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Andrew Lewis Enthused By New Ecliff Elie Store At West Mall in Trinidad.

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Trinidad and Tobago’s elite menswear brand, Ecliff Elie, has just broadened its reach, launching a spanking new store at West Mall in West Trinidad. The store’s launch comes as things begin to open up more and more- the country’s Prime Minister recently announcing safe zones for vaccinated citizens.

Ecliff Elie is a reputed name in the fashion industry in the Caribbean. His subtle, yet powerful presence in the menswear market has been admired by many over the years, with entertainers like Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, Problem Child, Lyrikal, Shurwayne Winchester, Kees Dieffenthaller, Jah Cure and countless others vouching for the designer’s professionalism and unparalleled fit, time and time again.

The Ecliff Elie brand has been endorsed by several well known personalities in Trinidad and Tobago over the years- professional sailor, Andrew Lewis being one of them. On the heels of the launch of the new Ecliff Elie store at West Mall, Lewis said, “It’s simple! I love me some good threads. I love a custom fit and better yet, a convenient location like The Falls at West Mall. I love supporting local once done right and it’s up to my standards.” He went on to congratulate the Arima native, saying that he looks forward to seeing him thrive while “rocking your threads.”

Earlier this year, Ecliff Elie launched his online store, making many of his suits, luxury bags, accessories and shoes readily available for purchase, by customers worldwide. He did it all amid the global pandemic, fighting the odds as many grappled with an uncertain economy. Be sure to check out what he’s got by heading to www.ecliffelie.com.

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Fashion Buzz

Trini Fashion Designer Brings Caribbean Cultural Ethos To Clarks Footwear Brand.

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A Trinidad born fashion designer is making his presence felt internationally. Joshua Joseph of New York-based fashion brand, Rebels to Dons, has joined forces with classic shoemaker, Clarks Originals and American designer Ronnie Fieg, to create an exclusive new design.

The design was released on June 30th, online and commerated with an in-store event at menswear boutique Blue in Green. The landmark Rebels to Dons x Clarks shoe is part of 8th Street — the innovative sub-label by Kith founder Ronnie Fieg. 

The collaboration marks the next major chapter in the Caribbean’s storied relationship with the British brand. For decades, Clarks Shoes have remained a preferred footwear brand in the islands with many Caribbean artistes even highlighting the brand in their music. In turn, the brand has released many Caribbean-inspired collections over the years. Joseph however, is the first Caribbean-born designer to create his own Clark’s silhouette. 

“It’s exciting to work with such a classic brand that has been a part of our culture for so long,” said Joseph. “As the designer, I see this as an opportunity to give a sense of ownership to the people that truly embodied and embraced this brand so much,” he continued.

For his landmark project, Joseph took inspiration from the late 1970s and 80s, when a new wave of Caribbean immigrants imported their distinctive fashion (and eternal love for Clarks) into New York City’s streetwear lexicon. Honoring the two places that shaped him as a designer, “I wanted the design to show how the city and the islands are connected through style,” said Joseph.

With this in mind, the designer reimagined Fieg’s Clarks maycliffe into a mule, incorporating dynamic details that can morph into the wearer’s day-to-night flex. “This is something that you can dress up and dress down, all at the same time,” he explained.

Made of natural tan nubuck leather, the mule features hallmarks of the Clarks brand, from the crepe outsole to stitched upper detailing. Personalization comes courtesy two removable fringed straps, one in a matching tan nubuck, and the other a nubuck brun. These trimmed straps can be swapped or layered together. 

By remixing these detachable accents, one can transform the mule, “from simple to extravagant,” said Joseph. “This one design gives you room to do as much as you want,” he highlighted.

Expressive, adaptable adornments cut to the core of Joseph’s overall ethos at Rebels to Dons. The brand has garnered wide acclaim for their radical reinterpretation of streetwear staples, splicing together kinetic colors, patchwork textures and off-kilter silhouettes to form something truly surreal. “For us, embellishments are our way of disrupting the familiar and making something unexpected,” explained Joseph. “And our Clarks mule captures that spirit.”

The Rebels to Dons x Clarks maycliffe mule have been released in a limited edition run. They will be sold exclusively online via the Rebels to Dons website rebelstodons.com. The closing event to celebrate the launch will take place at Soho Beach House in Miami on July 30th.

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Caribbean Buzz

Caribbean Menswear Designer, Ecliff Elie Pushes Past Covid-19 with Big Lessons Learnt.

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When the Covid-19 pandemic reared its head in the aftermath of Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival this past March, Caribbean menswear designer Ecliff Elie had only five months prior, opened his new design house at C3 Centre in San Fernando, South Trinidad. His atelier location in Woodbrook, Port-of-Spain maintained its market position, posturing the designer’s imminent rise to regionwide gratification, by all markers. He never expected what eventually came; a pandemic that would bring great uncertainty, but with it, even greater lessons. 

The Caribbean menswear aesthetic continues to blossom into something of its own niche character, Elie believes, and because of this, he has had unwavering hope for the industry despite the pandemic. “There have been wonderful lessons learnt by the Ecliff Elie team in the past nine months,” he says, explaining that business equates to risk and one must be strong, enduring and fearless to combat the effects of such risk. “This period, while extremely daunting for many, opened my eyes as a business owner to many things, and I’ve weathered the storm very well. I have been able to keep all of my employees over the past nine months and that came with the implementation of more effective business strategies,” he explained. 

Ecliff Elie says he has learnt some very helpful lessons during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Restrictions imposed as a direct result of Covid-19, in Trinidad and Tobago and across the Caribbean has certainly affected sales to some degree, however Elie says he remains steadfast and resolute in his belief that this storm of sorts, will soon pass. “Weathering the storm requires a lot of patience but it also demands resilience. What we’ve done during this period proved effective for the long-term business strategy. Virtual consultations, available at www.ecliffelie.co may have been overlooked prior to the pandemic, and it’s actually an effective method of reaching clients around the world,” said Elie. In fact, he explains, he’s seen increased regional sales during Covid-19. 

The male client, Elie’s target demographic, continues to be acutely marketed to, particularly during the present Christmas season. “While we understand that for many, these are some tough financial times, we also feel that men require emotional support during this time,” said Elie. “Because men are often required to be strong in the face of hardship, the man’s emotional pain can be overlooked. In the same way a woman feels good when she purchases a new pair of shoes or a new dress, we believe men should feel comfortable releasing their stress with a little shopping from time to time,” said the designer. 

Ecliff Elie’s Southern branch offers off-the-rack suits that can be altered for fit on spot. “While dinner parties and New Year’s Eve events may be very limited this year, we’d like to encourage our Caribbean men to boost their spirit and feel good despite the effects of this pandemic. It’s been a tough year, but we must have the right attitude heading into 2021, which will ultimately determine our altitude. For some reason, stepping into Ecliff Elie has a way of changing attitudes,” he said. 

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FROM THE CARIBBEAN

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