Haiti Hosts First Fashion Week

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Haiti Fashion Week 2012 is the first for the tiny Caribbean island.

The Caribbean nation of Haiti recently hosted its first Fashion Week at its capital of Port-au-Prince.

Nearly three-dozen designers -- including David André, Fahimy Hakim, Maguy Durcé, Miko Guillaume and Phelicia Dell -- participated in the four-day event, which was held from Nov. 8-11.

“Haiti Fashion Week 2012” was organized by Haitian Support and of Promotion of Enterprise Center and of Haitian Network of Designers. It was funded by the Ministry of Culture through the European Programme of Support to Strengthen Culture and Art for the Economic and Social Development of Haiti, according to Defend.ht.

The event mostly showed off fashions indicative of Haiti’s tropical climate, including swimwear, sun hats and light layers, according to the Daily Mail.

Dominican designer Socrates McKinney said Haiti has “a very strong culture, and that in some sense has to be reflected in the fashion.”

While many designers are local stars, some have already seen international success. Michel Chataigne had his designs featured in London Fashion Week, while Bogosse, the apparel line by the Haitian-born brothers Patrick and Fabrice Tardieu is well recognized as a brand of luxury menswear.

Other designers hoped to attract international buyers, as well known fashion names from around the world including, the United States, France, England, Japan, Switzerland, Argentina and Barbados were in attendance.

Organizers hope that Fashion Week will not only display the talent of Haitian designers, but also “revitalize the nation’s fashion and apparel industry to aid the country in rebuilding.”

The country is still recovering after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that ravaged the tiny island in 2010. Haiti was also affected by hurricane Sandy in October. About 65 people were killed during the storm and some areas lost up to 70 percent of their crops, officials report. 

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