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Connecting the Dots Between the Diaspora and Home – DYBT Fashion Designers Workshop

by: - March 16, 2020
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Roseau, Monday 16 March 2020 – After months of exploring common interests and ideas, the Dominica Youth Business Trust (DYBT), the Diaspora Unit in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Business and Diaspora Relations, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are proud to launch the “Art of Design” Fashion Business Workshop, to be held on Thursday and Friday 19-20 March 2020.  The workshop brings together Lorraine Delsol and Mary Green, two experienced and award-winning Dominican Fashion Designers (Bios attached on page 3 with more information), living and working between Canada and Dominica, to share experiences with male and female Fashion Entrepreneurs building businesses in Dominica.

The “Art of Design” Fashion Business Workshop is being hosted by the DYBT under the project Strengthening Resilient Business Development Capacity for Youth Entrepreneurs from Disadvantaged Backgrounds in the Commonwealth of Dominica funded by the IOM Development Fund (IDF).  Topics to be covered will include Fashion Designer Basics, Understanding Fashion Trends, Portfolio Development, Sketching and Drafting, Draping and choosing Makeup and Accessories.

The DYBT focuses on a model by which entrepreneurial youth are provided with the wherewithal to establish sustainable businesses, with training being a large component of preparing youth for entrepreneurship.  The IOM-IDF capacity-building project for DYBT initiated meetings between DYBT and the Diaspora Office, to forge a link of networking, experience sharing and business development opportunities involving Dominicans in the Diaspora and young Dominican entrepreneurs, through the DYBT.  There was a unanimous sense that Dominicans living abroad “the Diaspora”, are interested in contributing and being involved, and the young entrepreneurs are interested in learning, and in expansion and growth.  The organizations therefore committed to connecting the dots and providing a path for this to happen.  As such, the Art of Design is only the first of what the organizations hope will be an enduring programme of sharing between those at home and those abroad.

Award-winning Dominican-Canadian fashion designer Mary Green says that the “Art of Design” Fashion Business Workshop will allow participants an opportunity to explore their creativity and expects that both the participants and facilitators like herself will find the experience gratifying

Maxine Alleyne-Esprit, Communications Officer and Project Manager at the IOM, says “It was important to us at the IOM to try to forge this link between Dominicans at home and abroad, because we understand that generally migrants have a natural desire to contribute more than mere remittances to their home countries.  They want to be engaged, and to support economic growth at “home” by sharing the rich experience and technical capabilities that they have developed.  Conversely, the young DYBT entrepreneurs express that they want more opportunities to network and to learn.  This collaboration is one way of making that happen.  We hope that this Fashion Business Workshop will be the launching pad for more collaborations of this kind between Dominicans in the Diaspora and the local entrepreneurs, through the Diaspora Office and the DYBT.”

The National Resilience Development Strategy, 2030 states “The development of the Creative Industries including music, film and fashion is seen as one modality of a diversification strategy towards economic development and transformation”.  All Fashion Entrepreneurs, male and female, are encouraged to participate in this one-and-a-half day workshop which will take place this Thursday and Friday (19-20 March) at DEXIA.  DEXIA is partnering in the workshop based on their support of Fashion as a part of the Creative Sector- one of the six pillar sectors in Dominica’s National Export Strategy (NES).  The “Art of Design” Fashion Business Workshop will be held from 19- 20 March at DEXIA.   Cost is $50, payable on registration.  Registration for the Fashion Business Workshop is open until 2pm Tuesday 17 March, at Royal Globe Inc, next to Western Union on Hanover Street in Roseau.   Space is limited and priority will be given to entrepreneurs already operating in the fashion industry.  Call 266-3768 or 614-8445 for more information.

This activity forms part of a larger project, which has the ambition of establishing a physical space called “THE HUB” where entrepreneurs can continuously be immersed in an environment of learning, sharing, production and inspiration, with seed funding from the IOM Development Fund.  The entrepreneurs are very much looking forward to this HUB of entrepreneurial support, and DYBT will be seeking support from individuals and the corporate community, including Dominicans locally and around the world, to achieve this exciting initiative.

For more information on the DYBT and how you can contribute, call (767) 266 3768 / 3956, or email dybt@dominica.gov.dm

For information on IOM and its work call, text or WhatsApp (767) 275-3225 or malleyne@iom.int

LORRAINE DELSOL.  In 1976, Dominican Lorraine Delsol established the House of Lorraine, a Designer boutique in the fashionable Yorkville area of Davenport and Avenue Road in downtown Toronto. Her studies in the field of fashion merchandising and fashion design made her a fashion trailblazer, she was the first West Indian designer in Toronto to launch major fashion shows which she produced, directed and choreographed; as a result, she was featured regularly in Canadian media.

Lorraine is the Cofounder of MWDC Inc. (Madame Wob Dwiyet Canada) and was honoured in 2017 with a Special Recognition Award for her outstanding contribution to the preservation and promotion of Creole wear in Dominica and overseas.  In 2019, she received the Walk of Fame award by DACE (Dominica Arts & Culture Expose’) in Toronto.  She has an amazing talent and continuously gives of her time and resources freely, all in the spirit of promoting Dominica.  (full bio and photo attached).

MARY GREEN.  Dominican Fashion designer Mary Green has enthralled the fashion world with her creations for over 50 years.  Since graduating from the George Brown College School for Creative Fashion Design in Toronto, Mary has consistently produced imaginative and impeccably tailored custom designs for clients in Toronto, New York and internationally.   Her designs run the gamut of casual wear to bridal gowns, including award-winning Carnival Queen Contestants’ evening gowns in Dominica and the wider world.

In 2005, Mary received the Golden Drum Award for dedicated service in garment design. She was also the recipient of the Dominica Carnival Development Queen’s Show Committee Award for over 30 years of quality in the design and construction of evening wear for the Miss Dominica pageant. Most recently, Mary was inducted into the Dominica Walk of Fame by the Dominica Arts and Culture Expose (DACE) in 2019.

Mary Green’s portfolio covers constructing costumes for critically acclaimed productions such as Trevor Rhone’s Smile Orange, and unforgettable presentations at fashion shows such as Melange.  In the last couple years Mary has designed and made an exquisite line of African inspired jewelery under her label, Ayodele creations (see ayodelecreations.com).