Caribbean firm has designs on fashion

BARBADOS – An enterprising apparel manufacturing company has big plans for Barbadian and Caribbean fashion designers.

Declaring “you can’t have fashion without fabric,” Rozana Moseley, co-founder of LaRosa Couture, believes the local and regional fashion industry has been hindered by the absence of quality manufacturing facilities to support its creativity.

Moseley, who co-founded the company with her husband Ryan, said LaRosa Couture is positioning itself to mend the situation.

The fashion fraternity, she announced, has responded positively to the company’s mission to become the leading small batch apparel manufacturing company in Barbados as the new business starts to gain momentum with the support of the Barbados Entrepreneurs’ Venture Capital Fund, known as BIM Ventures.

LaRosa Couture Team

LaRosa Couture staff at work on the manufacturing floor.

Photograph available here:


“We are starting to bear fruit and have expanded our efforts to include providing manufacturing support for the work of fashion designers in neighbouring Trinidad, Martinique and Guadeloupe,” Moseley disclosed, noting that LaRosa Couture is answering the call for a regional manufacturing facility for high-end clothing.


The financial and mentorship support provided by BIM Ventures to LaRosa Couture has been indispensable to the execution of the vision, Moseley opined, “broadening the scope of our company.”


Gregory Hinkson, BIM Ventures Shepherd and Director of LaRosa Couture, agreed: “The relationship between the shepherd, who functions as more than a mentor, and the entrepreneur is crucial to fulfilling the mandate of the company – we can truly see the potential of boosting foreign exchange reserves through our operations while supporting fashion designers in their mission to go global.”


Gregory Hinkson

Photograph of Gregory Hinkson available here:
About La Rosa Couture Inc.

La Rosa Couture Inc., located in Wildey, St. Michael, Barbados, produces high quality tailored apparel for both men and women. The company functions as a manufacturer offering specialized production services to clients who desire consistent workmanship in the apparel manufacturing process. Founded by husband and wife team, Ryan and Rozana Moseley, the company intends to become the leading small batch apparel manufacturing company in Barbados eventually expanding to compete on the regional and international stage.

About Barbados Business Enterprise Corp.

Barbados Business Enterprise Corp. (BBEC) is a public/private sector partnership with the Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust (CBET) Inc. BBEC manages the Barbados Revolving Seed Capital Fund and the Barbados Entrepreneurs’ Venture Capital Fund. BBEC is a virtual organisation that focuses on promoting economic development in Barbados. The trustees of BBEC are respected Barbadian business and development experts, Sir Neville Nicholls (Chairman), Sir Stephen Emtage, Peter Boos and Hazel Highland.

For further information, visit




Fashion: Maza’s Making Moves

Designer Maza Rombley (The Daily Herald Photo)

(Courtesy The Daily Herald)

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – Maza Rombley is a local fashion designer, who focuses on full-figured and curvy women, using vibrant and colourful designs. After meeting with a prospective client, she will design something a bit more unusual than most, but these designs are still very wearable. Rombley likes to use fabrics she shops for in the States and Trinidad. Rombley was one of the designers who showed her work at the Breast Cancer Fashion Show in Princess Casino.

Where were you born and when did you come to St. Maarten to live?

I was born in Leiden, the Netherlands, and came to St. Maarten to live in 1979.

Where did you go to school and was it at school that you first became interested in fashion design?

I attended M.P.C. for two years and then transferred to Sundial High school. Around the age of 14, I started taking my jeans and making holes in them by hand. I would then sew on patches or bleach it. I would always dress differently and never wanted to follow what was in style; I wanted to be different. I started collecting Right On magazines to check out the latest styles and hairstyles and see who the latest artists were. I still collect fashion magazines so I can stay in touch with all the latest fashion trends around the world.

You recently opened a store on Walter Nesbit Road, tell us about it.

I opened Majaka Boutique on December 17, 2009. The name was given to me by my father when I was 16 (he has no recollection of this.) The name is taken from the first two letters in my name and the first two letters from my siblings names. Majaka Boutique is for the trendy Fashionista who likes colourful clothing. We cater to women of all shapes and sizes. We sell accessories and handmade accessories, our prices are affordable and the warm feeling in the store makes you feel right at home in your closet. In the near future, “Diva In Me” designs will also be in the store.

Does one only buy off-the-peg in your store or do you design and make to order?

You can buy from the rack or ask that I design something special for you.

Who do you design for?

I design clothing for all women in all shapes and sizes. (Not for children or men; perhaps in the future).

What gives you inspiration for your designs?

Ideas pop into my head and I turn these ideas into designs.

Tells us about the fabrics you like to work with and where you get them from.

I like to work with cotton, nylon, jersey, silk, etc. I love colourful fabric, animal prints, and metallic fabric. I order from online. I find fabric in the stores here and when I go to New York. There’s a lady that I know in Trinidad who sends me samples to pick and choose what I would like to have.

