Danielle Lee (left) looks stunning as she unveils the final look for the runway.
Recently, A splendid collaboration between Miss Jamaica Universe, Uzuri International, Dermoth Williams Couture and numerous other sponsors resulted in the establishment of a new and enticing event for any and all young folks interested in glamour. Prom Shoppe, held at the Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa, exposed willing patrons to displays from multiple fashion, hair, nail and make-up brands, as well as to a gratifying runway presentation for viewers to get a better look at the commodities being offered. Youthlink sat down with co-principal of Uzuri International and one of the event’s main producers, Mark McDermott, to hear a little bit about how the idea for the event sparked.
“I lived in the US for a few years and prom is really a big thing in the US – they go overboard – and it’s growing here in Jamaica, too, so we thought that we [himself and Karl Williams, co-principal of Uzuri International] wanted to create an event that was particularly for this market, to give young people the opportunity to go to town with the prom looks that they want – the dresses, the menswear, the make-up and all of that.”
The day-long event experienced a slow start from 10 a.m. to midday as attendees only trickled in. However, supporting sponsors didn’t seem too displeased as their displays got some worthy attention. Eventually, any want for excitement that attendees may have expressed during the day was mitigated by the long-awaited runway display, which commenced in the cool of the late afternoon. The glam-seeking crowd got their fill as models strutted in an array of apparel from Max Brown,Trend Steppaz, Loud Fashion and Uzuri International. They also sported make-up, nails and accessories by D’Marie Institute, Donya Marie and ExotiChild. Sponsors seemed to have received pleasant feedback on the show. Douglas Burke, owner of Trend Steppaz, a nascent brand for male shoes and accessories, beamed with satisfaction, stating that the event was “very well done”. According to him, “We thought our products, especially our shoes, were properly showcased with the models, and we got a good opportunity to show to the public our style of shops and so on.”
Despite the splendour, there were needs for improvement that McDermott revealed, were already being worked on. “The feedback we got was that patrons would have preferred it being a free event, so that may be something we have to look at, and also an event that is earlier in the year; so we might start going into the schools from late this year for next year.”
The event host expounded on the importance of getting the schools and potential prom goers interested from early. “One of the things that we really wanted to do was to get into the schools and have the schools buy into it, but we started out late, so we didn’t get to do as much of that as we wanted to. We visited some schools, but the visits were not as intensive as we really wanted them to be, so we know that is somewhere that we really have to go. And then, in going to the schools now, we can get a good gauge on the direction that they want us to go. We know that next year it’s gonna move from strength to strength for sure, because those elements will certainly help us even more.”
McDermott made sure to thank the event’s sponsor partners tremendously, despite the relatively low turnout of patrons, for the effort put into their displays. “For us, it was an experiment, really. This year we were not so much concerned with anything but establishing the event. That was our biggest objective: to put the event on the map so that we could build it and make it grow.”
Grow it will. Overall, one could easily say the day succeeded in its primary goal of establishing a new and intriguing event for glam enthusiasts. Patrons can look forward to its growth for next year!