Carnival excitement building: Xamayca launches costume design competition

Carnival season is quickly approaching in Jamaica and Xaymaca International has decided to expand their creative circle and involve aspiring designers.

(Photos: Instagram — @xamaycainternational)

Earlier this month, they launched the Xaymaca International 2020 Design Competition, where participants submitted sketches of their costume designs, following which the top 25 were uploaded to Xaymaca’s Instagram page. The most liked sketch will advance to round 2 along with 4 other designs chosen by the judges.

The competition garnered much attention from social media with Xamayca announcing their Top 4 designs amidst much fanfare on their Instagram page. The winning designs were created by Anissa Cole(#8), Jessica Hewitt-Haynes (#12), Shanique McPhail (#13) and Melissa-Kim Dunkley (#22).

The announcement on the judges’ Top 4 costumes was followed shortly after with the People’s Choice award which was design #4 created by Francine Watt, who amassed over 6,000 votes for a landslide victory.

Xaymaca’s CEO, Andrew Bellamy, explained that the competition was developed out of a need to help in developing the Caribbean Carnival industry by harnessing the creative potential across the region. “There [are] so many creative people in Jamaica… and throughout the region and as such we said the first step to grow the industry is to open up, to provide that opportunity for one lucky person,” he said.

Though only one designer will get the chance to strut their design on band launch night, he noted the five finalists would get the opportunity to attend a workshop that teaches them the trade of designing a Carnival costume. He also added that the workshop will also teach the finalists the other intricacies to the carnival industry.

Bellamy and his team hope that the competition will propel increased involvement of Caribbean designers in the carnival industry. “We hope this will inspire future designers so that 2021 and beyond we will have more people applying,” he said.