Once designed, who sews your pieces up for you?

Usually I do a lot by hand, but when the work load is too much, Digna, a lovely seamstress, helps me out.

Have you shown your work anywhere?

Yes, my first show was the Stile Diva show in 2008, then the Aids show in 2009; my designs were shown at the Breast Cancer Show at Princess Casino this month (October 2010).

What big plans do you have for the future?

Maza in own design for a tribute show on St. Maarten.

My future plans would be to make “Diva In Me” designs a household name and for my designs to be on runways around the world. I’d like to expand my store to other Caribbean islands and open more stores on St. Maarten. I am looking at launching my party planning “Creative Style” (which is in operation already) and have a Foundation for the youths to express themselves through their talents. I will also continue helping people in need.

Which fashion designer do you most admire?

There are a lot of fashion designers I admire. One I found recently is Rachel Roy, I love her designs. They are colourful, animal prints, sexy, feminine and exotic, which describe my style of dressing.

Choose two people you would love to invite over for dinner and what would you serve them?

My favourite fashion model is Tyra Banks. She shows that she is not just a model but an entrepreneur as well. She has her own talk show, her own foundation for girls called TZONE Foundation and America’s Next Top Model TV show. She is a strong, black woman who never allows any negative publicity to spoil her dreams. She just keeps pursuing her happiness.

I would also invite Kaisha Peters who is a well known local designer. Not only is she a creative and gifted designer, she is also always there to give tips and advice on the fashion industry. (She has designed clothes for me and everything she designed fit perfectly without her taking measurements.)

I would serve both of them fish soup, provision and fungi, salad and roti. These are my favourite foods and I can make a great fish soup…ahhahahaha!

Maza, helping the youth and those in need are not at the top of many folks’ lists but they are on your list and as the saying goes, “What goes around, comes around.” With your “joie de vivre” and drive for fun and perfection, you will most definitely achieve your dreams.

Maza’s Boutique is on Walter Nisbeth Road.


People: Actress, model, journalist Verena Siblal

Port-Of-Spain, Trinidad (Sonique Solutions) – After overcoming challenges in her career and life path 26 year old Verena Siblal systematically ascended the difficult ladder to success in Trinidad and Tobago’s entertainment industry. The aspiring actress, model, journalist and popular Synergy TV presenter has certainly made herself and her star continues to shine brightly with new projects on the horizon.

Even as a young girl growing up between the areas of St. Augustine and Couva, Verena’s journalistic aptitude was evident as she had a love for listening to the life stories of people in her community. Although in these formative years she admired the on-air confidence of local news reporter Shelly Dass, the beauty and charisma of E!
Entertainment personality Brooke Burke and the captivating performances of Hollywood actresses Nicole Kidman and Halle Berry, young Verena never had any aspirations to pursue a career in entertainment or media.

During her primary school years at Curepe Presbyterian Primary school Verena was diagnosed with the learning disorder dyslexia and struggled with reading as well as a slight speech impediment. Though she was often the victim of ridicule and society’s then unfamiliarity with her condition, this media star in the making did not become buried by defeat but rather used her situation to propel her to prominence and as a catalyst for developing focus and discipline.

This perseverance, coupled with support from her loving family helped Verena to overcome all obstacles in order to excel at all phases of her education. This attractive television talent dispels the myth that someone with beauty lacks brains as she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, with a minor in International Relations from The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine and a Master of Arts in Mass Communications from the University of Leicester.

Verena managed to balance academia with her artistic interests when she experienced her first taste of the spotlight modeling for the famed Radical Designs clothing label at a show entitled “Mirror Image”. This modeling experience stimulated her appetite for the performing arts and led her to pursue courses in drama and gain a new understanding of
and appreciation for entertainment.

When the opportunity to be a host at the number one entertainment television network in T&T presented itself, Verena grabbed it with both hands. The young, dynamic individual has since tirelessly practised this craft which was clearly pre-destined for her, and established her place in the Caribbean entertainment fraternity.
At present Verena blazes the airwaves every hour on the hour as anchor for Synergy TV’s entertainment and events news segment ‘Wrap Ups’. This television stint has led to her receiving various big breaks including the main role in Soca Artiste Bunji Garlin’s music video “Brave Button” and modeling gigs at major band launches for Carnival mas bands Tribe, Island people, Spice and Oasis.

She has also hosted several other TV shows and concert specials on Synergy where she interviewed top celebrities such as fashion stars Tyson Beckford, Angela Simmons and America’s Next Top Model winner McKey Sullivan, Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam, and music heavyweights Machel Montano, Jah Cure, Alison Hinds, Morgan Heritage, and Ravi B.

