Sunday, 30 October 2011

So Island! - Anya Ayoung Chee. A Sense of PRIDE.

Anya Ayoung-Chee photo to the right taken by Laura Ferreira

I had such an intense sense of pride when Anya Ayoung Chee was pronounced the winner of Project Runway Season 9 last week!

Trini to D Bone Island to D Bone!

She chose to stick to who she was and where she came from and it made me feel all kinds of excited when her models came down the runway and when Heidi announced that she had won!

In the last few years of my 20's, as I approach my 30's with a sense of love and pride for who I am and where I am from so this couldn't have been more perfect in timing to see.

I've been told so many times that being from the Caribbean meant that I couldn't be more than just that- 'island' and that nothing was good unless it was 'foreign' and if I did a design that was 'good' I was instantly told it was so 'cause it look foreign' because 'local' is a dirty dirty word... possible sandy...

But I am from here, of here, proud, curious and full of aspiration not bound by the salt water and the coconut trees.

I am inspired and interested by many things local and international

I don't think with the boundaries of the so-called 'Caribbean Aesthetic' in my mind but I am happily aware of and in love with them and how it inspires me.

Anya 'Did her' and no one else. She did it with absolute pride and integrity and I admire that fully.

"Who knew we could look so good? Who knew that our style, our freedom, the sexiness of just being so island could look so good on a world stage? Who knew that one of our own could just look so chic and sophisticated and confident? We always say that we are excellent and can compete on the world stage but I wonder sometimes whether we really believe it, whether we really believed she would win. We are accustomed to honourable mention, to second place, to the bronze medal and we celebrate that because we know when you are from a small place you are just glad to be there, to represent, to wave your flag and say, “Look we! We here too!” But this time, we won!"- Ayanna Gillian Lloyd- 'Anya Ayoung-Chee From The Caribbean To The World'


  1. It really is inspiring when we see other Caribbean persons making their mark internationally and yes, we are so much more than what anyone thinks we are!

    She (Anya) is inspiring in many ways and has made not only Trinidad but the entire Caribbean and people worldwide proud.

  2. Girllll...When I tell you I love my country. I remember when I was in Chicago a few years ago and I told someone I was from Trinidad they asked me if we had lights there...I just chuckled and said yes. Anya along with other individuals of Trinidad and Tobago have help make our dot on the map shine a bit brighter and I thank them for that...Ima wear my trini bikini and handband and not the other

  3. I actually took a bet from my mother that Anya was not going to win *bb shame face* I'm glad I lost that bet because I could not be more proud. Me doubting that she would win was never about the quality or greatness of her work but whether the judges could really understand the Caribbean/Trini perspective of fashion.. I'm so glad they did.. T&T to the World

  4. Anya did the country proud. Maybe now when I tell some Americans that I am from Trinidad they will not ask "What part of Jamaica is that?"

  5. I'm excited to see where Anya takes this and how she continues to grow and develop.

    She did The Caribbean Proud!