July 17, 2019
BTVI fashion student, Fayren Knowles (left) taking the measurements of her assigned model, Miss Bahamas Universe contestant, Katherine Weech.
Photo by: Shantique Longley
The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Miss Bahamas Universe (MBU) organization to have BTVI’s fashion students design and create outfits for contestants of the 2019 pageant.
BTVI’s fashion students were the ones who courageously approached MBU and pitched the idea of having them create designs for this year’s pageant. The students will construct the Avant Garde attire as well as the A-line island handprint cocktail dresses for the contestants’ motorcade. MBU’s National Director, Anthony Smith, said the organization’s confidence in BTVI’s fashion students stems from the quality of work they have seen the department produce.
“Miss Bahamas Universe decided to partner with BTVI because many of the past students are proof that great talent exists in this country, especially when the talent is trained and harnessed by institutions who are prepared to ensure that the students receive on the job training and exposure in order to present them to potential employers or a network of clients,” said Mr. Smith.
“(This partnership) provides the student designers with a stage, press platforms and networking opportunities and prospective clients who might not have known them or their brand,” added Mr. Smith.
Meanwhile, BTVI’s Chair of Fashion, Kathy Pinder, is looking forward to the doors this partnership will open for the students.
“Our students will gain a lot of exposure from designing for the pageant. This will definitely help them develop their portfolios for their future endeavors whether it be furthering their education or securing jobs. It is my hope that it will inspire others who are interested to sign up for BTVI’s Fashion program,” said Ms. Pinder who is overseeing the students as they create their designs.
Furthermore, Ms. Pinder also stated that MBU’s decision to trust BTVI’s fashion students to create two designs per contestant - that will be shown nationwide – shows how confident they are in BTVI’s product. Nevertheless, Ms. Pinder said the students have been efficiently trained and are fully equipped to take on this challenge.
One of the student designers, Denzel Mckay, is already discovering new things about himself as a designer since working with his model.
“This experience has helped with developing what we designers call our esthetics, which is our unique design style and is very important in the world of fashion. It has also helped us discover our strengths and weaknesses when it comes to designing and working with different clients,” said Denzel.
The grand finale is slated for August 11th at the Meliá Nassau Beach Resort, Cable Beach, under the theme, ‘Alter Ego.’