I’ll admit that this contest wasn’t really on my radar before and it only is this year because my niece emerged as the winner. In any case, it’s in step with some of what we do here, share and celebrate young Antiguans and Barbudans doing creative things; so I thought this was an appropriate platform to share. Per coverage in the local press, Nicoya Henry (in black and braids, 2nd from right in the top image) has emerged winner, from a field of nine, of the 2017 Courts Fashionista Competition.
“In a release from Courts, the furniture store said the event was conceptualized with the primary purpose of improving and developing the talent of our youth.” – from the Daily Observer, September 1st 2017
Growing up, Nicoya’s love of fashion and modelling ran alongside her love of art and design – she’s modelled on local, regional, and international runaways and she’s won visual art competitions like St. Anthony’s Sidewalk Art Festival. In recent years, her love of art has found expression through fashion – she’s performed well in the fashiontastic design competition (and in fact, runners-up in this contest, Shem Henry and Shirrine Gillon, are names I first came to know at Fashiontastic), organizes and promotes a fashion event called Fashion Formation, and gets her side hustle on creating clothing. So, the evolution continues with her win of the Courts competition.
It was a very Project Runway type of competition in spirit – right down to competitors getting a stipend to purchase material needed to create their designs (the equivalent of having access to that store they do on the show) and designing in response to a unique, shall we say, challenge. As Nicoya explained it to me, contestants had to do a design based on a Courts product (for those who don’t know, Courts is a furniture store). This was her item:
This was her drawing:
And this is the final design on the runway:
She walked with EC$2500 and the title, and said in the post-interview: “I feel very, very great that I won. I put in a lot of hard work, and it wasn’t easy breaking those mirrors. Right now, I still have splinters in my fingers, but it has paid off.” – from the Daily Observer, September 4th 2017
To quote an audience member quoted in the paper “Our people have talent and I believe they can compete on any stage around the world.” – from the Daily Observer, September 4th 2017
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