Guyana’s fashion guru Sonia Noel teams up with CaribDirect.com

| September 22, 2012

CaribDirect is pleased to introduce one of the Caribbean’s most prolific fashion designers Ms.  Sonia Elizabeth Noel. Over the next few weeks Sonia will share her designs, ideas and insights on her shows with you. Here’s what Sonia has done throughout her career:

Sonia Noel fashion designer extraordinaire

 The last 15 Years , Sonia Noel quickly became one of the more recognizable names in the directory of Caribbean designers. She has been shrewd enough to position herself throughout the region at all the noteworthy fashion events and intuitive enough to create a label Mariska’s Designs that is a unique hybrid of Guyanese craftsmanship, Caribbean ingenuity and an all pervasive universal style. Her designs can be worn from the beach to the ballroom and has dressed from house wives to first ladies.

She has been a veritable ‘daughter of soil’ whose tireless work  to  make Guyana proud seemed to have paid off when she was awarded at the 2011 British Virgin Islands Fashion Weekend the accolade of Caribbean Fashion  Ambassador.She also received the GMSA Award for her involvement in youth development and cross border promotion of the local fashion industry.

She proved her mettle by participating in many a significant fashion week (end) throughout the Caribbean – Caribbean Fashion Week, St. Kitts Fashion Week, Fashion Week Trinidad and Tobago, USVI Fashion Week, Antigua Independence Fashion Weekend. In addition to these grand expositions she also took part in the Caribbean Gift and Craft show and highlighted her Mariska’s label in St. Vincent, Suriname , Cayenne , Grenada , St. Lucia and Barbados even going further afield to New York, Toronto and London .

Sonia Noel is a peculiar mix of designer powerhouse and savvy businesswoman. By no means is it sheer luck that she has been fortunate to access spreads in many a magazine – Shabeau, She Caribbean, Caribbean Belle, Caribbean Style, Caribbean Bride, Posh Caribbean, Paramaribo PostAfrican RootsGem Magazine, Apsara Magazine, Pride (London), Smooth, Sister 2 Sister in New York and recently in her very own GFW5- a commemorative edition for her 5 year anniversary of Guyana Fashion Weekend. These features were a result of a combination of strategic planning, innovative design and moreover a magnetic charming personality. The latter, one sees radiating from her maternal and more so compassionate spirit exuded generously when with her two daughters, Mariska and Shonta.

Sonia showing off one of her designs

Strong willed and determined this Leo pioneering C.E.O of G.F.W, who had also worn the hat of  the official fashion designer for Barbados Music Awards, has gone on to produce two reality television series in Guyana –Guyana Model Search and Designers/Stylist Portfolio- and later to produce a pioneering talk show for television–Diatribe- being developed now for Caribbean viewership. Back in 2008 the government of Guyana commissioned her to head the fashion component of Carifesta X, which proved to be one of, if not the most, comprehensive programme at that event.Always on the cutting edge she creates and contributes to projects which indulge her humanitarian side. She’s forever donating to a cause to improving life chance, producing an annual charity show “Style Mission” ,which raises funds for a selected charity every year. From the dispossessed to the disabled, from the street urchin to the senior citizen, from the cancer stricken to the aids afflicted, giving hope to those who feel abandoned, even to providing homes, Sonia Noel sees it as her duty to give back to her fellow man.

2011 gave birth to a new energy for her – providing opportunity to the creative energy of young talented Guyanese.  Through her project Theatrical Spectacular, she gave hope to the hidden talent which abounds in Guyana. Performing talent, in particular, joined the ranks of her avid interests in visual, designing, and culinary arts in identifying Guyanese style and proclaiming the Caribbean aesthetic.

She recently launched the Sonia Noel Foundation for the Creative Arts.The mission of SNFCA is to create access for talented individuals, not only in Guyana, its home base, but through the wider Caribbean. It is hoped that through this medium an avenue for the development of the creative industries, so relevant to current socio-economic life chance, be fostered. The Foundation hopes to encourage and nurture raw talent – performing arts (dance/ drama/ music), visual arts (painting/ film/illustration/sculpture/photography), fashion arts (design/modelling/styling), culinary arts and other creative energies.

Her latest feat is being selected by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) to represent Caribbean fashion in the thriving economic milieu of the 2012 Olympic Games in London and dressing Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes.

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Category: Business, Culture & Society, Fashion, Lifestyle

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