Photo via: @laquan_smith on Instagram || @tyla wearing #LaQuanSmith ss24 metallic leather mini dress for @numero_netherlands Styled by @itsmerazzie Photographed by @richieshazam

These Caribbean fashion and design icons have made significant impacts in the industry, each bringing their unique backgrounds, cultures and perspectives to the forefront of their work. From ethical fashion and celebrity styling to innovative design and cultural advocacy, these individuals exemplify the creativity and dynamism of the Caribbean while setting new trends and standards.

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Stella Jean

Stella Jean is a Haitian-Italian fashion designer who has gained international acclaim for her eclectic designs. Born and raised in Rome, Italy, Jean’s work is heavily influenced by her mixed heritage, blending European, African and Haitian aesthetics.

Jean’s collections have been featured in prestigious fashion shows, including Milan Fashion Week, captivating the attention of fashion elites and celebrities worldwide. She is most known for her commitment to ethical fashion, often collaborating with artisans from developing countries to create her pieces. So much so that her company’s slogan is “Multiculturalism Applied to Ethical Fashion.”

Stella Jean’s 2021 Fall Collection, created in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Mountain Partnership Products initiative, spotlighted the craftsmanship of Kyrgyz women. Through this collection, Stella celebrated the region’s rich cultural heritage through intricate embroidery and empowered the artisans to maintain their identity and benefit financially from their traditional designs. This approach not only highlights traditional craftsmanship but also supports sustainable development.

Jean has received numerous accolades, including early in her career winning one of Vogue Italia’s “Who is On Next?” award in 2011 and the 2023 “Designer of the Year” by Harlem Fashion Row, cementing her status as a leading designer in the fashion industry.

LaQuan Smith

LaQuan Smith, a New York-born designer of Trinidadian descent, has become one of the most talked-about names in contemporary fashion. Known for his bold and sexy designs, Smith has dressed some of the biggest high-profile celebrities in the world, such as Beyoncé, Rihanna and Kim Kardashian, earning him a place among fashion’s elite.

He is celebrated for his daring and innovative approach to fashion, often pushing boundaries with his use of materials and silhouettes. One of his calling cards is an asymmetrical or unique cut, which are often very imaginative and add interest to he pieces. This uniqueness has designated Smith as a rising star in the fashion world, with his collections being showcased at New York Fashion Week and receiving widespread media coverage. 

In 2022, Smith got the opportunity of a lifetime when the legendary Lenny Kravitz personally asked him to design his ensemble for the CFDA Awards. Fast forward to 2024, and Smith is taking the fashion world by storm with the launch of his own luxury menswear collection, in collaboration with LOUIS XIII. This exquisite line doesn’t just cater to men; it features unisex pieces as well, brimming with standout items like pure silver belts and sustainably sourced mesh gloves.

Carlton Jones

Carlton Jones is a distinguished American-born stylist and designer with Cuban and Jamaican descent who has established himself with over two decades of experience styling actors, models and more. He has styled celebrities like Queen Latifah, Erykah Badu, Halle Berry, Lenny Kravitz and Michelle Obama, showcasing his unique flair and attention to detail despite many different styles. His work has been featured in top fashion magazines such as Vogue, Essence, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, Rolling Stone and Vibe, establishing him as a leading stylist and designer.

Jones has launched his self-named fashion line, known for its luxurious, resort-inspired pieces that effortlessly blend Caribbean ease with high fashion sophistication. His designs reflect a fusion of high-end runway aesthetics with wearable street style, making him a sought-after fashion correspondent for daytime talk shows and online segments. As a fashion editor and style director, Jones has developed a vast network of collaborative creatives, further cementing his influence in the industry.

Combining his love of style and fashion, Jones’ eponymous collection is inspired by travel and his extensive experience dressing diverse body types. Based in New York, his brand embodies the belief in creating versatile, stylish, comfortable Caribbean-inspired pieces that resonate with a global audience.


Meiling Esau, known simply as Meiling, is a legendary fashion designer from Trinidad and Tobago. Her career in fashion spans several decades, during which she has become a household name in the Caribbean.

Meiling is known for her timeless, elegant designs that often incorporate traditional Caribbean elements with a modern twist. Her attention to detail and craftsmanship is evident in every piece she creates. She has been a driving force in promoting Caribbean fashion on the global stage, showcasing her collections in various international fashion shows, like Portugal Fashion Week and even the new 2023 Metaverse Fashion Week.

Beyond her design work, Meiling is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of Caribbean designers. She has mentored numerous young talents, including Anya Ayoung-Chee, a contestant on season nine of Project Runway, helping them to navigate the fashion industry and succeed in their careers.

Cedella Marley

Cedella Marley, the daughter of reggae legend Bob Marley, is a multifaceted designer, author and musician from Jamaica. She is the CEO of Tuff Gong International and the fashion label Catch A Fire, named after one of her father’s famous albums.

Catch A Fire has been praised for its modern take on Caribbean-inspired fashion that often features vibrant colors and patterns that reflect her Jamaican roots. Marley has also collaborated with global brands like Puma, even designing the uniforms for the Jamaican Olympic team that were celebrated for their bold and dynamic aesthetic.

Beyond fashion, Marley is an advocate for social and environmental causes, using her platform to promote sustainable fashion and support charitable initiatives.


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