We've been to Racked events and seen our beloved local designers have their merchandise displayed to be sold. The question is does everyone know Racked and do they know the engine behind the cause and what it's all about? I know I personally had a few questions up in the air so I felt compelled to seek answers to bring awareness to those who've been curious or those who've never heard of RACKED before this post. After all with knowledge comes great power. So I asked one of the founders Ain (pronounced Ah-EEn) Earle a few questions.
Who are the founders of Racked?
Emma Forster-Hiscock of Eenie Meanie Studios,
Ain Earle of The Fashion Arch and DISThink Management
Stephanie Rydle of Creative 25
How did Racked come into being, Why did you start Racked?
RACKED was born out of frustration on the part of the three founders who felt that
although there is an enormous amount of talent in the growing Trinbagonian fashion
industry, the designers and their products were not always easily accessible to the fashion conscious consumer. There are very successful craft & food markets but nothing that is pure fashion! We wanted to change that.
What is Racked?
RACKED – The Fashion Market is an inclusive shopping experience, exposing emerging and established local fashion and accessories designers and their unique products, all 100% designed and made right here in Trinidad & Tobago, or designed by
a Trinbagonian and manufactured abroad.
RACKED is an unique shopping experience connecting established and emerging local
fashion and accessories designers to customers and boutique owners in a profitable and exciting way, with opportunities for direct marketing and retail sales as well as networking with potential clients and retailers. Designers showcase product in a boutique market-style setting that includes both Men’s and Womenswear (children as well), jewellery, bags and accessories. Price points vary with fashion jewellery starting
at under $100 to fine jewellery retailing at upwards of $1000. Similarly there is locally
designed and/or made fashion including street, resort, swim and ready-to-wear pieces
with prices ranging from $250 to upwards of $2000.
What is your vision for Racked, what do you see Racked being in the future?
We see RACKED being bigger! More markets, more designers, more venues and locations. RACKED in the future can possibly go regional first with markets in varying islands and then even internationally where we can be the umbrella under which designers are represented at tradeshows and expos. We also want to assist with workshops that benefit designers in topics like business management, customer service, quality, exporting etc.
What projects do you have in mind for 2016 that we can look forward to?
We think next year may just see us possibly trying different locations in Trinidad (maybe even Tobago!)
How can we help our fashion industry in Trinidad get to the level it needs to be in your own words?
RACKED aims to help through awareness and even through quality control as we try our best to have a high standard of designers at each of our events and we also try to speak and advise designers who may not have gotten in or even a part of the event with their displays, their product and promotions of their brand. Also through awareness, we try to invite fashion media and boutique owners who will in turn promote the brands as well as foster business relationships where there can be spaces for local wear in various stores and boutiques, respectively.
At a management/holistic level - We need to properly define the industry and all its players. All stakeholders need to be put into various categories (policy maker, implementer, designer, creative/artisan, production, business development/funding, marketing etc.) and understand and respect their category. Not everyone is or should be a part of the fashion industry and that first needs to be understood. Production and quality control needs to be a key and an integral part of the industry as well and more efforts should be made to assist designers with quality production facilities to meet demands.
So I hope this has cleared up a bit of questions you may have had about what direction RACKED is heading. I personally am in awe of their efforts as I was also a little frustrated at the unavailability of an all fashion trade show; a place where local treasures are within reach (as most sell online etc.) It's a challenge out there for both the old and new and upcoming entrepreneurs of local fashion to break even in today's internet/fast food world where everything is instantaneous. But with projects such as RACKED (a support system for our local designers) it's the beginning of a new era of fashion in Trinidad. It may still be in it's budding stages but with continued support that multiplies over time it CAN make a huge difference.
I have had the pleasure of meeting Ain and Emma and their reasons behind this are purely genuine, they want us to succeed and flourish in the fashion world. So please look them up on Facebook RACKED or rackedtt.com and keep informed of when and where events will be hosted. And thank you Ain for taking the time to answer my questions xo.