held on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13, at Fido’s Courtyard, the very talented Belize designers shined as models from all over the country showcased their most recent work. The eight Belizean designers that participated in Belize Fashion Week included Joris Hendrik, Adrian Rocker, Jahta Caliz (JahtaXtreme), Gabriela Barrera, Maureen Navarette, Francis Alfaro, Kristan Miglio and Caitlin Greer. The participation of international designers included that of Marisol Henriquez from the Dominican Republic and Momo Soho from New York, New York, USA. And we can’t ignore mentioning the participation of three Belizean accessories designers who were also part of the event; this included Melody Sanchez Wolfe, Mauricio Canelo and John Silva.
Model scouting took place throughout the country weeks before the event and female and male models of diverse cultural backgrounds were selected from San Pedro, Belize City, Punta Gorda, Dangriga and Orange Walk. The event was also a venue for aspiring Belizean models to learn more about the fashion industry.
Hosting the fashion show on both evenings was Telemundo TV personality Sandra Hoyos Mejia from Mexico with the direction of award-winning director Arlando Smith. Also partaking in the runway were international models and beauty queens, Miss Panama, Karen Jordan and Miss America Latina Del Mundo, Georgina Mendez of Guatemala.
With the success of Belize Fashion week, it is evident that it will open new doors for Belize designers and models and help prepare them to represent Belize. It will also place Belize in the fashion spotlight and create new opportunities in the industry and quite possibly overflow in the tourism industry by attracting more visitors to the country during future events.
And the bottom line is that we have solidified the fact that Belize has fantastic talent in the fashion industry and Belize Fashion Week is a great engine that will help put Belizean fashion designers and models on the global map.