In the world of fashion, we are constantly inundated with designers from Europe, London, Milan, Paris, and the US. What we rarely see is the talented fashion designers that are descendant of the only island in the caribbean that shares a border with the Dominican Republic, called Haiti. These men and women are making waves in their own right, with features in prominent fashion magazines as such as Elle, Vogue, Vogue Italia, Vogue UK, and Essence just to name a few.
I, too, am a woman of Haitian descent and a style blogger. Not one to shy away from representing my culture, I am proud to be a part of the bravery and resilience often found in the hearts of my community. And equally inspired by the vibrant colors, earthy tones, and rich hues found in my culture’s fashion palate. The art of fashion is exciting, exhilarating, daring, and unrestricted. It propels me to tap into owning my style every time I make the choice to get dress. As the saying goes, “everyone can have style, but not everyone is stylish.” In the words of the late great Coco Chanel “elegance is refusal“. Fashion is my chosen form of expression, because it speaks.
I’ve searched the internet high and low to bring you some insight on the Haitian fashion designers bringing in some island flavor to the fashion industry. Get to know them!
Stella Jean is a Haitian-Italian Fashion designer and former model who works and play in the beautiful city of Rome. Born to a Haitian mother and an Italian father, she is affectionately dubbed as Georgio Armani’s protégé. Her bold and one-of-a-kind prints gets my attention every time I glance at her designs online. These looks are not for the shy or un-confident woman. Celebrities such as Rihanna and Beyonce have worn her designs. Her price tag runs from about $100-$3,000. If you feel like splurging, then shop here. These daring pieces definitely stand out on their own and will be sure to turn a few heads or get you the side-eye. Either way, you will be stylin’.
Ladies, what is better than a man is a suit? I’ll wait. I LOVE a clean, tailored look on the fellas. This tall glass of handsome is Haitian-American Davidson Petit-Frere, co-owner and designer of the men’s luxury line, Musika Frere. Launched in the Fall of 2014 along with his business partner Aleks Musika, they have “enliven men’s suiting by pairing elegant Italian and English tailoring with modern silhouettes.”
According to their Instagram account, well-known stars such as Kevin Hart, Mack Wilds, Marlons Wayans, and Scott Disick are just some of the celebs to grace the red carpet in these dapper apparels. Gentlemen, for a price tag of $2,000-$5,000, you can get your own suit made.
Haitian-bred designer Azéde was raised in Atlanta Georgia where she got an opportunity to hone and perfect her craft while attending Savannah College of Art & Design. Ms. Jean-Pierre is a “refugee, a first generation American and the fourth of eight children“. Her line was launched in 2012, and since then her designs have been seen on Solange Knowles, Lady Gaga, and Michelle Obama-all great recognition for a designer, however, Azéde is more interested in leaving a lasting impact on humanity.
Her website furthers this thought by stating she “has a goal to reduce poverty and promote long-term sustainable growth in developing countries similar to Haiti – where she was born and most of her family still lives today……… Azéde Jean-Pierre works with artisans in developing countries to develop and manufacture aspects of each collection. For SS16, the production of all embroidered styles will be produced in Haiti.”
Style, determination, and philanthropic work? Now that’s my kind of girl power! Ranging from $300-$1100, she designs an array of clothes from tops to dresses and everything in between.
What did you think? Could you see yourself in these? I got my eyes on a few of these pieces, but all in due time. That skirt on Stella Jean is fiyah!!