(Atlanta, Georgia) New York may have wrapped up Fashion Week, but the search for the next Caribbean designer is already underway now that international man of fashion, entrepreneur, stylist extraordinaire and former cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta Dwight Eubanks is teaming up with the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival Bandleaders Association (ACCBA). Together, they have officially launched the Atlanta Caribbean International Fashion Forum, a venture poised to take the region to the international arena through the fashion industry.
A media mixer and launch was recently held in Atlanta at Eubanks’ famed Purple Door Salon. The by invitation only event was streamed live via Gil Vision Productions. Viewers got an inside, up close and personal view as Bahamian media personality Arthia Nixon and Jamaican emcee and host Ulato Sam took them from the red carpet, to the logo unveiling and through the entire crowd which included members of the Caribbean and fashion community in Atlanta.
“We wanted to take Carnival to the next level and I truly feel this is it,” said ACCBA president and Antigua native, Patricia Henry. “Dwight is certainly well known and respected in the industry on an international level. By coming to the individual islands, working with the service providers, and showcasing the region, it can open up doors for all involved on a tremendous level.”
“It’s been an overwhelming response so far,” added Henry. “We’ve had designers already reach out to us wanting to jump on board, but they can only do so if their country signs up and they win the local competition there. Already, a few nations have reached out to us to inquire especially knowing that we are adding a reality show element through this seven month long process that begins in the islands and ends on the runway here in Atlanta and then in New York. It is a tremendous opportunity, especially for tourism because they will also get a level of exposure they didn’t get before and we will also be looking into other trade and industries to steer the American market there to consider them as a supplier.”
Eubanks, who has previously worked with ACCBA as a grand marshal for their annual parade, says he wanted to find a way to bring the talent he has seen in the islands to a wider market.
“I’ve been to St. Lucia and Puerto Rico and other islands and the talent there is simply phenomenal,” he remarked. “I wanted to find a way to expose the designers to a greater market and what better way than through fashion? They can express their culture and creativity while representing their country at the premier Caribbean themed event in the city.”
For more information and link to watch, visit www.atlantacarnival.org