Tobago fashion house debuts new collection at NY Fashion Week

Lead designer of Linkage, Dayle Angus
Lead designer of Linkage, Dayle Angus

The island of Tobago brought a ray of sunshine to the frigid air of the Big Apple last weekend, as one of its leading design houses, Linkage, showcased its latest collection offering ‘Òkùnkùn’ at the Designers’ Premier during New York Fashion Week 2019.

Lead designer of Linkage, Dayle Angus, was ecstatic for the unique opportunity to make her debut in the mainstream fashion world.

“The name of the collection, Òkùnkùn, translates to centipede in Yoruba. The name was inspired by an incident that I had with an actual centipede this year,” she laughingly explained

Dayle Angus (second left) assists one of her models.
Dayle Angus (second left) assists one of her models.

Angus, a graduate of fashion design and fashion merchandising from Marymount University, readily admits that she has an affinity to subtlety and wanted to capture that preference in this collection.

“The idea was to create an original print especially for this, which was colourful and Caribbean, yet still had some muted tones to it,” she said.

A model shows off a piece from Linkage.
A model shows off a piece from Linkage.

After connecting with a fashion colleague, Amanda King, in 2014, King reached out to Angus with the opportunity to showcase for the upcoming Spring/Summer 2020 season. Angus believes that the authentic Caribbean experience that speaks through the body of her design work was a true attraction for the organisers and attendees at the event.

This Linkage piece brought some Caribbean flavour to New York Fashion Week.
This Linkage piece brought some Caribbean flavour to New York Fashion Week.

Since her showcase, Linkage has received a surge of interest in collection pieces from both women and men.

“Linkage is constantly evolving, and because my aesthetic tends to be very geometric or mirrored off of architecture, now it gives me the opportunity to explore more,” she said.

With the success of this latest collection, Angus intends to introduce a menswear collection under the fashion house in the near future.

“As a Tobagonian designer, I think that there is a lot of space for us as Caribbean creatives in the US, and if we can’t find it, we can create it for ourselves,” she said.

Dayle Angus plans to introduce a menswear collection in the future.
Dayle Angus plans to introduce a menswear collection in the future.

In recognising New York as a space that appreciates a variety of expressions, Angus – who has only been designing professionally for three years – is hoping that this showcase is the beginning of something greater for emerging designers in the region.

Òkùnkùn is exclusively available by made to order, and customers can check out www.houseofabeje.com to place orders or visit Linkage’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Written by Tenille Clarke (@tenilleclarke1 on Instagram/Twitter)

Tenille Clarke is an avid wanderlust, Carnivalist and cultural enthusiast who pens about her ongoing love affair with travel, culture and entertainment through a Caribbean lens. She is the Principal Publicist of Chambers Media Solutions and Managing Director of Industry 360.