Resident fashion designer Kenzie Rose celebrated the launch of her brand new website at West Indies Wine Company in Camana Bay last Saturday. The website, which went live last week, features her Fall Winter 2015 collection that was showcased at Cayman Islands Fashion Week back in April, in addition to the brand’s press coverage to date.
The website also includes a selection of stunning pictures, offering buyers a better idea of what the collection looks like. Pieces from the collection can be ordered directly from the site.
Presentation at West Indies Wine Company
Eleven models wore the K. Rose collection entitled “Leaving Society” which Rose describes as “Wednesday Addams meets high society.” The pieces are in monochrome shades of black and white with accents of scarlet and denim blue. Highlights were two stunning tulle skirts worn with tops embellished with bows and fringing; a black chiffon blouse printed with white skulls, worn with a red fringed pencil skirt; and cream sheer top with hand-stitched, studded detailing and floor-length leatherette skirt with over 2200 hand-applied crystals.
“I have a huge admiration for Alexander McQueen, Kanye West and Jeremy Scott, and I feel that is reflected in this collection,” said Rose.
First visit to Cayman
Rose, originally from Canada, first visited Cayman in 2008 on the suggestion of her good friend Festa, who is behind Cayman Carnival’s Swanky Band. This year her costume fell in line with her collection and featured black feathers.
“I met him [Festa] in Toronto and for the carnival in Miami, then visited for New Year’s intending to stay for two weeks,” said Rose. Cayman Airways rang her and said there was not enough room on her return flight and gave her the opportunity to re-book the date, so she decided to stay another month. She subsequently renewed her visitor extension as many times as she could until she got a job. With a tattoo in the shape of Grand Cayman with the date of her arrival in roman numerals, Rose certainly has taken the island to her heart and made it her home.
Creation of the collection
Last November Rose’s friends suggested that she put a collection together for the 5th Anniversary of Cayman Islands Fashion Week.
“I sewed a bunch of designs by hand and showed them to Cindy Rosan-Jones [the organizer of the event] along with my sketches,” said Rose, who has been passionately interested in fashion since a young age. “I told her “I need to do this,” and she accepted me to show at CIFW.”
Rose bought a sewing machine in December to speed up the process and began to produce the collection.
“It is all made by my hand – every rhinestone, every stitch,” said Rose. “I didn’t have any help and I didn’t even know I could find people on island who could help. I thought OK, let’s just wing it.” Rose’s mother, who lives in Australia was of great support throughout.
“My mom always wings it and when I get stumped on something she gives me ideas of how to deal with things,” said Rose. “She was like a tutor, and my dad sent me emergency fabric shipments as there is nothing here in the way of cool fabrics.”
The brand’s name is “K. Rose Cayman” because Rose feels that here on island she finally blossomed into the designer that she wanted to be.
Cayman fashion scene
Before Cayman Fashion Week, Rose got together with fellow Caymanian designers including Andre Brown and Akeel O’Connor about the profile of Cayman fashion. They are hoping to develop Cayman Islands Fashion Week into a twice a year event in line with traditional fashion weeks around the world, and to showcase it at a upmarket venue in order to properly promote the fashion creativity on island.
Rose talked about her experience at April’s event and mentioned Memsor Kamarake, co-stylist of the show with Carlton Jones. Kamarake accessorized her collection with ankle boots.
“At the end of the show he was so kind and let me take home the sizes that my models would need for future presentations,” said Rose. “He also gave me his contact and promised to take me to the garment district when I was next in New York.”
“We want to see more fashion events in Cayman,” said Rose. “I am planning a trunk show here in August.” Rose believes that the galas on island should be made more accessible by offering cheaper tickets so that the young and fashionable can afford to attend.
“It is important to create more of a fashion scene here in Cayman, because fashion can make money.”