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Kerby Young launches Island Boy clothing capsule


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Caribbean Sea with denim blue jeans. –

Guyanese designer Kerby Young, based at TT, said the pandemic has been a time of struggle for him and others in the fashion industry. But Young didn’t let the covid restrict his creativity and released his new Island Boy clothing capsule.

But who is Kerby Young?

He started in the fashion industry in Guyana in 2005 and his first show was called Colors of the Caribbean. He described its aesthetic as “a type of colorful, Caribbean clothing that is easy to ventilate.”

He migrated to TT in 2008 and began to develop his skills in makeup, photography and jewelry. Her designs have been featured at several events, including San Fernando Fashion Week.

He explained that as a designer he “tries to survive like everyone else.

“I have perfected my art. I try to stay relevant, follow trends and collaborate with young creatives. We can all learn from each other. You might be a singer and I am a designer, but we can. collaborate on a project Everything is placed under the aegis of creativity.

In 2016, he produced The Art Gallery: Where Art Comes Alive, an exhibition that combined visual arts, fashion and music. For the show, he collaborated with Princess Charles, better known as Avianne, Shakellah Mungo and Omar Jarra.

In 2017, he launched KYD (Kerby Young Designs) magazine, which he described as another hub for creatives and a route of exposure.

“The reason why I did this is that when I was younger I didn’t have the chance to have these opportunities in Guyana and even at the start in TT. Now that I had the resources, I ‘had the ability to offer help and help both young creatives and those around her for some time. “

The magazine started monthly, but then began to be published every two months. Young said that due to the pandemic, issues are currently being published on an irregular basis.

Island Boy crew neck t-shirt with Sunset shorts and bob. –

And speaking of the pandemic, Young said that initially business was non-existent.

“For the first three weeks I was frustrated. Being outside and interacting with people fuels my creativity and I am inspired by the outdoors.”

He then started the KYD Magazine Fashion Essentials video series, which featured creatives and promoted their work. He explained that the goal was to promote the narrative that creatives were essential workers as well.

“During covid, only essential workers were given attention. Because they suppressed the creative space, creatives began to feel suicidal and depressed. How do they normally get these thoughts out? suicidal of their heads? By drawing, by painting, by going out. “

He said the video series was meant to motivate the creative sector and that motivation was something many people need during the pandemic. He also found the therapeutic series for himself.

“It gave me something to do and to work on. Everyone loves to get paid, but for me, I just love to see people happy and do what they love and feel good about themselves. series) costs money to earn, but it can’t be compared to seeing someone smile. “

He said creatives “felt it the most” during the pandemic and “still felt it.”

All about Island Boy

Young said that a year and a half after the start of the TT pandemic, business has improved for him.

“Covid made me go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate my business. Covid will be there for a while and it’s about how you pivot and work around it. How can I still survive?

He began to consider having his business online rather than a physical location.

“(Business) isn’t as big or as good as I’d like it to be, but it’s way better than at the start of covid.”

Caribbean Love shirt to wear with white shorts. –

He said online sales are working well, although there is the challenge of accessing US currency to buy and sell.

“It’s the only draining part.”

Young’s latest venture is his Island Boy clothing capsule. Regarding inspiration, he said that on the Tik Tok video platform, he often hears people talking about “hot girls summer”,

“What happened to ‘hot boys summer’? I realized that wasn’t a thing. So I thought, let me see if I could do something for the guys. “

Young said most of his designs are aimed at women and are more fashionable. He titled his collection for guys “Island Boy”. Unfortunately, when he came up with the idea in May this year, the country was in lockdown and fabric stores were closed.

“I went to the little fabric store in my sewing workshop to see what I need to sew and merge to create a collection. It took a lot of brain matter from me. Should I use this or that?

He chose the color palette, which was his usually very colorful designs, and began to put the collection together.

“Everything I do is colorful. When you think of ‘the island boy’ you think of the Caribbean. You think of culture. Our culture isn’t boring or bland but it’s still bright colors. Even when we use earth tones there is always something to add an element of excitement and joy. The color speaks of a mood and a mood. “

Ebony and ivory shorts with matching bob and red shoulder bag. –

The blues of the sea, green, red and yellow, gave each room a Caribbean name, such as Savannah love,

He started with shirts and pants, but felt he needed something else. So he added shoulder bags and reversible bobs. When completed, the collection consisted of 12 pieces (elastic waist shorts, zip-up shorts, floral shirts, tank top, reversible hats, and shoulder bags) and includes names like Sunset, Caribbean Floral, Golden Trumpet, Aqua Palm, Ebony, and Ivory. , the Caribbean Sea and the sky of the savannah.

The start

He launched the collection on July 24 with a YouTube video featuring him explaining the collection and video of models wearing the pieces in Savannah, Waterfront and Federation Park – in the latter, they were chased away by security guards.

The video was tuned to music by pannist Tevin Shockness and music by Kerry John. He explained that he enjoys continuing to collaborate with artists and offer them an exhibition.

“Every time I do something with someone, I want them to be better at the end and they have to get something out of it.”

Young said the collection has been doing well since launch, with bobs and shirts being the most popular items.

“I used floral fabric as opposed to boring things that people think are (more appropriate) for a guy. But we could wear flowers.”

Matching Caribbean Breeze shirt and pants set. –

He said customers love the fit and the quality of the products.

“I am constantly trying to improve the quality and presentation in everything I do.”

He said it was as easy as clothing tags and a branded KYD bag instead of receiving the product in a regular plastic bag.

“It depreciates your product.”

People were surprised that he was able to do anything during the covid period.

“It’s kind of a motivation for my fellow designers.”

He reported that some of his fellow designers messaged him about the collection and told him they found it good and that they liked the production.

“The business side is doing well and I can afford a great deal at KFC every now and then,” he joked.

One of her shirts was featured in soca artist Turner’s Summertime music video. Young has also worked with artists Xone and Crazy.

Thanks to the positive response to the collection, he will be adding hoodies and sweatpants as well as more Island Boy merchandising.

Island Boy V-neck t-shirt with an ebony floral bob. –

“You have to be strategic when doing these things.”

He said some of his models and clients asked about an “Island Girl” collection. This new collection will be called something more creative and he hopes to release it for Christmas, “provided we don’t lock ourselves in anymore”.

He also repeated his mantra to creatives to never give up on their dreams and believe in themselves.

To find Island Boy clothing, you can check the kerbyyoung.com website or, on social media, kerbyyoungdesigns on Instagram and Facebook.


Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes

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