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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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Voice Breaks into Tears On Stage in NYC. “God Told Me to Go Fulfill My Purpose.”

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His journey can only be described in one word- predestined. The swift elevation from mere San Juan youth to internationally recognized Soca star is one that on Thursday night proved emotionally overwhelming for Trinidad and Tobago’s Aaron ‘Voice’ St. Louis. “I cried because I was overwhelmed. I cried because I couldn’t understand,” he wrote beneath a video posted to his social media platforms, highlighting the emotions felt and openly shown in New York on Thursday night.

Three time Soca Monarch champion, Voice.

Voice hit the United States by storm in August, having announced a full tour that included shows in Washington, Houston, Atlanta and Miami. The tour was named after his Instagram live nighttime feature, “Vibes with Voicey,” which brought fans from around the world into a close knit circle of friendships he’d built with fellow entertainment practitioners, Akeem 5.0, Major Penny, Salty, Travis World and DJ Elon. The feature would see thousands log in, sometimes into the wee hours of the morning, to vibes with Voicey and his friends! It was sheer authenticity and it proved genius! The concept would soon morph into a multi-state tour in the United States where, despite continued COVID19 vaccine hesitancy by many, even within the Caribbean community, Soca artistes had gotten the green light to entertain fans at events across the US. Caribbean fetes were happening everywhere and on August 8th, Voice waded into the pre-Miami carnival energy, delivering his first installment of the tour at Arts Park in Florida.

Over the next few weeks, leading up to the final installment on September 2nd in New York, Voice brought fellow Soca artistes, Bunji Garlin, Fay Ann Lyons, Alison Hinds, Problem Child, Lyrikal, Sekon Sta, Grenada’s Lil Natty and Thunda, Nailah Blackman, College Boi Jesse, Motto, and in New York, Kees and Nadia Batson among others, to deliver to fans of soca who simply lapped up every bit of the thrill they could, before Summer ends and the cold front returns.

Voice with Bunji Garlin

The young, triple Soca Monarch champion, thankful and dripping with gratitude not only to his parents but also to his dedicated team of friends and the entertainment professionals who supported him, ended the tour in tears on stage on Thursday night. “But then it hit me, God gives the hardest battles to His strongest soldiers. I’ve claimed success…I’ve claimed growth…and even when the journey was rough and I was at my lowest, God picked me up told me to go fulfill my purpose. He reminded me of the endless nights I worked for what I have now. He told me my time is now, and I listened,” the ‘Peace of Mind’ singer wrote. He said God had chosen him to deliver the music that would uplift the people, and as such, no one would deter him.

The singer went on to thank his parents, saying, “I owe everything to my mom and my dad. Not just my growth in my career but even my inner peace and happiness. I am who I am because of their intervention, guidance and love. God has truly blessed me with a support system like no other.”

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Gourmet Dining, Golf, Fetes and More! Mele is on! Soca Lovers Heading to Cancun.

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The inaugural sail of Melé Cruise, a collaboration between Carnival Mas Band TRIBE and Soca King Machel Montano, has been postponed and in its place, Carnival lovers can now look forward to a getaway on land at the Moon Palace, Cancun. The new Melé venue is an all-inclusive resort in Mexico offering signature amenities, luxurious accommodations, 24-hour room service, gourmet dining, and top-shelf drinks among numerous other attractions. Melé’s vacation getaway takes place in 8 months – from April 28 to May 2nd, 2022.

According to Montano, though the cruise industry is taking the necessary steps to navigate a way forward for the future, cruising “will be ready for all the melé we intend to cause on the high seas at a later time”. So after months of consideration, the Melé team made the decision to move “from ship to shore,” with Moon Palace Resort, Cancun, as their home for 5 days and 4 nights. 

Loyal Cruisers who signed up for Melé Cruise, Carnival at Sea, will be given the opportunity to sign up for Melé Destinations first, beginning Friday August 27th. After that, once spots remain, the public will be invited to reserve their stay from September 15th. The vacation getaway features fetes, day and night, unlimited premium drinks from multiple bars stocked with top-shelf spirits, meals at 16 top-tier restaurants offering the finest international cuisine, luxurious rooms, pristine beaches and live performances, daily. Patrons can even enjoy a round of golf in between their feting, or perhaps a massage at a world-class spa. 


In a video announcing the move from sea to land, Montano made it clear that “fun will never take precedence over safety” and Melé Destinations is the team’s way of keeping its promise to Cruisers and and anyone in need of a holiday something to look forward to in 2022; the “getaway we all deserve”. 

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