Jamaican designer to boost local swim industry with Swim Fest launch

Jamaican swimwear designer Tashana Hutchinson is on a mission to give the local design and retail industry a well-needed boost with the launch of Swim Fest Upmarket.

Consumers and retailers will be treated to a firsthand look at the latest designs by some of Jamaica’s most talented swimwear designers.

Giirli Gurlz swimwear piece by Tashana Hutchinson (Photo: Dennis Brown)

“I’ve travelled abroad and seen this done in several countries, I was surprised no one had made an attempt to do something like this in Jamaica.

“It’s like a celebration of everything beach, we are bringing everybody together under one roof, from swimwear designers, skin product manufacturers, everybody,” Hutchinson said.

“It’s like a celebration of everything beach, we are bringing everybody together under one roof.”

— Tashana Hutchinson, designer and Swim Fest Upmarket event organiser

Hutchinson, an established designer in her own right, who has found success in New York through her swimwear line ‘Giirli Gurlz’, returned to Jamaica with a mission to push her latest collection, ‘3 Beaches’ an ode to her home country, only to find a rigid structure that provides few opportunities for local designers to go to market.

Giirli Gurlz swimwear piece by Tashana Hutchinson (Photo: Dennis Brown)

“When it comes to swimwear, unfortunately, international products are more likely to find a place in the market than our local talents, this needs to change, our local talents are just as good, sometimes better than what is out there,” Hutchinson noted.

Giirli Gurlz swimwear piece by Tashana Hutchinson (Photo: Dennis Brown)

Hutchinson hopes to unite all the major players of the industry, through Swim Fest, in the interest of building brand identity, while fostering relationships between producers and retailers.

Daniela Stone’s ‘DTS Designs’ will be on exhibition at Swim Fest Upmarket

Consumers are welcomed into the mix and are given a chance to purchase some of the latest designs from their favourites and soon to be favourite designers.

Giirli Gurlz swimwear piece by Tashana Hutchinson (Photo: Dennis Brown)

Attendees of Swim Fest can expect to get an up-close look at the designs of local talents like Simone Michelle for ‘Misim Beach Babe’, and Daniela Stone’s ‘DTS Designs’, just to name a few.

Simone Michelle of ‘Misim Beach Babe’ will be an exhibitor at Swim Fest Upmarket

But Hutchinson has taken things a bit further and expanded the reach of Swim Fest to also include other beachwear stakeholders such as accessories and product manufacturers, beauty and waxing services as well.

Giirli Gurlz swimwear piece by Tashana Hutchinson (Photo: Dennis Brown)

“Expect an amazing presentation from our exhibitors, great food and drink and an overall good vibe while you explore and shop,” she said.

Swim Fest will be held on December 7 at The Cove Restaurant, 3 Winchester Road, Kingston, from 4pm to 11pm, under the tagline Swimwear-Resort-Lifestyle.