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.
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.
Buju Brings the ‘Summer Bubbler’. Entertains Fans Online. VIDEO INSIDE.
New music now making the rounds, reggae and dancehall heavyweight, Buju Banton stays focused and happy at home in Jamaica, delivering to fans worldwide, pieces of himself via online platforms like Instagram. On Wednesday, on the heels of news that he’d unleashed a brand new summer bubbler with the ladies in mind, Gargamel solidified the promotion of the track with a mini concert that engaged fans from as far as Ghana.
It’s been almost two years since Buju’s career, like that of many other Caribbean artistes, has been halted- with no major concert events being planned. He appeared alongside Beres Hammond on a virtual stage in February this year, but of course, that was nothing like a live show would be. Still, Buju’s creativity remains powerful and present.
The latest single, “Summer Body”, is aimed at offering fans a little fun and enjoyment, according to the artist. In a statement, the song is described as one that borrows signature sounds from the 90s reggae/dancehall era and features Buju’s quintessential deejay style over a hardcore Dancehall riddim. The song was produced by Buju himself, alongside dancehall staple Jon Jon. According to Buju’s team, the new release encourages fans to celebrate life, remove doubt and any sense of restriction from their minds.
On Wednesday, as he engaged fans on his Instagram live, Buju smiled happily, singing his new release and even belting out familiar tunes from the past. Take a look at how that went down…
Shenseea’s New Video “Run, Run” Bashed As “Demonic.” Rvssian Retorts.
In just five days, Shenseea’s latest music video, “Run Run” has been streamed over 2.4 million times on YouTube. Whether that’s fueled by criticism over the “demonic” imagery of the video, as some call it, or just plain curiosity and fan loyalty, we’re uncertain, but 2.4 million streams in a week, is big news.
Earlier this month, Shenseea announced her new management alignment with Canadian, music exec, Wassim ‘Sal’ Slaiby. In an Instagram post, the Jamaican artist who had previously been managed by Romeich Major, said she was happy to now have a manager with “such dynamic character on my team.” Shen alluded to big moves ahead, saying, “we’re about to unfold a new chapter.”
Just a few days later, a promotional video was posted to her IG, showing what was on the way. The video for “Run Run” portrayed visuals that leaned more toward the international trends seen in videos like Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s “WAP” and Lil Nas X’s “Montero” music videos. Some fans dug in after the video’s release on Friday. “Omg, I’m so sorry for Shenseea… she don’t know what she’s getting into,” one person wrote on YouTube. Another said, “We need more music videos with artists ascending into Heaven, normalize ascending instead of descending into hell.” Some even posted prayers for their Jamaican dancehall sweetheart.
The new single is the first track off of Shen’s debut album. On the weekend, Shenseea posted a scene that showed her being lowered into what one can only assume is “hell.” She wore bull horns in the excerpt. She told fans this was her favorite scene.
In response to comments against the visual creativity, producer Rvssian took to Twitter. “They say people sell them soul. But how much do these type of things go for? 😂 and is a store or what? Mi confuse😂😂” he retorted. He continued by saying that he praises God and has given all his success and credit to Him, lashing out at critics with biblical reference, saying, “The Bible say Matthew 7 – do not judge…do you know the rest? But you guys are more holy than we are- look into ya self.”
His response was quite similar to one given by incarcerated dancehall artist, Vybz Kartel who was asked about allegations that he had sold his soul for fame, by On Stage host, Winford Williams, prior to his incarceration.
HERE’S SHENSEEA’S “RUN RUN” VIDEO
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