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LOCALE: #CuratingCaribbeanCool. Caribbean Lifestyle Summer Pop-up Inside #ThePinkBuilding.

Good times, good people, good music, and a whole lot of Caribbean flavor - that's what went down last Saturday, June 29th, in the #ThePinkBuilding for our Caribbean Lifestyle Pop-Up, #CuratingCaribbeanCool! If you missed it, fret not, this article will whisk you right back to the heart of the vibrant event.

Island Creatives Take Center Stage

The Pop-Up was a treasure trove of Caribbean talent. We're talking fashion that sizzled, homeware that spoke to the soul, and jewelry that was pure art.

Leading the pack was Aaron Moneer, the Mission Catwalk season 7 winner, who showcased upscale Caribbean luxury designs with a focus on beautiful linen pieces. "I wanted to create a brand that is very upscale Caribbean. That says Caribbean, and I say, linen aligns with luxury and I use a lot of linen. I wanted to create stand out pieces. So what I did, I incorporated the detail with the lattice that makes it different. Just that little touch," the designer stated.

Loodi Home's vibrant lamps and furnishings, by Alix Khouri, were literally quite LIT!

This Jamaican designer creates stunning lamps and home furnishings that are as functional as they are beautiful.

The story behind the brand is as heartwarming as the designs themselves. Her signature batik lamps began with a simple desire to add a touch of vibrancy to her own living space, "When I was a teenager I used to throw my scarves unto my lamp, just to get a little bit of vibes in the room, and that's why I started doing the lamps, I was like “why are all lamp shades beige?” So that's why I started doing the lamps years and years ago."

But Loodi Home is also about sustainability. Leftover fabric scraps are transformed into adorable cushions using a traditional Jamaican technique called ‘Latch and Hook’, which Khourie is eager to learn. Sustainable and stylish? We love it and can’t get enough!

Island Inspiration in Every Corner

From the moment you stepped into #ThePinkBuilding you were greeted with an atmosphere buzzing with life. The pop-up pulsated with a relaxed and infectious fun.

The bar, expertly stocked by CPJ, offered a cool escape from the Jamaican heat, with a yummy cocktail experience that kept everyone's taste buds tingling as the music thrummed through the air.

But beneath the surface buzz, the true heart of the Pop-Up came from the stories behind the products.

This isn’t your average bake sale crew. These are three powerhouse sisters – Pixie, Eve, and Zora – with a mission. Their delicious honey wasn't just a tasty treat; it is fuel for their incredible dream. Each bottle sold brought them closer to competing at the World Robotics Olympiad in Italy this September. Talk about girl power and supporting their dreams!

Jewellery with a Story

Speaking of inspiration, jewelry designer Reah Lee Singh left everyone speechless with her jewelry that were literal pieces of art. Attending her very first pop-up at Locale, each piece displayed was a tribute to her love for the rawness of life.

Wabi Sabi is a Chinese term for life being imperfect. That nothing is perfect and nothing stays the same. It's transcendental love.” Singh explained a bit about her collection called Fences, "In the Caribbean we have different fences, the wire fence, the wood fence, the steel fence, the fancy fence. We all live in a certain way where our fences are porous. The fence acted as more of a link between the homes than a divide. We talk over the fence, we share mango, the chickens come over". The collection is a reminder of that sense of connection and belonging that's so ingrained in Caribbean cultures of life itself and how its imperfections make it perfect.

Fashion with a Jamaican Twist

Keeping the beach vibes flowing was swimsuit designer Ackeilia Caine (Trendzy by Ackeilia).

Also a contestant on Mission Catwalk Season 7, her unique pieces take more than just a dip in the ocean - they're a full-on immersion into Jamaican culture. Imagine rocking a bikini with vibrant colors and patterns that pay homage to Jamaica's rich history and traditions. Or maybe you'd prefer a cover-up that features iconic Jamaican heroes and cultural symbols. Ackeilia doesn't shy away from bold design, and her pieces are guaranteed to turn heads wherever you wear them. She said "I like playing around with our heritage, our culture, and putting it all in something that people like to do, which is going to the beach. So in the swimsuits, you'll see multiple different aspects of our culture." 

And for the fellas, we are not leaving them out! Simone Michelle debuted her new menswear line, Mr. Sim, featuring shirts and shorts adorned with the Jamaican map. It's the perfect way for the Jamaican man to show his love for the island in style. But Mr. Sim isn't just about patriotism - it's also about quality and comfort.

The line is made from breathable fabrics that are perfect for the Caribbean climate, and the designs are sharp and modern.

A Touch of France Meets Jamaica

Stefanie Neno, the Portland-based designer behind LaTige, brought a touch of French elegance to the event with her unique polymer clay jewelry. Each piece is a miniature work of art, meticulously crafted and boasting bold colors and geometric shapes. Neno's background is in fashion design, and that influence is evident in the way she uses color and texture to create pieces that are both stylish and statement-making. But it's not just about aesthetics - a quick glance at her collection reveals inspiration from her travels and the natural world around her, making it a perfect fit for the pop-up's celebration of all things Caribbean-inspired.

Test Your Jamaicanness

But the fun didn't stop there! Abigail Smith brought the vibes with Bere Vibes, a Jamaican card trivia game. A fun game that puts your knowledge of Jamaican history, culture, music, food, and even slang to the test. She stated what drew her to follow through on this dream of hers, "I grew up here and then when I went to school abroad, I was like, 'oh, my gosh, there are so many games that we play about American culture or American history.' And we know it, but I'm like, why not also do something for us? Make one for Jamaica". An idea that blossomed years ago, she finally decided to go through with the idea during the pandemic, stating, "I didn't know I had an idea. So, I put it away in my Google Drive and then throughout the years, it was something that kept on coming back. So I'm like, 'Okay, I need to do this. I need to do this' and it was during the pandemic. My friends are, like, 'Okay, you have time now. Get it done you. We'll help you'". So whether you're a seasoned Jamaican or a newcomer to the island's rich heritage, Bere Vibes is a guaranteed good time.

The Caribbean Lifestyle Pop-Up was a vibrant explosion of Caribbean creativity, leaving everyone with a smile and a souvenir (or two!). If you missed it, don't fret! Keep your eyes peeled for the next one – it's guaranteed to be a sun-drenched celebration of all things Caribbean!


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