Designs created by prisoners will be a new addition to this year’s GFW

Always one to add spice to her brainchild, this year designer Sonia Noel will add new features to her fifth hosting of the Guyana Fashion Weekend (GFW) with her plans to showcase designs by prisoners and honouring the great Jamaican reggae icon Bob Marley through fashion.

A release from the GFW team said that some of the designs would be celebrating the life of Bob Marley. “He carried our Caribbean aesthetic to the world. Now, Guyana Fashion Weekend, in its fifth chapter, has chosen to bring the world to us, by documenting our celebration and making it readily accessible and by inviting the region and the Diaspora to witness Guyanese style. We are presenting our style to the world as we tribute him in song and honour him in fashion,” a release from Noel and team said.

And in a surprise note, Noel announced that GFW will be working with prisoners from the Georgetown and New Amsterdam prisons through their rehabilitation programmes.

Recently, Sonia said, she viewed some interesting pieces of macrame and other knit-based outfits done by men imprisoned at Camp Street, under the tutelage of Cassee Noel, Art & Craft instructor. Sonia said she was pleasantly surprised to see that the prison is encouraging creative inmates to bring back the art of crochet by developing lines of crocheted ready-to-wear urban style.

According to the release, Rev Fay Clarke MS, who heads Training and Welfare initiatives at the prison, has stated that the Prison Service “…welcomes and looks forward to community collaboration with its internal retraining efforts, and commends Ms Noel for this venture, while looking forward to future participation which will motivate the inmates and create opportunities for their successful reintegration on their release.”

Meanwhile, GFW team has encouraged the arts and craft community to consolidate with the fashion industry and sculptor- turned-fashion designer, Louis Jordan, has risen to the occasion, specializing in a line of ingenious leather bags, telling the story of Guyana, through replicating historical sites, like Stabroek Market and promoting conscious Guyanese signature missions, like eco-tourism.

Additionally, this year, GFW and Digicel will commemorate the fifth anniversary with a fashion market. The Digicel Fashion Market will swing its doors open right after the one-of-a-kind mid-morning launch concludes on September 23 and draw shoppers and buyers to what would really be a fashion village at Georgetown Cricket Club from September 23 to 25. Designers would be afforded a unique selling point to vend their fashion wares.

And GFW in collaboration with the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs will host ‘Carving A Niche’ which is a carving competition with fruits and vegetable grown in Guyana. Interested person can contact the GFW office on 226-3099 or email

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