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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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Caribbean Buzz

US Based Soca Artist Comes Through for the Caribbean Community.

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Approx. 3 min read

The dark clouds are slowly rolling away for creatives in the US, among them, Caribbean entertainers who’ve been held up for over a year. For many in the entertainment industry around the world, the pandemic has caused devastation. International reports suggest that other than the aviation industry, the entertainment industry has been hardest hit. There is a glimmer of light now however, and for one Caribbean creative residing in New York city, a year of introspection and silence, has stimulated creativity in the most incredible way. 


Many would remember him as a child in the Caribbean, singing alongside Calypsonian David Michael Rudder- a song called, “The Future Belongs To Me.” Now, years later, Julius The Artist is offering his music to Soca lovers around the world at a time when he says he believes they need it most. 

Julius The Artist

A thoughtful artist, Julius who originally hailed from Pioneer Drive, Sealots, Trinidad, has effectively delivered thought provoking songs over the years. In 2018, he released a song called, “Good Morning Trinidad,” invoking emotions for persons on the receiving end of domestic abuse and irrational violations. He followed that track up with “What’s Your Name,” paying homage to the land of his birth. Julius however explained that this time around, as the anxiety surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic eases in the United States, with many now receiving vaccines, he felt a strong desire to give his Caribbean people an anthem that could lift their spirits. 

‘No Breather,’ was produced by famed New York based music producer, Brent Toussaint-the Trinidadian producer whose name stood out on Beyonce’s Lemonade album. He was also responsible for Machel Montano and Walker Hornung’s ‘With or Without You,’ and even Bunji Garlin’s ‘Gimme De Brass.’ “This song was held back for a year and a half because of what had been happening in the world,” admitted Julius. “Now, I’ve released the track because I think it’s the right time; people need something to take their mind off things,” he said. With US restrictions now easing, vaccination fetes are a thing. Added to that, bubble carnivals have emerged and Julius, like many artistes, is looking forward to taking the stage again.

As a dietary aid at a New York hospital by profession, Julius saw first-hand, and continues to witness the effects of the pandemic. He explained that his profession is possibly the ‘good news’ aspect of hospital-care these days, highlighting that he’s served patients who’ve gotten back on their feet after being diagnosed with Covid-19. “Over the past year, I’ve kept my focus on the brighter side of life, no matter how things were. I used the time to listen because sometimes you have to be still and go into a state of nothingness and meditate. I was always in my head,” he said. 

Despite the daunting reality most felt, Julius got creative. Together with Ian ‘Fojo’ Cobin, he penned ‘No Breather’ and has even been working with Jason ‘Shaft’ Bishop on a major project he’s extremely excited about. Giving kudos to his manager, Tamara George, Julius says there’s a lot happening musically that he is grateful for. “I have a lot of really good conscious material but the people need something to excite them again- get them living again, after the past year so this is it; this is my gift to my Caribbean people and I think they’ll enjoy it,” he said.

PRESS RELEASE: Etcetera The Company.

NO BREATHER

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Caribbean Buzz

Rih’s On It, Allegedly! Who’s Ready for It?

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Approx. < 1 min read

It’s been five years since Rihanna dropped her last body of music. Fans have been patiently waiting for the release of the R9 album, often taking to the Bajan entrepreneur’s social media pages with pleas and virtual prodding tones, much to her exhaustion. Rih has however been very focused on her fashion and beauty lines, delivering Fenty Beauty, Fenty Skin, Savage X Fenty over the time. Now there’s word that Rihanna’s ninth studio album has finally come together.

A source told The Sun that Rihanna’s been working on new music for quite some time. “Rihanna has been secretly working on new music for a long time and her ninth album has finally come together. She has kept fans waiting for a long time — and the pandemic slowed things up even more,” said the source.

According to reports, the ‘Love on the Brain’ singer has tapped director Raja Virdi for a music video set to film in California later this summer. “The project is still tightly under wraps but Rihanna will be filming a new music video in Los Angeles in July. Raja has been brought on board by Rihanna and her team, and he will be flying out to oversee everything,” said the source in The Sun interview.

While the singer has not made an official statement on the subject, fans are eager to learn more about what she has planned for her upcoming project.

Meanwhile, Rihanna has condemned the ongoing violence in the Gaza Strip. In a social media post on Thursday, the philanthropical influencer said her heart is breaking for the children caught in the centre of the ongoing war.

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