Local Vibes
June 6, 2014
Young designer participates in Paris Fashion Week

Fashion line Atelier Shernicia may just be on its way to becoming a worldwide brand.

Vincentian designer Shernicia Mayers recently represented herself and her country at Labo Ethnik, one of the runway shows at Paris Fashion Week.

SEARCHLIGHT spoke with Mayers earlier this week {{more}}about her amazing experience.

“It was really awesome, really good. I don’t even know the words to describe it,” the young designer said.

“I was invited through Vincent McDoom, who is the artistic director (of Labo Ethnik), who is a St Lucian by birth, but living in Paris for quite a while now.”

Mayers explained that the event took place over four days and included approximately 80 designers from across the world, who were given the opportunity to showcase their pieces in booths and at runway shows.

Just one of only three designers from the English speaking Caribbean, Mayers expressed appreciation that she was accepted by the wider fashion market, especially since persons often feel intimidated when they travel to larger countries where fashion is more dominant.

The designer, who participated in Mission Catwalk in 2013, disclosed that persons not only bought her designs, but she was invited to appear in a number of other fashion shows and was interviewed by United Kingdom and Europe based bloggers, magazine and television stations.

“I was actually pleased that I had persons buying the stuff and you know when they buy it, they really liked it. Some persons even thought I was based there and that was big, because…in the fashion industry, it’s very competitive. The fact that they accepted it so well, I really appreciated that,” she said.

In a description of the brand new pieces that she took with her to Paris, Mayers explained that she wanted to portray the typical Caribbean woman by using colour and expression to highlight the tropical vibe.

Her designs ranged from casual to formal, including swimwear, casual pieces, work attire and evening gowns.

“I was just giving them a taste of what we Caribbean women go through. Even though we have summer all year round and we can do beaches and barbecues and casual stuff, we also need to stand out when we go to work,” she said.

Although Mayers has participated in a number of fashion shows locally, regionally and internationally, she told SEARCHLIGHT that this experience has inspired her to expand her brand in a way that will not only cater to local clientele, but those from across the globe.

“There were a lot of persons who were asking me if I ship clothing to different places. For example, persons in Paris wanted to know if they can order online and if I can ship my clothing to them. So, I would need to set up different avenues where they can pay online and have their stuff shipped. That’s one of them, and here in St Vincent, I would like to showcase my clothing in a store or somewhere where persons can go, because for now, people normally come to me. They would order what they want and I would sketch what they like. I would still do that, but I would really love for persons to be able to shop off the rack,” she said.

The grateful designer expressed thanks to a number of persons who have helped her to journey to Paris for fashion week.

Mayers produced a long list of names and noted that her experience could not have been possible without the persons on that list, especially Dr Kathleen Israel, who contributed in a big way and even got some of her friends to do so as well.

The young designer also encouraged budding designers to continue to pursue their dream.

“I know that sometimes it’s hard, expecially when you’re just starting to build your brand,” she said.

“Even though sometimes you might face hardship, there is that person out there who is willing to help you. No matter what obstacle you meet, keep on pushing.”

Additionally, Mayers revealed that Vincent McDoom will be having a fashion show in St Lucia in October 2014.

Designers and models interested in being a part of this show can communicate their interest to her.

“He is also doing another show in St Lucia in October and asked if I can get other designers who take pride in their work and do it well and other models who would also be interested in being a part of that show in October. He is also bringing models and investors from overseas,” Mayers said.

For now, the local designer will be open for business as usual and is encouraging persons to contact her for any of their clothing desires, whether it be for graduation balls, weddings, casual or work attire.

Mayers can be contacted at 433-1382, 528-7361 or at [email protected] (BK)