Verena who has recently ventured into the field of film acting describes herself as a caring, straight forward, adventurous and eccentric person. She is working with the local producers of the first local feature length horror film entitled “3 Line”. She shares her skills with the producers as they attempt to showcase the plethora of homegrown writing, producing, directing and acting talent via a new TV project which she hosts called “In the Making”.

There seems to be no stopping for this mutli-faceted media and entertainment star. As she aims to take her career to the next level and learn more about the production aspect she respects and is inspired by the multi-tasking ability of local practitioner Lisa Wickham, the onscreen wit of US talk show hosts Kelly and Joel McHale, and the professionalism
of Trinidadian-born British newsreader and journalist Sir Trevor McDonald.

Through her own history of overcoming adversity, this proud Caribbean woman aims to inspire others to utilize fortitude, resilience and grace in order to reach for greatness despite the challenges that life may offer.

For more information on “Verena Siblal”:
Log onto: launched by Viva New Media! Ltd.

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS –, which launched on Friday, August 6th, encourages its readers to live in true Caribbean fashion.

Consumers of will be entertained and inspired by engaging, original content such as I HOTT (Island Hipsters On The Town) and Carib Fashion TV. is published by Viva New Media! Limited in St. Kitts. The website makes a bold visual statement with photos and videos that add to fun, concise articles on Caribbean trends and trendsetters. Topics include fashion, of course, but also music, culture, lifestyle, recreation, travel, beauty, as well as personal style and growth.

Log on to every week for a fresh, fun and fashion-forward take on Caribbean style and popular culture.


Top Model T&T molding the future of fashion and design

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (Sonique Solutions) –Students will become the masters when graduates of the Caribbean Academy of Fashion & Design (CAFD) at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), have their designs prominently featured at the “Makin Style Gala Fashion Collection” on August 7th.

“Makin style” is also one of the events at which finalists of the Bmobile sponsored T&T Top Model competition will be judged.

On Sunday 25th of July the T&T Top Model elimination event took place and 12 Female and 19 Male finalists were selected from 65 semi-finalists.

The fashion competition concept developed and executed by the Coco Velvet International Model Training Academy has been receiving much attention and positive reviews in several entertainment and media circles and among the public.

The concluding phases of T&T Top Model will be the upcoming “Makin’ Style Gala Fashion Collections” event on August 7th and the selection of a the next male and female T&T Top Model on August 8th . B-mobile will also be giving the public the opportunity to text vote for their favorite model to win the People’s Choice award.

The Makin’ Style Gala Fashion Collections represents a pivotal period in the competition as the model hopefuls who will come face to face with designers as they showcase various fashion lines in a realistic fashion show scenario. Among the fashion lines to be featured on that evening will be designs from students of the Diploma in Fashion Design program offered by the Caribbean Academy of Fashion & Design (CAFD) at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT).

Charmaine Charles, a student designer of this first graduating class and co-winner of the Runway Reveal…MasterCard fashion competition held in T&T in May of this year, enrolled at CAFD to pursue her passion for fashion. She considers the program to be of an international standard and one that brings out the best in her abilities. “It has helped to expose talents and creativity that I never knew I had. I’m seeing fashion in a whole new light.”

Charles admits that the diploma program has been challenging but she has been able to rise to the occasion due to her training from her devoted tutors. She has been afforded the opportunity to study the art of drawing a clothed human form and art history and to learn new computer programs such as Adobe Photo Shop and Illustrator.

Regarding Makin’ Style Gala Fashion Collections she confesses, “It has me on edge, I know what’s at stake and I want to produce the best”.

Adrian Foster, another soon to be CAFD graduate, is glad that such a program is available locally. This native of Couva who also was the illustrator of the T&T Top Model campaign image, claims that the academy’s curriculum not only exposed him to the manufacturing and marketing aspects of fashion but also gave him the focus and direction necessary to discover his true enthusiasm for creating women’s couture.

When asked about Top Model and its finals events he shared, “I’ve received hands on experience with every aspect of the contest and I now have a better understanding of how to work with an actual model as opposed to a mannequin. Being able to learn from the panel of judges and to meet and network with others in the industry has been truly beneficial”.

Foster also gave praise to designers Peter Elias and Meiling for all of their support, advice and criticism. On the subject of Makin’ Style Gala Fashion Collections, he stated, “It’s a little bit of pressure because the clothes have to be professional and well tailored but it’s also all about selling yourself to the public and showing them what you got. We (the graduating design students) are all anxious to see each other’s work”.

As the August 7th and 8th final events approach, Trinidad and Tobago eagerly awaits the crowning of its 2010 Top Model winners and the artistic innovations of a new generation of homegrown design talent. Coco Velvet International will carry on the effort of identifying, training and shaping gifted T&T fashion neophytes en route to achieving their international aspirations, while Bmobile will continue with its mission to support and strengthen this and other arts/entertainment related initiatives.