After a pandemic hiatus, Summer Sizzle BVI is set to shine a spotlight on the Virgin Islands and its fashion businesses at the end of July, but uncertainty lingers as the territory sets in new Covid-19 restrictions until July 20.
“I’m looking forward to Summer Sizzle,” said designer Andrea Wilson of the Islander Wave Collection. “I’m happy that [organiser Terry Donovan] pushed on.”
The event, which is slated for July 21-26, was created by Mr. Donovan in 2007, and it has been held 11 times since then but skipped a year in 2020.
Ms. Wilson said the pandemic affected her business and sales, thereby affecting her latest collection.
“The following collection is usually financed by the previous collection,” she said. “Every year is a new collection.”
Ms. Wilson currently has her previous collection on sale at Loose Mongoose and in a store at the Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park.
“I got most of my sales through the Pier Park, but the stores were shut [during the pandemic],” she said. “That store shut down because the owner couldn’t afford to pay 100 percent of the rent.”
Still, Ms. Wilson looks forward to the fashion week — which has become a major event in the VI — and to her newest collection, which will arrive soon.
This would be the third year Ms. Wilson has showcased her designs.
The fashion and lifestyle week is also set to feature new local artists — or in some cases newly formed groups of seasoned ones.
Designer Kristen Frazer, artist Roma Harrigan-Osowo and creative Alexia Penn created ARK, which will launch at the Global Glamour Runway Show.
The collection will feature Stella Maze, creator of Stella Hues luxury footwear, and jewellery from Jamaican creative Peta-Gaye Chong of Emunah Collective.
The opening night of Summer Sizzle is slated for July 22, with creators selling and displaying their goods at Loose Mongoose. The runway show, which has been held for 11 years, is set for July 24 at the Multi-purpose Sports Complex.
The runway show is also slated to include the first participatory event for the BVI Culinary Team, which is sponsored by the BVICCHA.
In events coordinated by Chef Tonya Malone-Smith, mixologist Everson Rawlins will create two signature cocktails.
The schedule also includes the Equanimity Nation Health and Wellness Retreat from July 22-25 at Lambert Beach Resort.
The retreat, which will include meditation, mindfulness workshops and sound therapy, would be led by EQ Nation founder Tracie Jade.
Other scheduled events include parties and a sailing excursion.
The BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association announced a partnership with the fashion show last Thursday.
“So what do Summer Sizzle BVI and the BVICCHA have in common?” a press release stated. “Both have a strong desire to see local talent, makers, and business owners on the international map!”
BVICCHA described its vision to “be the confident and proactive voice of the business sector and driving force for business development and economic growth.”