Dominican fashion designer Vanessa Winston hits world stage

Photo courtesy of Winston’s Facebook page

Vanessa Winston of the Dominica Arts and Craft Producers Association was chosen to represent her island at the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at Buckingham Palace on Monday February 19th 2018. A momentous opportunity for her, made even more notable by her ability to pull it off following the adversity she endured due to Hurricane Maria.

In an article appearing in Vogue writer Sara Mower conveyed Vanessa’s story, “Hurricane Maria came in September. My home was destroyed. The only place left standing was my craft workshop, where we sheltered for weeks. It has been terrible, but in a way, this challenge came as divine intervention,” Vanessa went on to say ““It lifted me to work on it. It’s helped me and the women who work with me to think, ‘What’s next?’ ”

Winston was paired with fashion icon and designer Meiling from Trinidad and Tobago. Winston’s work, a leather cummerbund decorated with intricate hammered butterflies, was a central piece of a beautiful coconut fiber woven gown by Meiling.  Meling seemed impressed by Winston when she admitted ” And she delivered on time!” and grasped her hand.

52 countries were represented at the Fashion exchange, presenting 30 hand crafted gowns that were all sustainably produced. The show was organized in conjunction with Livia Firth of Eco-Age who promotes fashion that is eco-friendly and makes culturally positive statements.

Baroness Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General, was also a part of the fashion exchange.  She said “It is about engaging young people and using fashion as a thread that connects everyone”. She further stated that “…a third of the commonwealth’s 2.4 billion people are under the age of 30, a vast generation primed to be interested in fashion and involved in it as workers. It is the 2nd largest employer of  women in the developing world.”

The Commonwealth Fashion exchange was attended by nobility and other highly notable figures including the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, who represented Queen Elizabeth II.

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  1. J
    February 27, 2018


    Sometimes things take time, but the beauty of who you are will always shine through.


  2. Bense/Anse de Mai
    February 25, 2018

    Go LISA!!! We the family are very proud of you. YOU ROCK!!!!

  3. out of south city
    February 24, 2018

    I am not surprised at great achievements coming from the African mind. We just need to get along and continue to uplift each other in whatever endeavour we pursue. Hard work does pay off and I see that you did not let circumstances thwart your dreams. Keep reaching to higher heights and continue to be an example to the youth. May you continue to prosper as you continue on that path. Continue to dream big and let no one discourage you.
    PEACE (Hotep)

  4. Strong
    February 24, 2018

    Go Go Vanessa. DYBT STRONG.

  5. Lapwet Massive
    February 23, 2018

    This Are the People we uplift from our nation with Diplomatic tools to build youth Coming from Culture
    Home base Island Dominica ,Stay Bless The Journey Has just Started :

  6. Claudia Bellot
    February 23, 2018

    well done Vanessa! Such a wonderful achievement! I really love it when young people overcome all odds to succeed at the highest level. Keep reaching for the stars my dear!!!

  7. Patricia Inglis
    February 23, 2018

    Congratulations! Continue to work hard and remain committed!

  8. Director
    February 23, 2018

    I’m smiling which reading this my friend! Cudous to you!!

  9. in these times
    February 23, 2018

    congrats Vanessa.

  10. Roger Burnett
    February 23, 2018

    For once I am in agreement with Baroness Scotland when she says that there is a vast generation primed to be interested in fashion.

    How to incite that interest is a different matter. Five years ago when I offered for school leavers a one year course in the Visual Arts, which included fashion design, only three students expressed interest.

    I give credit to Vanessa. She serves as a role model.

  11. hmm
    February 23, 2018

    Whoop, whoop…well done

  12. February 23, 2018

    Vanessa the Teachers of the land are supportive of you and your extreme efforts on behalf of our country.

  13. The one and Only
    February 23, 2018

    No idea who you are, but good for you! Happy to see a Dominican on a world stage!

  14. February 23, 2018

    I am happy for you my friend. Great opportunity and you represented your country well! All the best to you as you push to better yourself!

  15. February 23, 2018

    Very inspiring! Hoping for the best for you and much more success in your work!

  16. A. George
    February 23, 2018

    Go Lissa! Keep up the good work!

  17. Sheryl
    February 23, 2018

    Congratulations my girl. Well done. Enjoy. Keep going.

  18. Frances
    February 23, 2018

    Congratulation to you, Lisa. You have always been creative and ambitious.

  19. Frances
    February 23, 2018

    Congratulation to yoi, “Lisa”. You have always been ambitious and creative.

  20. Good news
    February 22, 2018

    Impressive, continue to work hard, great rewards awaits!

  21. Annon
    February 22, 2018

    Wow so Beautiful.

  22. Angel Wisdom
    February 22, 2018

    Wonderful Vanessa. So very proud of you.
    Let us continue to give the Father praise.

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