’Tis the season

Christmas shopping? Our style columnist suggests four Trinidadian designers to fill your list

For the alluring masquerader: Keisha Als. Photo by Marlon JamesFor lovers of hand candy: Jade Drakes. Photo by Michele JorslingFor the bold spirit: Akong London. Photo by Akong LondonFor the bold spirit: Akong London. Photo by Akong LondonFor the eco-conscious: Tabii Just. Photo by King Perez de TagleFor the smooth gentleman: Peta Odini. Photo by Peta Odini

There’s no question, shopping for the holiday season can be beyond exhausting. Luckily, the visually arresting island of Trinidad is home to some of the best go-to designers the Caribbean has to offer. Whether it’s for Carnival masqueraders or folks who simply love to make statements, we’ve got some of the coolest gifts right here for you . . . and just in the nick of time.

 

For the alluring masquerader: Keisha Als

If you follow social media around Trinidad Carnival, you’ll find Keisha Als’s designs pretty much everywhere. With a recent increase in demand for Monday wear among Carnival lovers around the world, Als has expertly tapped into the niche with pieces that are fiery, vibrant, and sexy. She has perfectly blended the spirit of Carnival into all of her creations, while giving her customers versatility to last beyond the season. Doesn’t get better than that.

Prices start at US$120
Contact info@KeishaAls.com for orders and more information
Photography by Marlon James

 

For lovers of hand candy: Jade Drakes

Drakes has been crafting jewellery for as long as she can remember, and for a designer whose favorite materials are found objects, that fact cannot be denied. Her rings are exquisitely crafted to perfection, and have a cool balance between edgy and delicate. To put it simply, they are beautiful works of art.

Prices start at TT$450
Visit www.jadedrakes.com for more information or find Drakes at local fashion market RackedTT
Photography by Michele Jorsling

 

For the bold spirit: Akong London

It’s hard to believe London-based Trini Nicole Akong started creating versatile statement jewellery only five years ago. Influenced by indigenous cultures and art, she manages to flawlessly fuse metals, semi-precious stones, and vibrant textiles and trims. Her recent collection boasts a splash of unconventional materials, such as pony skin, but each creation is so drop-dead gorgeous, it’s hard for it to not make a strong statement.

Necklaces start at £280 and earrings at £180
Available at akonglondon.com
Photography by Akong London

 

For the eco-conscious: Tabii Just

“I want to inspire people to embrace sustainability within their love of shopping,” says New York–based Tabitha St Bernard. Named one of ten eco-friendly designers to know by Brooklyn Magazine, her clothing is made using sublime fabrics with vibrant colours and prints. Each piece is versatile, and ideal for the woman who wants to exude the utmost confidence while decreasing her carbon footprint.

Clothing starts at US$250 and unisex scarves at US$50
Available at tabiijust.com
Photography by King Perez de Tagle

 

For the smooth gentleman: Peta Odini

Extraordinary patterns aren’t for the faint of heart, especially when it comes to men, but Peta Odini Sutherland doesn’t mind stepping away from the norm. Honestly, we’re not mad! Peta Odini’s menswear is a breath of fresh air within an occasionally repetitive industry. Each piece is impeccably made, and her best-selling shorts are so bold and unique, they truly are a wonderful gift to give this year.

Prices start at US$65
Visit www.petaodini.com for more info
Photography by Peta Odini