I first came across Stephanie’s blog circa 2011-2013 while doing research on Caribbean bloggers in the region. I was drawn to her blog and her Instagram page for many reasons: (1) she is Trinidadian and my 18+ love affair with the twin isle never really ended, (2) she wears a crisp white shirt like no other (and if I ever had to choose a stylist to work with, it would be her), (3) her writing is impeccable and she has a knack for voicing her opinions, unabashedly and (4) she looked like me! The latter was probably what caused me to hit that like button with a swiftness because let’s face it- representation matters to all of us. Needless to say, I was elated when she agreed to this interview. Did I mention that she was an excellent writer? If you don’t believe us, head over to her blog after you read our chit-chat with blogger, stylist and that No More Fashion Victims girl, Stephanie Ramlogan.
Talk to us about the Fashion Industry in the Caribbean. What are your biggest challenges as a stylist? How receptive have persons been to the idea of even having a stylist to begin with?
Funny enough, the biggest challenges in the Caribbean are similar to the ones in NYC. People confuse being Stylish, with being able to Style. It’s like the difference between having a great palate for food, and knowing how to cook. I find myself having to justify this as work. People only see you on set, or at a consultation. They don’t realize how much work goes on behind the scenes. The don’t see the hours of research, planning and project management.
What would you change about the Fashion industry in the Caribbean?
If I could change anything about the fashion industry in the Caribbean, it would be perception. I can only speak for Trinidad and Tobago, but the market considers local designer brands overpriced. Many times designers are under-pricing just to be able to sell. No way they could run a sustainable business on these models. The Caribbean fashion aesthetic is unique. It is so undervalued by Caribbean people. When I wear local brands on the US, I am always asked about it. Always.
However, it’s a double edged sword. While there are designers doing it right, a lot of socialites or influencers hire a seamstress to recreate simple patterns and call themselves designers. Many of these people have no technical skills, just good taste. It cheapens the industry. It makes Design seem like a simple process that anyone can do. Truly, fashion design is a very very difficult job. It requires so much education and experience. We’ve lost that respect.