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The weather was uncharacteristically sunny for early spring in Brussels, but it was the perfect backdrop for an amazing triumph by Jamaica especially, and fashion from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, in general, as the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Fashion Show rocked the Palais de Beaux Arts, on April 2.
Before a large audience of diplomats, Government Ministers and other officials, as well as fashion industry insiders and other specially invited guests, Jamaica’s supermodels from Pulse were standouts among a star studded line-up of mannequins, showing the best in fashion from the featured regions.
Jamaica, representing the Caribbean, drew raves from an ecstatic audience, especially those from the region, as several Caribbean Culture Ministers, joined Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, who led Jamaica’s delegation to Brussels for the Culture and Creativity Conference, with a spontaneous outpouring of congratulations and pleasure at the very high level of Jamaica’s performance. Asked her opinion of the event, Minister Grange responded, “Excellent!”
The designs from all the regions were truly outstanding, with the Jamaican contingent receiving a great response. In the finale, the obvious stars of the show were the Jamaican models. Together, with the designers, they drew a standing ovation, from a very knowledgeable and sophisticated audience.
The Jamaica fashion initiatives in Brussels are managed and produced by Pulse, under contract from Jamaica Trade and Invest and funded by the European Commission. The project falls under the general umbrella of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC)- facilitated Jamaica Fashion Cluster, which made key contributions to the event.
Speaking after the show, Head of Delegation of the European Commission in Jamaica, Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi-Alemanni, who had personally put his prestige and support behind the initiative, said he was elated. He felt vindicated by Jamaica’s performance, having great faith in the potential of the country’s fashion industry. He sees the industry as being both models and designers, with the models clearly ahead. However, he believes that the design aspect will now come into its own. He believes that this intervention in Brussels will go a long way to achieving that objective.
The full line-up of Jamaican designer collections being shown in Belgium are Biggy, Mutamba, Julan, Les Campbell and an Island Collective line, co-ordinated by Sandra Kennedy.

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