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Archived: Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Brand Stands Strong For Freedom

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Approx. 3 min read
Mimi Kuruka is available in hats, totes, t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, wristlets, and dashiki styled tops.

Mimi Kuruka is available in hats, totes, t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, wristlets, and dashiki styled tops.

Fashion is an evolving trend and many tend to link their personality to what they wear. However, many people have used other people’s definition of fashion to define their personal style, instead of the other way around. What if you don’t want to wear an internationally popular brand that’s being worn by every person and their sister? What if you wanted to stay out and still be cool?

In an attempt to allow customers to express their love for their own personal style, Trinidad and Tobago’s Kaurice Alexander started a movement for the promotion of self-love through fashion. Having an appreciation for fashion himself, the young graphic designer came up with a clothing line, but one that held a different mantra. In 2015, after pondering the idea for some time, the brand “Mimi Kuruka” was born. Mimi Kuruka is Swahili for “I Fly”, a phrase that goes deeper than ‘what’s trendy’.

The brand Mimi Kuruka is Swahili for 'I Fly'.

The brand Mimi Kuruka is Swahili for ‘I Fly’.

Explaining the creative definition behind the name to EBUZZTT, Kaurice said one of the main goals of Mimi Kuruka is to supply items in controlled quantities in a bid to maintain uniqueness and exclusivity, while incorporating the brand’s philosophy to “Freely Love Yourself” (F.L.Y) into each person’s personal style. Kaurice told us he enjoys one on one interaction with customers, something that allows him to  understand each person’s style goals and even their personality. “It goes hand in hand with the aim of promoting self-love in the clothes that they wear,” he said.

The brand’s first batch of 30 pieces were promoted on social media and Kaurice told us he targeted mainly women. The brand carries hats, totes, t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, wristlets, and dashiki styled tops – among other apparel types.pharell Explaining that eventually he intends to branch out into other fashion pieces, such as shoes and jewelry,  Kaurice admitted that for now, his focus is simply on promoting his message.

Brand creator, Maurice Alexander says he is focused on getting his message out there.

Brand creator, Kaurice Alexander says he is focused on getting his message out there.

The local brand creator told EBUZZTT that its often quite a challenge to get local support and like any other burgeoning entrepreneur, he has had his doubts, encountered numerous stumbling blocks and financial struggles, but remains driven by passion. Now, after encountering his numerous obstacles, Kaurice says he can strongly encourage other young artists to have a ‘broad back’ and “be willing to receive constructive criticism as well. “We have to be able to turn all negatives we encounter into positives,” he said, adding, “It’s important to embrace all experiences and keep people who motivate you, in your space.”

The ambitious designer believes Trinidad and Tobago has a lot of talent to offer the world but echoed sentiments often heard, “we must support each other and learn to love ourselves first.”

Locally, Mimi Kuruka has garnered the support of friends and family and notably popular drummer Rhys and other members of Five Miles to Midnight and the Bomboom Room who’ve been seen rocking the brand. Kaurice has aspirations to even dress celebs like – hip hop’s Pharrell Williams and T&T superstars, Kees, 1st Klase, Fay-ann Lyons and up and coming local rapper Inzey. He told us he would love to see these particular celebs wearing his brand because he believes they all embody a certain level of individuality that’s unapologetic and unpretentious – something his brand promotes.

You can check out Mimi Kuruka on Instagram to see just how fresh this Trinidad and Tobago bred brand really is!

EBUZZTT WRITER: Candibuzz on Instagram

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Nailah Blackman Touches Down in Switzerland. Finds A Weed Machine!

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She’s seen a weed vending machine so far and she seems to have been pretty blown away by that. Nailah Blackman’s in Switzerland. The soca beauty is there for the Swiss Soca Festival, something that’s pretty huge for this fresh, young entertainer.

Blackman, who unleashed a new EP last month called ‘The Reel’, has been delivering consistently over the past two years. Vocal strength and a visually appealing package, makes her an artiste to watch in the Caribbean music industry- an artiste who, by all accounts, has the best potential to make it onto the international music circuit.

Nailah in Switzerland.

In a near emotional rant on her Instagram story, Blackman said she is extremely happy. “All my life I always wanted to travel and do music and I am here for the Soca Swiss Festival. This is just amazing to me!” she said, thanking God for the opportunity. “God is good,” she said.

Nailah told her fans that she had always wanted to visit Europe. She said a lot of the artistes she’d listened to growing up, were European. “The whole vibe, the whole gloomy vibe, it’s a definite vibe. It’s definitely an emotion that I felt a lot in my childhood and I get why people would’ve made songs like they made in this kind of weather- it’s sort of gloomy so it’s nice to have soca here… bring a different side, yuh know!”

Check out Nailah’s reaction to the Weed Vending machine find, in Switzerland.

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Kees Wants Us All to Celebrate Calypso. New Album Coming This Month.

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Kes the band has been busy. An entire album is being released to fans of Soca and Calypso music this month. In an interview on RED96.7FM on Thursday, Kees Dieffenthaller- lead singer of the band, said the album, “We Home” would be dropping on August 28th. He also urged the people of Trinidad and Tobago to love up Calypso music.

The upcoming album is the band’s first live studio album and according to a social media post on the band’s page, it was born out of the present global situation. The COVID-19 pandemic, still a very present threat, Kees said the period has given many people the time to reconnect with loved ones, take things slow, recharge, innovate and be at home.

The album is described as one that delivers to fans, the energy that’s often shared by the band when they’re on stage. “We miss the energy we get from you when we’re on stage and wanted to share the vibes we feel when we’re performing. We hope this album captures that feeling and gives us all something to look forward to when we could jam once more. We can’t wait for you to hear it,” said the social media post. ⁠ ⁠ ⁠

Speaking toward the end of the radio interview on Thursday, Kees embraced the applause offered for the collaborative single done with Jimmy October- a single called, “Magic”. He took that opportunity to call on the people of Trinidad and Tobago to celebrate calypso music which, he reminded the world, many other genres were bred from.

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